El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana

El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana
The Conquistador who put the Amazaon baisn "on the map"....Francisco Orellana

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"We Decided to Enjoy Our Lives"

Dear International Living Reader,
Ecuador is a place for reinvention, for starting a new chapter and striking out on a grand adventure.
Often, it's simply that decision to "do something" that puts you in the way of opportunity—whether or not you're looking for it.
That's what happened to Edd and Cynthia...
Len Galvin
 Managing Editor, IL Postcards

By Suzan Haskins
Just four short years ago, Edd Staton and his wife Cynthia, were working in sales jobs in Las Vegas. Then they were both laid off. They were in their 50s. Things didn’t look good.

It was Cynthia’s second time being "downsized"—and she and her husband decided that enough was enough. It was time to stop putting life on hold...and time to start living it.

"We saw the value of our savings plunge as we were nearing retirement age," says Edd. "Rather than continue to work for too many more years trying to correct this problem, we decided to retire, relocate, and enjoy the rest of our lives."

They decided to pursue the things they’d always wanted to do: writing...painting...sculpting... They also wanted to be of service and in some small way to leave the planet a better place...maybe even start a new business if the opportunity presented itself.

To have this kind of life, they knew they’d need to move to a place with a lower cost of living. After lots of research they decided on Ecuador.

In 2010, Edd and Cynthia moved to Cuenca—a vibrant city of about 500,000 people in southern Ecuador. They quickly fell into the rhythm of life, exploring the city and making new friends.
One of these new friends was Ecuadorian Juan Heredia, who had begun his career as a Galapagos Islands tour guide before developing his own tour business. Juan wanted to share his love of Ecuador and to tap into the growing market of expats in Cuenca.

"Our involvement with TerraDiversa happened organically," Edd explains. "Juan had other business commitments, and he mentioned that he really needed a partner he could trust."
Edd and Cynthia considered what it would mean to jump back into the workforce...and in a foreign country. But one of the reasons they had left the U.S. was to lower their monthly expenses so they could travel more. This interest, they decided, combined with their skill sets in sales and marketing, were a perfect fit for TerraDiversa's needs.

The partnership combines the "best of both worlds," Edd says. "There would be no clock-punching required, so we offered to come aboard and Juan readily accepted."

Edd wrote and designed the new website that launched recently while Cynthia has been helping the staff learn how to better advise clients in choosing the best travel experiences possible. In March, the Statons represented the company at the New York Times Travel Show.

"For expats in their later years, I believe this is the time to follow your passion," Edd says. "Too many of us, me included, pursued careers more for money than enjoyment. I feel blessed that we and TerraDiversa found each other. We’re having a blast."

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