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Expat Advice: Dream vs. Reality of Expat Life in Salinas, Ecuador

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Salinas, Ecuador

An expat who moved to Salinas from Seattle dreamt about the beautiful weather, healthy lifestyle and slower pace of daily life. All of those dreams were realized. The absence of sewer systems, garbage dumped along roads and problems with the condo developer were unexpected.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?


Describe how you "dreamed" expat life would be before you moved overseas. Please provide as much detail as possible.

After growing up and living in Seattle for 54 years, I was looking forward to year round sunny and warmer weather. Also a slower pace of daily life, walks on the beach, getting to know the Ecuadorian culture and local people. Enjoying the abundant fresh seafood, vegetables and fruits and the ability to simplify life while enjoying lower cost of living and healthier lifestyle.

How has your expat experience met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?

The weather here is great, wardrobe is mostly shorts, sleeveless shirts and sandals. As expected, so much less stress than in the U.S. due to slower pace of life and simplifying daily tasks. The fresh inexpensive seafood, vegetables and fruits you can get at the outdoor markets are wonderful and daily walks on the beach make for a healthy lifestyle.

How has your expat experience NOT met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?

I was not prepared for the culture shock of the absence of sewer systems and the resulting smells you encounter in the towns and neighborhoods.

The overall lack of respect for the environment means you see garbage just thrown or dumped along the roads, in empty lots, on the beaches. Very sad.

Have had a very unfavorable experience and on-going problems dealing with the developer at the condo complex where we purchased our condominium. This is the only area where we have encountered many questionable and stressful situations.

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Comments about this Report

Apr 16, 2013 03:27

I wonder how long this person spent in Ecuador before buying a condo. When you are talking condos what is the advantage of buying versus renting? I visited Salinas and was not impressed, a block or so back from the beach and everything was concrete ugly! And dirty also. A good place to go party for a few days but to live there? And year-round sunny weather doesn't happen on the coast it is cloudy more than most people realize or developers will tell you. Buena suerte!

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