ECUADOR TRAVEL + LIVING Q&A PLUS CATCH UP (NOMAD VISA + PATREON)
All right guys. So sorry for the problems. About 15 minutes ago. I was actually watching YouTube during some things and I hit live. Unfortunately, I think once you go live you can’t actually not be alive anyway. I'm here. It's two o'clock for the May catch up. The May live Q&A. If you are watching right now and you can hear me and you can see me, just let me know in the comments below. All right, I see it's three people hit the like button, and it looks like I've got four people right now. Oh, Robert Jackson. You didn't scare me. I'm so sorry about that.
I'm so glad to have you here. Johnny. Are you in Cuenca right now? How is your flight? Looks like we have six people on right now. So if you have just joined, please just leave a comment in the comment section of where you are watching this from. Oh Johnny, you went to Manta. I thought you were coming to Cuenca, but I told you Cuenca. Well, the blue skies are coming out now. It's been a little bit cold, the last couple of days, so Manta
might be the place to be and Robert where are you watching from? Tallahassee. I've never been there. Oh Johnny. You're coming on Friday. I'm leaving. I'll share all of that, but I kind of have a…I have some aggressive travel plans. Well, I had very aggressive travel plans as you guys know. I well I have been I'm in Cuenca right now but actually I had been traveling for, I think five or six weeks. I'll get into a little bit of that, but I had to kind of hang around Quito for a while. So that's why you saw. I think I did a Latacunga video, Salcedo. I did the Quito huecas videos.
So during that time, I had to be, I just had to kind of speak close to Cuenca or to Quito. And so I didn't know how long I was going to have to stay there for. So we just kind of kept tagging in videos, but I was really happy that we were able to do the Quito huecas video because I love huecas and then also the Latacunga video I was shocked at how well it did.
So, Latacunga is just this really lovely town. I would actually call it a suburb of Quito because it's an hour away. And when I say it's an hour it's now or because of Quito traffic, it's just like on the end of Quito and I really loved it, loved it so much.
So we actually spent I think four or five nights there. And everyone told us that there was nothing to do in Latacunga. The only thing you do is you go to Cotopaxi from Latacunga or you go to Quilotoa but the town is actually really quite lovely. I cut a lot from it. Andres told me to make two parts of Latacunga and I said nobody cares about Latacunga out much. Well, I was wrong. It's actually one of the best performing videos. So I am excited about that and I actually really want to go back.
So I think the next video will be new things I discover and all the things I sadly cut from the other video. All right, let's see. Who else is here? Patrick is from Ontario. I didn't realize you're from Ontario. Patrick, I am from Nova Scotia but I lived in Toronto. Downtown Toronto for 10 years, used to work in advertising. Hello from New Jersey DK. Ah, New Jersey Are you Ecuadorian? There are a lot of people in New Jersey, I think you are, I think we chatted about this and then Amelia, I guess you're from oh, Grimm Staten Island. I don't know if that's the weather, but let me tell you, it has been rainy the past two days. I am looking out my window and I can see some blue skies coming. So, I hope that means the
weather is turning around here. Ah Shane and Tonia. Yeah, thank you so much for joining guys. I haven't shared this video yet but Shane and Tonia have their own video. They have retired in Olon on the coast and so oh god, it feels like it was like two days ago. It also feels like it was like two months ago but a few weeks ago we saw Shane and Tonia, they are also Canadian so that was nice to check in with them. And they also hosted us because we landed in Olon on like the worst time of the year.
So there was nowhere to stay, and they really saved us. Jim Johnson from Alaska. Wow, that is the farthest unless Priscilla logs in today, from London. So far you are the farthest. And I love your sweater, but I'm dressed like it's freezing. Robert. I do have a sweater on. I also have on shorts, I feel like, that's what Cuenca is like. In a day, you get any kind of weather. So I do have a sweater just because I find like when I'm working and doing stuff.
It's like, I I just I either put on a hoodie or a sweater or something, but then, I also have shorts on and flip flops. So I think that's really representative of the weather here in Cuenca, 85 in Florida, that’s too hot. So today I was just reviewing some edits for upcoming videos and one of the videos it had 86 Fahrenheit. And I remember how hot it was, because one of the things you can do at this beach was, you could go hiking and I was like, I am not going hiking in this weather. I think that
Andes is as much better suited to hiking and that's why you don't find a lot of walking trails along the coast. Raul from Texas thank you so much for joining. Patrick Corey, Patrick's partner on here with him. Also, oh, that's also thanks you guys for watching. Luis. Do you think Ecuador self-sufficient? Let me see. Yeah, I mean it's funny because so Maria and Pedro have asked me questions today. What we're going to do, only, I do a straight up Q&A, but because we have so many new people. Pedro who just doing who's
not new, but we have so many people here that are new to, you know, me through the channel. But maybe you haven't seen some lives before. So, I'm just going to kind of take you through, like, a reintroduction to me and like, what my background is why I'm here. Because well, if I were retired, I would either be a millionaire or just like, look fantastic for retiring early. But so, I'm going to share a little bit about who I am. Why I'm here. And then, and the last couple of lives, I really skirted some issues of, like, my visa? Why I been in Ecuador for eight months and then I just, I've just had some stuff going on.
