Sharing from another public Forum / Group, where a friend asked:
--"Who among you have come to feel like Ecuador is truly "home" to you?"--
For those who do feel that way, how long did it take before that realization? Was there a precipitating event? And finally, do you attribute any particular thing (an activity, idea, attitude, etc.) as being responsible for your feeling at home here?
I now have moved 1.5 hrs across to Eastern suburb part of town (Quito) to be near the UIO Quito Airport, and for my 4 yrs relationship Ecua G/F to be near Her family & life long friends.
...or when close friends & family come and visit for 2-3-4 weeks is a special treat that makes me feel at home Here...? <strange I know>
..something I feel helps me, in my case anyways, to make EC feel more at home is to not be back and forth to the US every year, as many do, not knocking it by any means,
...but I just can't fathom putting myself through the emotional / energy / stress & strain of of an INT flight entering & exiting these 2 very different worlds every year,
...or in some cases, expats that max out the res. visa req. of 3) x 30 day trips a year, per year for the first 2 years. like my aunt & uncle did...
(and the saying good byes, or even see yah later, is hard enough when folks leave from Here after a year or 2 or 3),
...I feel the longer I stay put in EC... and not just my home base neighborhood in Quito, but keep focusing on Spanish language improvement & cultural adaptation Here...the quicker it will be home sweet home,
....but by Touring & Introducing others around the country (size of Colorado) about 20,000 km's per / yr.
..it keeps me learning and meeting new folks, - locals & expats alike in all areas of the Country. --as well as helping folks leave and return home permanently...makes life in EC interesting...
~Ebb & flow, ebb & flow ~ I watch them come, I watch them go~
I feel most at home, when I am helping others, learning new routes, and the vastly different ways to go about things, and how to get things done or fixed, it's a learning curve~
...how to get around, and in and out of other towns / citys and areas of EC. often. ..it keeps me fresh and on my toes. Living and not just existing "like a bump on a log."
..no matter if one has achieved residency visa - drivers license - naturalization - home owner mtn. - and a 2nd home owner coast ~ cars / motorcycles owner, marriage - 40ft container - ~4 car garage and we're still building on~ all that is just documents & pieces of paper that can be achieved most anywhere.
I think one needs about 10 yrs to fully Master & Learn a new trade or craft, (even a new culture & the customs of small country) to be frank, (or jack:) I have got a long ways to go, still just a journeyman, serving out my apprenticeship time,
I slip in and out of that warm & fuzzy, homey feeling.
I don't guess I really am after that "feel at home" feeling.
(don't kick me out of the group for this, lol:)
...but, I want new and exciting, learning something new everyday. Classroom for "EC 101" is wide open 24/7/365 everyday if you are willing to roll up your sleeves, apply some elbow grease, buckle down and work at it.
I don't like boring and hum drum routines. If I wanted to feel at home, I would have stayed back in ATL. GA & the SE / US running around in familiar circles where I know it like the back of my hand.
2003 to 08 I had the opportunity to bump around on business & pleasure in and out of Europe - N. Africa - Mid East, before regrouping and coming permanently to EC in 08'
...so I do have a tolerance level for my low end boredom of up to just how much high end excitement, or cultural difference I can handle, we all have to just find our sweet spot, and try and maintain it, as best we can:)
..as my 90 yr old Granny Back Home says, (that I call once a week on Magic Jack:) in the Alzheimer's Ward of an assisted living Center, and still says: "Well To Each His Own"
Some of us Like Morgan Freeman's character have waited too long (mentally & spiritually) to get out of the old country / culture and try to make a go of it, into a new country / culture.
..or as Andy Dufresne says in Shawshank Redemption: "Get busy living, or get busy dying." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tkzc983aE0