Don’t Cry Because It Is Over. Smile Because It Happened.

Church in my favorite city, Cuenca

I will soon be leaving Quito and heading back to the familiar hills of Palos Verdes, California. Many of my friends will be crying because our wonderful experience is coming to an end. Ecuador gave me everything I wanted…and more. I saw and did so much in such a short period of timeand I had experiences that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. I absolutely cherished every day in South America. None the less, I am excited to go home. I really do love my home. I love my family, the beach, and my friends. I am looking forward to Christmas, home cooked meals, nights spent with my boyfriend in front of the TV with a fire in the fireplace, and eating ice cream in the bubbly hot tub in the backyard.  But that is only part of the reason I am excited to go home. I am also excited because of all the things that Ecuador taught me.

Indigenous Dance in Alausi

I can’t wait to take the lessons and experiences and share them with the people I love. Being in Ecuador has taught me how to enjoy every day of my existence regardless of location or circumstance. Being in Ecuador has taught me to be excited for tomorrow even if tomorrow brings hardships. I’ve learned to smile at the past but not worry about it, which means when I go back to the States, I won’t worry about my time in Ecuador being a thing of the past, but rather I will be smiling whenever I think about the amazing time I had. Ecuador has shown me that my life is completely in my control and that my happiness is determined by only me. So, it’s impossible for me to let an event like leaving make me feel sad. I am sure I will miss it, and I hope to come back here some day and see how things have changed, but for now, it’s time for me to move on. I have a life and goals that I have to get back to and, well, I know that I really couldn’t live this fancy fantasy life of minimal work and endless travel forever.

Cajas National Park

Sitting on cushion plants in the mountains

I am very happy and completely comfortable in Ecuador so, in a sense, I no longer need it. For that, alone, I am truly grateful.



Chocolate art from my favorite pastry shop in Quito

Mindo Butterfly Garden