So and I haven't shared it, it's been like highs and lows. So, I would say, since the last live, there been so many highs, and that was visiting Esmeraldas. It was freaking amazing. I am just so happy that we went there and did this. I know there's a state of exception right now for Guayas, Manabi and Esmeraldas. The places that we went to in Esmeraldas are
not included in that state of exception. So, one of the things that we talked about quite a bit in the video was that.. Yes, Esmeraldas it's it's the northern part of the coast and so because of drug trafficking that happens between Peru and Colombia lately. The government has been very concerned for good reason and what's happening because they're seeing unprecedented crime that they haven't seen before. And that is not typical of Ecuador. Ecuador has never been a dangerous country and it doesn't really have any like foot in the drug trade. Except it just happens to be between
Peru where they make most of the cocaine and Colombia where is, you know the hub for trafficking it. So everywhere that we went in Esmeraldas was safe. We felt fine, but you'll see if you saw my Tonsupa video, I was just a little bit uncertain. Andres was a little bit uncertain too. And so, we did things like we didn't go out at night and then we also really talked to locals a lot.
And so, when people said things were difficult or complicated, that meant like don't do it. And so people were great. They also, there were things on my list that I wanted to do there, food that I wanted to eat. And when they said, no, you can't go there, but then
they had other recommendations and places that we could go. So I just thought that people were amazing. The beaches were so beautiful, and I don't like to play favorites, especially, if you are in Manabi, you might not like that I've said this. But the best food in Ecuador hands down is Esmeraldas, It took all of the traditional Ecuadorian dishes, like bolon to this whole other level. Like once I had the bolon with shrimp but I think I had it three times on camera but more times not on camera. It just ruined bolon for me because it was so good. And so I would
say no matter where you are in Ecuador. If you say see that a restaurant is an Esmeraldena restaurant or the cook is from Esmeraldas. Like, you've got to go there if you're if you don't want to go to Esmeraldas but in general, the beaches that we went to everything was very safe, we had no problems whatsoever and I would be very honest with you about that because we were also concerned about that and my goal was to try the food but I don't believe you should risk your life to eat food.
So for example, in Guayaquil, there are neighborhoods that I would like to go to try the food. It's not safe. So I don’t go there. So I would actually consider Guayaquil and Esmeraldas kind of very similar. There are places you should be, places you should not be. Just stick to the places you should be.
You'll be fine. And then so Luis, do you think Ecuador is self sufficient? So I will get to this with, as I said with Pedro’s question about the computer and then Maria had some questions I think about just general fruits and vegetables and things like that. And so I would say, yeah, I would say yes. So I'll talk about my computer issue later on or my camera issue later on. But in terms of meeting everything you want, things have changed quite a bit. So I would say like 10 years ago expats were bringing in and even Ecuadorians who went to the States were migrating back home. That migration process and people were bringing in like containers and you were
spending, you know, 10-15,000 dollars on containers. That's not really necessary anymore. The price of electronics of come down, TVs, like everything. Might be a little bit more expensive than if you've got it in the States, but you also don't have to ship it. So there are things that you can get a mule to bring in or shipping
services or things like that. I personally think that's crazy. So unless you really love something, I would say just like give up Amazon. If you have people coming in a couple times a year that you need spices
or specific product do it. But I think the reason why I am so happy in Ecuador and in general, wherever I go before I live here before the pandemic, I was in Cuba for 2 years. Like, that is a place where sometimes you can't even get cooking oil and people line up for hours to get it. So, for me, the perspective of being Canadian, very fortunate to be Canadian but having been in countries where like you can't even cook, that really gives you some perspective. So, Ecuador has everything I need.
Um, okay, I'm just going to answer a couple more of these because I know that, well, I screwed up the live and so, hopefully everybody is coming over here. I just want to check actually see if I got any comments from people that are saying, like, where are you? I tried to make it really obvious that I screwed up. So let me just check comments there. Not, looks like everybody is figuring it out Maria,
you made it. Well, thank you, thank you for coming. Maria's got lots of questions and she always does which is awesome. I feel like Maria and Pedro, I can always count on to have questions to fill this. Oh, and you did receive the oops message. Awesome. Okay, so as I mentioned, if you haven't
yet, please comment below where you are calling in from, or watching from. Then also, don't forget to hit the like button since I really screwed up that first video. So what I wanted to do first off is 2:15, is just to give everyone a little bit of background about me. I think they did this in the first live, but I haven't talked about it since so I am Canadian. I'm from Nova Scotia and I'm 44. 45 next month and I moved to Toronto in 2001 and I worked in advertising at an ad agency for 10 years. Really loved it but I was in my early 30s.
I wasn't really sure if I wanted to have kids or not to be honest. I didn't want to have kids, I was just like waiting for that. Like, when does that like in maternal instinct to come in? Like, I was just waiting for it to happen anyway. I was 32 and it still wasn't there. So yeah, I decided that okay. I traveled a lot and I loved my job. And thankfully it worked in a profession where you could kind of take a career break. I mean you weren't,
it wasn't guaranteed that you get your job back but people people accepted it because you work with a lot of creatives. I actually worked in marketing strategy and worked with creatives. And so I saved 20,000 dollars to travel for one to two years and I had never been anywhere in Latin America. But I knew I could travel Latin America for a thousand dollars a month or less. So I bought
a one-way ticket to Mexico. WestJet lost my bag. I was stuck in Cancun during spring break and that kind of set it all off and so in 2010, I did not travel with a smartphone but I did start a website called Bacon is Magic. I just write this down because people think I'm saying baking like I'm a baker but I don't like sweets.
