Waking up in Quito

Picture of cafe in Quito Airport
Airport cafe in Quito

This morning I woke up in Quito, Ecuador. No, it’s not a dream. I’m here, because my wife thought it was a good idea to take a trip now, before we are selected by a birthmother and father to adopt their child. We’ve been “on the books,” so to speak, since July when we completed the adoption paperwork. It’s now marketing yourselves both online and off and waiting until a birth family calls to match with you, but that has yet to happen, so we’re travelling.

After separating from my full time position on October 1st, my wife – an international educator, wanted to fulfill her dream of traveling together abroad before we are selected as an adoptive family. While I have my reservations about traveling abroad while in a job search and building my DigitalStrategyWorks.com agency, she and everyone else on Facebook (where else, of course!) urged me to consider traveling now. I don’t remember how many times in the last month I’ve heard people say, “not many people ever get the chance to do this.” Or, “you’d better do it now before the baby comes.” Then there’s the, “Wow, I’m so jealous!”

Not only are we on the adoption “books” and waiting, but since I separated from my position on October 1st, we’ve been to the New York City area to explore opportunities there. After investigating the costs of moving, resetting out adoption paperwork to comply with the rules once you move and looking at housing prices, we decided to stay in North Carolina for now and move to Asheville. Not only were we planning this trip, we also had to plan the move from Winston-Salem to Asheville, which was completed on Monday.

Call me crazy. Okay, okay…you can stop now. Yes, we travelled to the New York City area for 15 days, planned and moved to Asheville and now we are in Quito, Ecuador – all in a matter of 60 days. I wasn’t looking for this adventure. The adventure found me and now we’re on it together.

How do I feel on my first day in Quito? Well, the construction outside of hotel window woke me up and I’m suffering from a bit of altitude sickness. I’ve got a runny nose, a headache and I feel this strange pings – sort of like electricity, running through my body every few minutes. I’m definitely avoiding the tap water and drinking botella de agua or bottled water in my native language.

Picture of Information Desk at the Airport in Quito
Information Desk at the Airport in Quito

It is very interesting having to immerse yourself from day one in a new country with a language you have surface knowledge of through all Spanish speaking friends or watching Telemundo and Univision soccer. There are words that sound English that are easy to know. So much I’ve heard, but just never remembered, because I didn’t need to. For the next sixty days, I’m going to get an immersive lesson in speaking Spanish. In a few weeks, hopefully I’ll be able to say with some confidence, Si, hablo Español! Well, maybe more than a few weeks.

Last night, we took a taxi in from the airport and my wife, who has a strong grasp of Spanish, had a conversation with the driver. For me, it’s better to listen to her speak to someone else in Spanish, try to parse the words then ask questions, instead of her telling me words and what they mean. I think I’m better at experiential learning and now we’ll put that to the test.

One of the things I’d love to do here is go to a soccer game. I’ll be looking for an opportunity to do that. For now, we’ll be in Quito until Monday and then we’ll fly to Cuenca, which will be our base for the rest of the trip.

Well, it’s 8:52 AM and we’re off to have our first breakfast in Quito. I hear breakfast at the local restaurant is only $2.50!


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