Rank and File

The Institute for Economic Peace just released the international ranking of over 180 countries on safety. Ecuador ranked 84th moving up and the USA ranked 94…interesting. Canada ranked an awesome 7th for peaceful so maybe I should be moving north. The article was based out of S.A. so it was focused on those countries and cited Ecuador as being in the top 3 South American nations as most peaceful right after Chile with Columbia being the most dangerous.

So with that in mind, I’ll stay away from my new northern neighbor once I get there and keep south instead.

I haven’t posted in a while as we’ve busily been sorting through things to downsize from a 4 bedroom home to a 2-3 bedroom apartment. Our home here in Ohio has been almost 3,000 sf living space and we have had it full for some time – most of Nick’s life actually has been spent right here. So now faced with moving internationally and weighing costs, we have truly scrutinized everything very closely to determine real value – economically and emotionally.

This has not been easy. Going through precious memories and realizing that we may not be able to take some things with us that we have valued yet really may not survive shipping or may cost more to ship than it costs – well, makes one question “things.”  And question “things” we have done with items from appliances to what felt like cherished treasures or memories. Making some of these decisions has been really quite emotional yet Nick and I have really worked as a team in balancing each other’s concerns. And, knowing we have a place where we can store those few things we simply can not part with is certainly a bit more reassuring.

But we have gone from this 4 bedroom house to no furniture (having donated or given things away), no appliances (again-donated or given things away), maybe 12 boxes to be shipped (including small, medium and large), and putting a few items into storage in N.C. We are shipping some linens, some of our artwork, some clothing, and a few of our “things.” We’ll also be shipping a large screen TV, Nick’s dj equipment and of course, our dog’s items (which go into one of the 12 boxes.) The only other items to be moved will include a few oriental rugs. The rug won’t be customs free – don’t ask me why but rugs will require a customs fee as will the TV and if we take in extra laptops or extra cameras they would also require extra customs.

Next week we’ll be chatting with international movers to get estimates for a door to door move to include the customs.

We are actually going to fly down on a tourist visa which will allow us to fly in with up to 5 suitcases each (3 checked and 2 carry on each, one of the carry on will be a dog on this first journey.) Then later I’ll fly back and get the cat.  Granted we’ll have to pay extra for the suitcases but – we will have most of our clothing and personal items with us without paying customs and will not have to shop for anything for a very long time. Brand products and electronic products are very high there.

So I will be taking extras of my brand name cosmetics and personal care products with me when I go down. This way we can take in a laptop and camera each and then later can ship in a laptop/notebook and camera in without paying customs on them since we’ll already be there. A HA! You say! So there is a method to my madness in doing it this way.

We’ll go there then apply for the visa once we get there. Our lawyer said it would  take 45-60 days to get the visa. Once the visa is in our passport we will then have up to 6 months to ship our personal goods to Ecuador from home. At that point our shipping point will be from N.C.back where I grew up.

Wow, this part of the journey is almost over and we’ll hopefully be setting a date for the trip soon. Scheduling and logistics is the next step along with finding a short term rental in Cuenca, Ecuador that accepts pets. Now that should be fun to find.

But soon we must because in today mail we received the last piece of the document puzzle! YES, we are now official! We have every single piece of documented paperwork duly notarized, appropriatly state apostilled and ready to go to Ecuador! Included in that list are the below items. While the list seems small, I have been married more than once and Nick and I were not born in Ohio so we have had to work with 3 different states to pull everything together.

  • birth certificates
  • divorce decrees
  • legal name changes
  • FBI criminal background check
  • state criminal background check (which some cities no longer need in EC but Cuenca still does at this time)
  • Passport photo copies (yes, they had to be notarized and apostilled)
  • Pension documentation (also apostilled by the Ecuadorian Embassy out of D.C.)

Nick and I have a total of 15 documents plus our 2 passports ready to go to Ecuador with us.

Once there, our lovely attorney will have all documents translated into Spanish then will notarize and apostille each one for the Ecuadorian Ministry to review. Once reviewed, if approved, our visas will be stamped into our Passports and then we will receive our Cedulas or our citizen cards. Whew, what a lot of paperwork.

I’ve read recently if we want to have an Ecuadorian driver’s license we need to also take copies of a high school or college diploma with us. That may be something to dig up and have available too but I also read that having your U.S. license serves just as well so that is conflicting information to ask the attorney about which is going into email this evening. On sites you may read that you need your parents birth certificate copies but my lawyer said that was not true so you can mark that off your list.

So more to follow as we begin to work on our logistical timetable.  I’m off to email my attorney the good news that all documents are in hand and we’re ready to go!




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