I do like pork. And so I started this website called Bacon as Magic, which started out as my just kind of travel diary of being somewhere where I didn't understand the language, and I was traveling by myself and I didn't know what I was doing. I had traveled before and I traveled so low before for vacations, like to New Zealand and Italy, but I had never gone to Latin America at all. And so, I had also ended a five year relationship like at he airport security, like we knew it was going to end, but like that was the end of the relationship. And so I spent a lot of time in Mexico crying on buses, listening to podcasts, trying to teach myself Spanish, met a lot of really wonderful people. I have such wonderful things to say about Mexico. People were very kind, and I would
say, as I traveled Mexico and Central America, I was just so struck by how kind people were by solo, female traveler, I felt very safe. And to this day, I actually think that in many ways, single women are protected by the community in a way that say, couples are not. So I met lots of people, you know. I would be in bus stations where women would say, come sit with me or, you know, people were very protective of me. And I had a wonderful time. And then I hit South America, which is very different. I took a boat from Panama to Colombia. I got in Colombia people were
so friendly, it's scared me because you meet people and after five minutes they're like, oh come to my house. We're having this party and I was like, oh my god, they're going to murder me anyway. And then I got to Ecuador. And so that was in 2010, and Ecuador was very interesting
because it's so different from Colombia. Colombia people are, so in your face, same thing with Brazil, they're, like, out in your face. They're like friendly and they're amazing. And Ecuador I would say, is a little bit more, kind of like Canadians. I think like very friendly, but not in your face. And then I
also find with Ecuadorians, you kind of have to be the first person to smile the first person to initiate things. And then also I learned to now, which I really understand is… in Ecuador, there's a sense of formality and how you greet someone and being polite that will get you so much further. And so I visited Ecuador, my sister, my mom came to visit me, my sister got robbed her first day in Quito.
And then I came to Cuenca and I met the reason why I stay here at the La Casa Cuencana since 2010 is because I arrived at night, because the bus took so long from, I think I must have come from Quito and I ride at night, it was during Cuenca holiday independence day, so there was nowhere stay. So I was actually sitting out on the street like crying with my backpack alone like or like whimpering. I don't think I was all at crying yet but it was dark. I didn't know what was happening anyway. So Andres’ mom saw me and realized like this poor girl has
nowhere to stay. And at that time this place had dorm rooms and so she asked people who were sharing a dorm room but knew everybody. If they would mind they gave the empty bed to me and so they said no problem. Those girls are actually now still good friends of mine and one of them is married to Andres's brother. So this is like a really, a really like epic moment in time. And so I came back to Ecuador in 2011 and all of this I was writing about on my website. So my website Bacong is magic,
was really about the process of learning in Spanish. And I had always been really into food, and so learning enough a Spanish to go to markets and restaurants and talk to people. So I could write on my website was really the key for me. And so that has been my job for the last 12 years. As I said, I was in Cuba for two years before the pandemic and I've actually traveled all over the world. I've traveled, I went to Ecuador but I traveled
all the way down to Argentina. And then I've also been back to different countries in Latin America several times. I'm Italian Irish, I'm not Latina. I actually did a DNA test because I just feel so much for this culture that I thought, maybe I would be. Also, like, I'm short. I feel like I have the same kind of look and I can pass in a lot of countries unless I open my month anyway.
So I came back in September of 2021 because I really wanted to help. I've always felt that Ecuador is a country just like Costa Rica. It has everything Costa Rica has like all of the natural beauty and environment. However, I don't like Costa Rica because it's
really hard to find traditional food there, and that's because a lot of the small businesses have been bought by foreigners. I’m foreign so I don't have anything, you know, I don't have anything against foreigners… foreigners buying and opening businesses. However, there's just something lost in Costa Rica, you know, I think what they're doing for the environment is amazing, but there's just a culture that's really not there. So I've been there a couple of times and just talking to locals it's like they agree with me. So I really feel like in Ecuador, you can have that beauty. Everything is so close.
You've got the coast. You've got, you know, the Andes, you've got the Galapagos. But also, even if you don't go to the Galapagos there a lot of things that I feel like I featured here that are just as amazing as the Galapagos and Pedro just said, 33 people are watching but only 18 likes. I hope those 11 people like this video before you go. Anyway, I decided that I wanted to really work on my YouTube video. I had been working
on it in Nova Scotia over the pandemic, but I wanted Ecuador to be my first country and Andres was also not working. You know, one of the things that we forget about is, you know, all of these places that really depend on tourism. So not only is there family business these hostals, but he personally is a guide and so they weren't working whatsoever and so I decided I wanted to come here and at first thing that I was only going to come for three months and I thought I would do one video week and then I just was really, I just felt like three months, one video week was not enough. And so, then I said, okay, I'm going to do two videos a week for three months and then I thought, okay, no, I'm going to come back because I did go home for Christmas. I'm going
to come back. I'm going to continue. And then as many of you probably know, you can only stay here for six months total. So you get your first 90 days and then, if you want to, you can extend it on the 91st day or another 144 dollars. Luis, biggest downside to living in Ecuador. I I don't even know what that would be? For Canadian using the US dollar that's tough because my dollar is only worth. My income, is only worth 80 cents, and Tonia, yeah, I could see some of them some thinking you're latina, I spent. Okay. So this is some of the juicy stuff, my visa situation which I had not shared. I'm going to give you a very brief synopsis of what is happening with
my visa situation. Because it's come up in almost every video and I keep saying it's complicated, I think, but that was because it wasn't resolved. I was actually illegal here for two days, but in, but one thing I will say a video is coming. I have a video dedicated to all of this because this was actually a really difficult time and I would say the last five weeks, the high was Esmeraldas.
And the low was my visa status. And I cried more than a few times. No, fui en Imbabura. Tengo las videos de alla. De….Hacienda…hay una hacienda alla. Muy linda. And so, as I said, the lows was not…was this visa process? So in December I was contacted by the Ministry of Tourism because they were launching a nomad visa and they had announced they wanted to do this nomad visa in August.
