Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Outside the Box

Susan, Nick, and I leaving Atlanta

There are endless opportunities in Cuenca, and sometimes it is good to think outside the box. During my twenty-five year career in the US Air Force I was fortunate to have some brave mentors who listened to my ideas which were outside the box, and even implemented many of them, most successfully, and luckily only a few bombed. The military is not always receptive to people who think outside the box, and I was not only thinking outside the box, the joke was I had lost sight of the box entirely. Sometimes people have a tendency to over-think, over-plan, and are over-cautious, and these tendencies can handicap any any project, idea, or in our case  relocating to a new country.

Thinking outside the box for Susan, Nick, and I has led us to retiring to Cuenca at an early age, but keeping our eyes open as we experience a new culture. We have allowed ourselves to be more social, and welcoming to new people we meet at Moca, or through facebook and our blog. By allowing ourselves to open up to these new acquaintances we have made some very good friends, both Cuencanos and ex-pats, but we have also been burned by a few people who we thought were close friends. But, by allowing ourselves to act outside the box, and open up to the people, and the culture around us, has enriched our lives more than we could have ever imagined, and have by far over shadowed any negative experiences. While living in Decatur as we first discussed our move to Cuenca, our hope was to change our behavior, and try to make new friends, and create new friendships to enrich our lives just as we hoped to enrich our lives by embracing a new culture. After six months, I feel we have just begun to understand our new surroundings, but by allowing ourselves the freedom to act outside the box we have experienced much more than we anticipated.

So, the point to the post, if there is such a thing in a blog like ours, is to let go of the restraints we all place on ourselves, and think, or even act outside the box to free up the endless opportunities here in Cuenca. Try new foods, get out of your comfort zone by riding a bus, offer help to a person you see who needs a hand, or just do something new today that you didn't do yesterday. You'll never know what surprises are around the next corner if you never turn off the path once in a while.


  1. Everything you said here is so very true and we try to live every day of our life following a different path. We are coming to Cuenca for our first visit in mid-February to see if this will be a fit for me and hubby. I find it interesting you are from Atlanta because we are from Columbus, GA and will be flying out of Atlanta. It is nice to know we will have a southern kinship with someone in Ecuador. I have found another couple from Columbus living in Cuenca and hope to meet up with them when we come in Feb. Hope you find all the joy and happiness you and your family are searching for.

    1. Thank you. We have been to Columbus many times for soccer games, and we hope to meet you both when you visit Cuenca.