Living The Good Life In Ecuador

One More Expat Living The Dream In Ecuador

Expat Mike Sager is a former stockbroker and financial consultant who followed a dream…to launch a new life overseas. Today, Mike makes his home on the Ecuadorian coast, where he lives an enviable life on an enviable eight-mile stretch of Pacific beach.

Here’s how Mike describes it:

“I get up in the morning, make a big mug of coffee, and head out to my deck overlooking Pacific Ocean. I call it my ‘office.’ I answer a few e-mails and then plan the day. Do I go boogie boarding…or for a ride on my motorcycle? Maybe I should call one of my fellow musicians to jam…or just sit there awhile, taking in the view and the sound of the waves below and breathing in that fresh ocean air…

“Almost all of us have a dream about how life could be…how retirement could be. But far too often, our ideas collect dust until one day, far off in the future, we ask ourselves, ‘What if I had done it?’

“‘What if I had pursued that dream I had long ago?’

“I promised myself that I was not going to let that happen to me. So more than 12 years ago, I started my quest to seize that dream and make it a reality. I set out to find my own piece of paradise south of the border. Little did I know at the time that I’d end up this far south! The good news is that when I finally landed in Ecuador, it surpassed all of my dreams and expectations.

“We get very few chances in life to change our future in a dramatic way. That’s what my decision to move to Ecuador has been. A chance to change my life in a dramatic way…for the better.

“Ecuador is an Adventureland. It offers an incredible diversity of landscapes and geography, from sea level to over 21,000 feet, in a country the size of Nevada. I have traveled all over Ecuador. I have lived in the Andes, in the lowlands, and now at the beach. Each region has its magic, and the best part is that they are all very affordable.

“That said, I often have to remind folks that Ecuador is not Disneyland. It’s not Cancun, Hawaii, Cabo San Lucas, or even Costa Rica. By contrast, it’s basic…unspoiled…and unpolished. Therein lies the opportunity. If it were like Cancun, the opportunity would be gone, and prices would be out of reach for most of us.

“Instead, Ecuador is like Costa Rica 15 or 20 years ago, with a lot of opportunity and upside. But this wealth of opportunity has a price.

“If you want perfection–for things to go according to plan and for everything to happen on time, for example–then maybe Ecuador is not the place for you. This is truly a mañana culture. Having lived in it now for so long, though, I believe they’ve got it right. There are those of us who stress about all that has to be done…and others who can relax and understand that eventually what needs to get done will get done. I spent much of my life in the first camp; now truly embrace the second. My stress is gone.

“Very soon after I moved here, one afternoon, I went to the nearby market and purchased a hammock. I bought a few bottles of local beer on the way home. On the beach in front of my house, I found two coconut trees and tied the hammock up between them. I sunk into the hammock and sipped the cold brew as I watched the sun disappear into the Pacific.

“We all deserve that kind of experience, those moments that remind you what life is all about.

“The important thing to understand is that those moments can be yours easier than you think. All you need is a sense of adventure.

“I know it sounds like a fantasy. But I can tell you firsthand that Ecuador can teach you how to let go and enjoy! Coming here could be the best decision you’ve ever made and settling in to a low-stress lifestyle could actually extend your life by many years.

“We all have choices to make in life, choices we make all the time, every day, but most of them don’t change our entire experience of this world. My choice to move to Ecuador more than 10 years ago did that.

“Will you, one day, wonder, ‘What if…?’

“I won’t. I decided to follow my dream, and I haven’t looked back for one moment.”

You can meet Mike and speak with him in person about his experience reinventing his life in Ecuador at our Live and Invest in Ecuador event in February.

Kathleen Peddicord

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