So I was telling everyone possible but I wanted to be the first nomad. Like I wanted to do this, I wanted to share with people because my goal has always been not like, hey, look at me in the cool stuff I'm doing, but I want to help people come here. I want people to be inspired to come here and to see the beauty, and not just see the beauty that other people show you. That's like expat life. Like I believe, expat life can be or digital nomad life can be Ecuadorian life, so, that's why I go to the markets and go to all the huecas and things like that because all of that food is new. So I want to explain it to people, help them understand like, where to eat it, why I don't eat any seafood in Cuenca and what they can expect. And, you know, like all of the condiments on the table people are like, oh Ecuadorian food is so bland? I know they're not eating it right when they say that. Because there is lime on the table for acidity. There's
aji so many different kinds of aji and Ecuador there's usually a number of different condiments. So, I want people to feel more comfortable with that. So when they approached me about doing this, I said yes, let's do it. I'm in. So, I got all these papers, and we were working towards this, and when I first landed in Quito, after Christmas, we were supposed to…we shot some video and then we're supposed to get the process going. Well guys, I didn't get my visa until end of March
so it kept getting delayed and so they wanted to have this big announcement and announce me as the first digital nomad and so I that's why I was kind of hovering around Ecuador. I'm trying to do things around, or sorry, hovering around Quito trying to do things and if you watch my Quito huecas place where I shared the hotel that is $20 a night, it's a great hotel, but that's why I was there so much. Like we were literally just waiting for this phone.
call. Just one sec for coffee anyway. So okay, so Raul Luis after I've explained all of this, I'm going to go through comments. So just hold on to those and if I don't get them please ask them again. Okay, so in that because I was the first digital nomad. They actually had really no idea how to validate
that I should be here. So in our initial discussions I told them about my website. So my website income was enough to make me valid. I think the minimum income to come here is 1275 a month. So my website does make that. And then so I also have my taxes from the previous years so I
wasn't really sure what to do. A lot of people with other visas used visa facilitators because because this was a new process, we weren't sure how it was going to work and so the ministry of tourism was also helping to be kind of that go between me and then also I'm going to call it the department of foreign affairs. I know it's like the ministry of movement and humanity, I think it translates to? But I'm going to call it foreign affairs. And so we tried to like figure out how do I present
on my papers so that they would be accepted. I was not worried about it because I knew that like one I didn't have any kind of criminal record that I met all of the requirements so it was just a matter of making it happen but what I'm went into the department of foreign affairs you know you see this office and you surround about all these people who want to immigrate there and they all have their stories and they're so excited then I realized they're not excited. They're actually upset. And that's because it was the worst experience ever. And my immigration clerk was horrible. She was so mean to me and her answer was always no. And you would
think that because I was this, she knew that I was in this program to be the first person that the ministry I was working with the ministry of tourism on this. I don't I didn't expect special treatments but I also didn't expect such horrible treatment and so we were in there several times and just trying to figure out how they want it things formatted. They would tell me things weren't formatted the right way, but then not tell me how to format them. So in the end, they weren't ready to accept my visa or my application, even though it had been ready, but they didn't have it in their system until two days after my visa expired. And so I was fined. I actually almost left Ecuador and so it was a really dark moment. And Andres and I had just like lots of conversations o it. Is it worth it? Is it worth it for me to stay, like, should I just go to another country that accepts what I do and things are easier, that will treat me better? So ministry of tourism was wonderful and I think also embarrassed, but Migration Office actually, which fined me.
They also were very nice, but until the very end, the very last day when I was crying in the office and the one of the directors came, I just really had a horrible horrible experience. So I am going to share a video about this. I'm kind of giving you the behind the scenes of this because I don't want that video to be me complaining about what a terrible experience I had.
But for this video to be useful for other people who maybe pursuing this avenue, because I'm going to share what I actually did. And then also just to let people know that my experience which was terrible. It wasn't reflective of me, of who I am as a person and so if they are also treated badly, it's not reflective of them as either. But Ministry of Tourism is aware of it, I'd give them given them that feedback and last week someone else told me they tried to apply for it here in or over there in Azogues. They
also had a really bad experience. So that really pushed me to shoot that video this week because I really want to arm people with what they need to know to do this. All right,Luis. You thought Ecuadorian food was pretty flavorful. That's because it is. Anyway. So I am now legal here and it cost me a lot of money. A lot of money because my in foreign affairs, she kept getting more things that she wanted from me to get notarized.
Notarization here is a standard fee, so it's actually not expensive to get things notarized unless you get like a hundred pages notarized, which is what I did. I have a really great notary in Quito. They, I think they were called, notary 80. I'm going to include that in that video too. They were really lovely people that also helped. They actually, they helped me figure out how to I show ownership of my website, like, how do I show my insurance and all of these things. So they were really wonderful. The only people I had problems with were the department of
foreign affairs, but you know, government employees that women is not going to get fired. So I just I just had to deal with it, move on and help other people with this process. So visa status, I am legal. Now, the funny thing about going to this process is I actually was only doing it to help Ecuador. So I really wanted to help through my channels promote
that this was a good process for people and I still do believe it's a good process for people if you do not have any university degree, I do. I should have gotten a professional visa. It would have saved me a lot of money and time. But I had planned to actually leave Ecuador in this in April when my six months ended. And so, I stay, I'm staying here until June 1st and that's because the process for the visa took like six weeks where I wasn't traveling, I had been planning to travel the coast since mid January. So, we've been kind of catching up on videos. So, oh, Luis, you're trying to get a visa as a remote worker.
So this is the visa that I got. So, the Nomad Visas, that is remote workers slash nomad. So I'm going to shoot that this week and I'm probably going to try to have it up for next week and I will share that with you. To be, you just have to, your company doesn't have to be in the US, but you do need to show your contract and how much money you make each month. If you make more than just 1275 and you've fulfilled the other requirements because I will outline in the video, then then you're you're set. So and then you said I heard it's
a cultural thing where you have to ask in order to get answers. It's not common for them to elaborate. I wonder why that is. No, that's not. Yes. Like if you're dealing with someone and your asking them like some things yeah you could have that but in the end Andres was actually my facilitator. He came in with that with me for everything/ The whole process was in Spanish, I could have done it myself. However, like at the end of the very last meeting where I cried it was because he had actually the director came over and he told the director my whole process for going through things. And what I had done and how much money I’d spent, and how like my goal here was
just to help them and they were just not treating me very well, and I cried. So the director was fantastic. He was like okay we do this, we do that, we do that. I think my immigration clerk was just being difficult, to be honest. I think, it was, she was a frown on her face and it was just I thought honestly I was like I'm from Canada and she's treating me this way. There are a lot of people coming from other countries which are not the Canada or the US. I cannot imagine how they are treated. I was sad for me, but also sad for the state
of Ecuador wants people to continue to their economy and this is the one of the first hurdles they have to go over. Anyway, so that was my visa status. It was horrible. I spent a bunch of money. I didn't need spend because you get six months and I was already planning on coming back in September anyway. And so I spent, I don't, I've gotta count it because it includes all of the hotels just to hang out. I spent a lot of money on that to help them and they fined me. And I spent so much money
on it and I could have shot all of those videos and then come back and September like I'm going to do so My plan right now, we are going on one last road trip so I'm not even done finishing all of the videos from the coast. But next week, or at the end of this week, we're headed to the Amazon and then also Central Ecuador and I really want to provide value for all of the audience and the subscribers, even when I'm not here. So we have been shooting up the storm and in the next month we're shooting 21 videos.
So I'm shooting enough video that through the summer I will be able to share videos twice a week. We have been I haven't really I don't know if anybody follows me on Instagram. It's also my name Ayngelina. The y is silent in my name Ayngelina. But we have been, I haven't been on doing anything because we've been like sitting there with a calendar and trying to figure things out. And I think that's the side of my videos that a lot of people don't see, is that one: Andres does not work. He, well, he works for me, at a much cheaper rate for me so I can afford
it but and we sit there was a calendar and we, and a map and we figure out where to go. What are the interesting things. He reaches out to his network of of guides, and people he knows in tourism, just things that he knows that are interesting and different. And then I also do the same. I'm, you know, I'm asking people on YouTube and and also trying to reach
out to hotels and things that I think are interesting for people that maybe I could not afford, but I think that people would like to see. And so we tried to minimize our cost and be the most effective. And so, sometimes we travel and we shoot a video a day. I did that in the fall and I burnt out really badly. If
you go back and look at my Mashpi videos, you'll see like I’m so tired. So this time we try to stay at least two nights in a spot, sometimes three, which is a luxury and then I come back to Cuenca and it's just like at my laptop all day. And I don't say that to complain. I love what I do. I love this community of people who who love these videos. A lot of these places are being going back to places. I already know Andres going back
to places he already knows. Esmeraldas was the toughest because I hadn't been there and he hadn't been there in 10 years. So when people ask me a little bit about like, have I lost weight because of eating the Ecuadorian diet and things. My situation here is much different, but I choose to do that as a content creator. So, my website funds our travel, it funds Andres, the editor, everything we eat and all of that. However, one of the things I did realize was as some of you know, in Manta,
my camera broke. And so I have an older phone, I have a pixel 3 and I just used it as a phone. I don't really use it for anything else. And so when my camera broke and everyone kept saying to me, shoot with your phone, I did shoot with my phone. It's not very good. So like I have I'm one of those people that has like a cracked vid like cracked screen and stuff just because also, I travel so lean.
So I don't like to. I travel kind of carry on only. This week I'm also doing a packing video. I'll show you. In Ecuador actually I don't travel carry on only because I have a carry-on only for cold weather, carry on only for like the coast and Amazon. But I realized at that point, when the camera broke and I thought it was going to have to, like, drop another grand after I spent so much money on that visa. That I was operating too lean. So I have shot right now, I think 87 videos, we're going
to do another 21 and then I'm going to see. There's some things that I want to, like some fun videos I want to do to compare like, to use old footage, like all of the delicious things that you can eat with plantain. So there's so many individual videos that I could kind of put them together. But honestly my goal is to really just serve people and to share as much as they can about Ecuador. Because I really feel that what is currently out there is a few cities. Like Cuenca, Manta,
Salinas, Quito and then sometimes you get a little bit of Vilcabamba in there, but it doesn't really share a lot with you and so I want to show people that there are other places. And what it's like and also to help people support local businesses. Because when you first come here, if you don't speak Spanish, it can be really overwhelming and you probably just want to go places where only English people speak because that's the easy thing to do. Especially in Cuenca. But then you're just living, like your old life here, always speaking English all the time and you'll never learn Spanish. And so I really just want to encourage people by showing them like going to huecas and markets and things like, those are easy things that you've been doing and Ecuador is so much cleaner than other countries. So you can eat in markets and and there is a level of understanding
for sanitization and vegetarianism and gluten and all these things. That makes it really easy. So that's kind of my goal and I just like, thrive on it, I love YouTube. So when I first started my website, that was my diary of the things that I was doing and people connected and started traveling places that I was going and then blogging changed a lot.
And I'm so thankful that that pays my bills. I'm very fortunate to be able to travel and to be location independent. But coming on YouTube has really rejuvenated how I feel about traveling and sharing and it's hard to keep my blog going because I just want to spend all my time on video and I do. You might notice that if you leave a comment or
you message me on what I'm my social platform, but I get back to you right away or I try to find the answer for you or you know, if you contact me and we're not in Cuenca so Andres can't you know send you on a tour or go on a tour with you. I do try to find like, he will find somebody else that he knows that will give you a good price and his good guide. So those are things that we do. We don't make a commission on it, but it's just because we want to make coming to Ecuador as easy as possible for people. And that's really kind of like what we're both about. So it's like we’re exhausted and we're exhilarated. So I'm just going to like, take a look at these. Some of these questions. Is it easier to apply for retirement visa? So Janice I don't, I'm self-employed.
I don't actually, I don't, oh my god, I can't think of the words, I don't qualify, I don't qualify for a retirement visa. So on this Shane and Tonia in Olon, they have a retirement visa, and they also used a facilitator. So I think that would be the best person to talk to. I am sharing this nomad visa process, but I don't want to be one of those people who is an expert on Ecuador.
So I'm not going to be doing like a apartment tours or like, how to open open the bank accounts. And like, I feel like there are other channels that do that, but with those channels don't do is they don't travel a lot. So I travel way more than anybody else because that's my passion. I just love meeting people doing interesting things and I love sharing it with people. And so I give my advice and perspective on, you know, people coming here and wanting to buy a home right away and I tell them not to buy property right away. Only because I've
spent so much time here. So it's these eight months, plus the five of the times that I've visited. And then also, because I don't have any foreign friends here. All of the people that I know are pretty much actually through Andres. So all of his friends and then I do know, Capture Joseph, he's awesome. But I don't, because I don't have a lot of time here because we're always moving. I don't
really hang out with expats and so my perspective on things is always stories other people tell me because Andres works in tourism and his family works in tourism. He's just seen Cuenca especially change quite a bit and also he just hears a lot of stories that of people making mistakes. And so Pedro asked me some questions about, you know, trusting people, especially foreigners.
So I will talk about that at the very end. In Manabi there are so many beaches, like Canoa, El Matilda, Pedernales. Pedernales I'm going to have a video on I was editing like the last little bit of it today. Canoa
I spent time in 2013 and I loved it. The earthquake really. I was just really sad. I actually went there, I did not share the video, so maybe in the fall I'll shoot. I'll go back and shoot a video, but I found it really depressing and also I kind of found dangerous Andres didn't feel comfortable either. There was just a weird vibe. I did not like it and so I didn't share a video about it. Um Greg where can I find cuy in Cuenca? So Greg I would… you can find out all the markets. If you've never had guinea pig before I do have a video on the best place to have cuy and it's just outside Cuenca.
It's a town called Gualaceo. And it's I think should be a UNESCO heritage spot for food. So they continue, like Cotocachi, to keep this tradition of a lot of Indigenous food, pre-columbian food, it just really fantastic food and while Gualaceo has so many great dishes and in the market there, you can have cuy. And Andres doesn't like cuy. I do. He doesn't like it and he also said he actually loved it. So that is the place. I think it's worth going out there. I also have a video called the artisanal villages that's one of Andres's most popular tours and Gualaceo is one of those towns.
So I'm just going to do a couple questions and then I'm going to talk about kind of my big new/ Other than the fact that I'm leaving. I am coming back. I am coming back so that's why we're trying to shoot a bunch of videos so I don't have too much of a break. When we get there I'd love to take along sometimes to be your vegan friend, to show how to find vegan food in hidden places. Jen you know I do try to mention where you can find vegan food. So, a lot of traditional Ecuadorian food actually is vegan, However, you need to know some Spanish, because I think people forget, you know, they'll say things are vegan.
They understand vegetarian really easy, but vegan, sometimes they might cook things or they'll put like an egg on it. You do need a little bit of Spanish. I'm actually have a post-drafted on my site that I’ll probably get to in July to give people kind of the the phrases that they need to know to be able to order. And maybe want to come back in the fall I’ll turn that into a video. So Im Cuenca. If you come to Cuenca, vegan is super easy. Right across the street for me, I featured. So,
I have a video on vegan food, five places for great vegan food, right across the street, from me, like, everyone makes vegan food. Cuenca is super easy that way. A lot of people are vegan here. Yesterday, there was a vegan festival in one of the squares but it was a 45 minute walk and it was raining. So I didn’t go. You can the visa in your home country at an Ecuadorian consulate, Luis. Yes, actually I would recommend you do that.
So in the end, remember this whole thing was going to be like the first nomad visa. I wasn't. I was number three and that's because they couldn't figure out what to do here with me. And so someone applied in Chicago and they were able to get the visa before me. I don't
know what the number two is, but I'm the first in Ecuador. So, if anyone applies for that and they have problems, let me know, because I think the Ministry of Tourism really wants this to work to show people that you can travel here and work here. And that is true. You can travel work and that's what I do. But, you know, government departments not everyone is as keen as they are.
So the person last week I found out was having a problem, Ministry of Tourism actually contacted them because I said, hey in this digital nomads Ecuador group someone’s having problems. So I hope that gets worked out. I would hate for Ecuador to lose people because of bureaucracy, but talking too much. Retirement is easy. Send us a message please. Yes, I don't know, retiremens. And then also Luis, I would say to you if you have if you have a degree just get the professional visa. And this is what I would do because also I have to check my notes but the professional visa I know then after two years it can lead you to permanent residency but I don't think they know that the nomad visa does because that's not like our our goal. Our goal is
to stay here so we can travel. Oh Greg, I love Loja. I really wanted to sneak in another visit there before I went. There is a Facebook page and a website called Life in Loja and then there's Loja Tip Tours, Tips Tours or Tip Tours. Both of those are awesome. Like Loja also has like so many traditional
things that I'm really into. There's one thing where they put a goat and they cook it in the ground but they only do it on the weekend. So I the last time I was there I didn't get to do it. Patrick. How did I live Spanish? So the before I went to Mexico in 2010, I did try to take like a couple weeks out of community or like a night school type thing and I did learn a little bit, my second language is French.
I took that through university. So, I think learning Spanish was, the way of conjugating verbs was easy for me, but then after that, I just to be, I think I've had like a week here in a week there, but it has really just been about. I don't, I'm only around people who speak Spanish, except for Andres, he does correct me now.
And sometimes we do Spanish lessons like on long drives, but actually being around him really hurts my Spanish. So, when I was in Cuba for two years, nobody, none of my friends spoke English. There was no English at all. And then, in other countries, I've just been around, I think because I stay places longer, I just make a lot of Spanish speaking friends, and then I always tell them, please don't speak English and if I say something wrong, Spanish speakers are so nice. If you don't
say something right, they won't correct you. But I always tell people to correct me but like there was one thing I had been saying for a long time. I think like 10 years just found that it was wrong, so I would rather learn. So right now, I'm kind of in the phase where I'm learning how to say like I would have like the imperfect and the subjective like if you had done this or I should have done this and a lot of that is sometimes just I'll recognize that I said I say the same phrases all the time and and find out what that is and then for Andres to I'll ask him how to say something so that I can say it. And sometimes we go out like he'll order and then I’ll order and then I'll hear from say something. I'm like, oh I didn't know I was supposed to say it like that. So you
kind of refine. I also watched TV in English with Spanish subtitles on Netflix, which I find really helpful. Luis, which country I will be visiting next? Canada. I'm going home from summer. So as I said to you, the other thing that's been going on with this is like the major dump of having to put so much money into my visa. I'm going home to visit my family in Canada, and I'm hopefully doing a bunch of work. So, on my website, I work with different tourism boards and they pay me basically to create content around them. So there are a number of destinations in Canada that are interested
now that kind of travels open up there. So I'm hoping to do a bunch of work there, visit my family, I have two nephews, and I'm so excited to see them. And so, we're going to have a family vacation. I'm going to try to catch up on some work and then just like hustle and make a lot of money. Because in the fall, I'll be traveling again, from September to December. I'll talk a little bit more about that. What's your
favorite food? Mine is fried chicken. Curry. Wow. Brownie,s cookies, cheesecake. Pomegranate waffles pretzels. Legendary3D gamer. Where are you from? My favorite food in Ecuador is a toss-up between encebollado and hornado, which is the roasted pig. I love pork. I also love all the sides,
too. Like yuca, potatoes. everything is good here. Maria, no problem. I really I'm sad to leave Ecuador, but I have to, like, I have to see my family, so we will be visiting in September. You're vegan friend Jen would love to meet upl and in Spanish, okay awesome. Yes, so Jen. I am going to when I finish that blog post, you're coming in September, so that's fine. I will finish the blog post and I'll put it up on the community there. So there are a
dozen more vegan restaurants. There's so many vegan restaurants here. I didn't know how people would really receive that receive that video. But in between our road trips when Andres and I come back, like we almost go on these like cleanses because we’ve eaten so much. I don't feature food in general on my site that I don't like. So sometimes we have to eat. We always share the food but then we also bring like Tupperware. So we just have
always this tupperware with food. But when we're done, it's like we walk every morning for an hour and do exercises, drink green juice and like don't eat any meat, so I don't remember the last time. I'be the meatless I think for 10 days now just like salads and smoothies. Watching from
Scotland, David, McNeil moving to Quito in August your videos have been so inspiring. Thank you so much. So many beautiful things around Northern Ecuador. I love Northern Ecuador. It's beautiful there. I would not live there, I love Cuenca but going to but I love visiting Northern Ecuador. Luis. Is it start, is it starting to get more affordable in Canada? I heard inflation has gotten as nutty as the US. Why is Ecuador insulated as a random. So Canada has a housing
crisis. It's impossible to get housing. It's super expensive. I would say everything else is probably okay. I'm I live in Nova Scotia or my family lives because I don't really, I guess I live here, but I would say Canada. It's my only reference point. I would say Canada is pretty affordable, except for housing, which is why when I'm not traveling. And I usually travel for most of the year, I go, I am the only reason I go back is to see my family, or if I’m working with a destination.
Why is Ecuador insulated? I think in general, Ecuador has been, is probably one of the most stable economies, even with all the crazy craziness going on right now. It's still one of the most stable economies, a lot of money comes in from people migrating. I really like that they are raising the minimum wage here. I know some people don't like it because it makes things more expensive, but I think there's a vision for Ecuador. And that's why when people talk about it being a developed undeveloped country or a developing country, I don't like that at all, because people here are very well educated. I think a lot of expats think they can come in here and they're going to get a beachfront property for like $400 a month. There are a lot of really rich Ecuadorians. If there's
prime beachfront somewhere, they’ve bought it. Ecuadorians are very smart and also Latin Americans invest in real estate. They invested in land so they buy houses. So they're less like North Americans where
like we want to get a mortgage. They pay for cash. They might get loans, but their investment for their retirement is often in real estate. And there are a lot of really rich people here. So I think people think they're going to come here and like make it big, but this is a developed country with educated people. A lot of people speak English, you know, hard working people. So yeah, I think that all contributes to… you don't really see people begging. There are Venezuelans that unfortunately have been, that have had to come here because of what's happening in their country.
So I think a lot, if you see a someone begging, it's very rare for it to be an Ecuadorian. Along the coast you'll see Ecuadorian children, like along the beach selling things, working with their parents selling things, but you don't really see them just begging. It's just a different cultural perspective. I mean, the Venezuelans who’ve come really have nothing. So that's a whole other thing. Um, legendary3Dgamer, I don't have a favorite song, I kind of… in Ecuador I do like reggaeton, Andres hates it and it makes driving really difficult. We both like 80s music though so we will listen to that. But I'm kind of like one of those people, whatever, whatever
is on, I do like reggaeton though. I think it's because of so much time in Cuba. So Edison, how about a techy techy nomad Q. Oh Pedro’s going to love this. Do you tend to carry two laptops with you for all your work? No, I carry one laptop. So I’m going to answer this question for you and then also
for Pedro right now, I had to pull up my computer to find out what it is. So I have an XPS 15 inch 7000 series 759 DELL. And I bought this, I used to travel with a Macbook. And then once I started getting really into video editing, I had to to upgrade my RAM and I didn't know that when you buy a Macbook, could you basically have to decide what you want for like the next 10 years with this MacBook. Because once you decide like you can't upgrade. So I will never buy another Macbook again. So this Dell is fantastic. I think it was 16 megabytes of RAM. If that’s something that's possible? I looked at the specs. And then I actually I bought it, was 16 and then
I had a friend put in 32. And here I did talk, Pedro had a lot of questions about just computers and stuff here and so Andres said now in Ecuador. Yes, you can buy anything you want here if you want to buy like a new laptop, if you want to buy a new computer, it will be more expensive than the US. Like, especially if you want to buy adesktop, you don't actually have to bring it in. Also, what I learned
about my camera breaking was theew really is a culture of fixing things here. So my camera I took to when it broke, I took to a Sony authorized dealership and they're like, no we can't do anything about it. And then Andres was like, no, we're going to… that was in Guayaquil. I cut my coastal trip short because I was so depressed about my camera. I couldn't shoot in Guayaquil. I was like I can't do it with my phone. I was just I was being a bit of a drama queen. I just did not want to do it. Came here shot, we found
a camera store, they fixed it and so, I think authorized dealers can only do authorized things. Whereas we took it tom just in the historic center, this guy was like, oh yeah, I see what the problem is. It's the motor. I've got another camera that we're not using where I can take the motor out of that, put it in there. So the parts and the labor were $65, it doesn't sound the same. I don't know how long it's going to last but it's working right now. So I'm very happy about that. And so when I asked about computers Andres said, yes, like you can buy here, it'll
be a little bit more but you don't have to pay for like a mule to bring it in. I do travel with two hard drives. I thought I might have it around here but I don't, but I do travel with Lacie. L-A-C-I-E, it's either Lacey or La C. A five gigabyte, a two gigabyte,
and then I also upload everything to Google Drive. So I have things in the cloud. I don't think Google Drive is the most efficient, however, because I'm on a pixel and I use Gmail like it, it works well. So that's what I'm using for that.Raul. I am planning to buy property and Ecuador, I did research about the property, taxes is 180/year so I would just say, do not buy anything to everyone who's coming here. Stay here for a year because there have been so many nightmare stories of people who love property and then realized like they'll never be able to build on it, especially if it's prime real estate, if no one is built on it or something hasn't happened, there's something that's wrong. And so I think a lot of people come here and they think, oh no one has noticed like this is prime, or this is going to be fantastic. And then, unfortunately later on, they find
out that there is something wrong with the land or there's something wrong with coding or there's something wrong and they're stuck with this land and gringos will sell them that land. So people come in, they're like, we can't trust Ecuadorians are going to try to gringo us. Gringos will try to gringo you too. And so the best way to learn how things work, if you're not from here, is to be here for a year and then you see how things work. So I was in San Jacinto and there were some people there who were buying property. And
cottages by the sea Kimberly she's amazing, very frank. She bought a place there and also brought in a container, does not recommend it. And so told me a lot of things that she sees going on anyway. So these people they got a real estate agent. And then we done told them that if they saw
something for sale, not to call the number. But to give the number to them. That's not true. You could just call the number yourself. So I think if you stay here for a year and you kind of, things don't work the same way, but they do in Canada and US.
It's not people trying to scam you, it's just different. So there are different ways of doing things. There are different levels. Things that you'll have to do that you didn't realize there will be hidden costs. So we'll be hidden processes. And so, if you stay here for a year, and you will save yourself a ton of money, I know everybody wants to come here, buy right away and start doing life.
But like, come here again. Apartment like a house for $500 a month. And then also, if you look at people like Shane and Tonia, they rented and they're up to their one year mark. But if you look at even the most famous of the Ecuadorian YouTubers JP and Amelia: they lived in Cuenca, and then they moved to Olon and then they moved to Manta, then I think they're like outside Cotacachi right now. I don't know, they won't tell, but apparently that's the gossip. So they're on their fourth place and I think they've been here. I don't know how long but I don't think they've lasted much longer than a year and that's not their fault but when you come here and you visit, you think there's a place that's amazing.
And then you realize like your neighborhood during rainy season like totally floods or that you've got like 25 dogs who bark throughout the night. And so a lot of people come here, very few experts like make it past the one year mark. And I think it's because they've locked in and if you buy, then you've got to wait for like another foreigner to come in and buy your place, because you probably spent too much money on it. So somebody else needs to come in and make the same mistake you did to break even and that's like could take up to t