Inspire Spontaneity. Invite Mystery. Indulge Adventure.

“Click. Click. Jangle. Jangle,” whisper the keys as they tango in his fingertips. The ignition tilts into place and our new cat purrs into submission. I glance through the corner of my big, square frames as a smile sneaks across my face. My husband catches my eye and offers a little wink, as we pull onto the water-stained cobble streets of San Clemente, Ecuador.

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Our kids playing on the stone streets of San Clemente, Manabi, Ecuador.

The kids sit behind us; thighs already sticking to the seats, squealing delight with each gentle bounce, bounce of the over-drive rhythm. I reach out to pull down my visor, to peak at their happy, red cheeked faces. But, there is no mirror there and I must wrangle around to spy in on their fun. I see two pairs of tiny feet. Their toes dusted with filth no matter how many times we tell them to leave their shoes on. They dangle over the edge of the seat, blissfully kicking and twitching; still years before they will rest on rubber mats below.

Behind them: the other two. Heads pushing through the air, fighting the seat backs for the space closest to the open windows. The mutts of course: lips and tongues flapping like sheets in the wind; splattering the seat backs and the tops of toddler heads. The kids are young enough to be amused, giggle over the mess, even reach back and ruffle the fur of their longest friends.

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Our daughter turned 4 in Ecuador!
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Our son will turn 3 soon!

Satisfied, I turn back. I roll down my window the rest of the way and reach my fingers out to feel the hot, shiny surface of the side view mirror. I lean back against the seat and close my eyes, cataloguing each tiny detail of this massive milestone. In the wafts pressing against my face, I can pick out the scents of mid-summer. The ripe, flourishing smell of trees in full foliage. The sticky smell of soil tampered by rain and farming. A tinge of petrol striping its course through the heavy, salty air. But, it is not summer here. It is early March in Ecuador. Fully fledged in the midst of the rainy season.

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But, time, date, and season are of no relevance. There isn’t much difference here. The sun sets and rises at the same time every single day, all year round. It’s raining. Or it isn’t. The bugs are out. Or they aren’t. There is ocean breeze or no relief. Those are the differentiating factors of the seasons in Coastal Ecuador. Therefore, this new adventure didn’t have to wait for summer. It only had to wait for the perfect candidate. The ideal capsule to house rowdy children, smelly dogs, and a couple of crazy folks like ourselves. The ability to carry us to mountains and rivers, rain forests and volcanoes.

This car spells opportunity. Potential. Possibility. Infinity. From here on, everything changes. From this moment we will become adventurers, explorers, investigators. Hikers, trekkers, rock climbers. Mountaineers, fishermen, kayakers. Campers. Campers!!! Maybe all of them. Maybe none of them, except for the last. We don’t know what we will become. What we do know, is that we will do it together. Husband and Wife, Parent and Child, Man and Man’s Best Friend. No one left behind.

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Joey: this old dog loves Ecuador!

We are off to educate and assimilate. To give and to gain. To live and give meaning to life. We have made it this far together, and beyond we will stay. Where no dog goes, we don’t roam. Where no kids trod, we won’t trek. In this. Together. 100%.

We have a bit of practice to do. We are not experienced in this sort of thing. So, off we go for day trips and weekenders and longer excursions when they fit. We don’t know how to camp or to trek, or any of that. All we really know is how to be together. And from that, we will build our foundation of how to go, where to go, and when.

As for our host, we are not ready yet, for the big reveal. But, I can promise you this: it is not what you are expecting. Not the typical Jeep or shiny RV. Not a camper or a husky Dodge Ram. Something a little more unique. A little more rugged. A little more reliable. Something special, especially for us.

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All of us, captured by a photographer in our village.
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30 Comments Add yours

  1. This sounds so exciting. A milestone, and a freedom. Can’t wait to see it! I love the way you write.
    Alison
    PS you might want to change cat to car in the second sentence. Or not 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! The cat was on purpose 😉 Thank you Alison!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How exciting! Can’t wait to see your ride.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Andi says:

    Well, now I am really interested to see what will be your mode of transportation for your new adventures. After just coming off a year on the road in an RV, I can tell there is nothing freer than the open road!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wonderful! I can´t imagine what we will be reflecting on after one year 🙂 I will have to snoop through your blog a little more to see what life on the road has been like for you!

      Like

  4. BOYEATSWORLD says:

    This is so beautifully written and sounds like such an exciting a adventure. I can’t wait for the big reveal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Coming soon 🙂

      Like

  5. You’re a great story teller. Can’t wait to hear what’s next!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! 😀

      Like

  6. Ada says:

    This is amazing!! What a wonderful life adventure for your kids! They seems like they love it! Love this post !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 The kids are very excited for what lies ahead!

      Like

  7. Ah, a family sojourn with the dogs! If there’s a definition of fun and love, then traveling with family members and pets would be it. What an adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes! Full of fun and adventure!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Amber says:

    You have such a beautiful way of writing! Felt like I was mid way through a gripping book! What a great adventure as a family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, thank you so much for the wonderful compliment! Always happy to learn when a reader enjoys our blog 😀

      Like

  9. ilive4travel says:

    Sounds like you have fun adventures to come. I still haven’t made it to ecuador, I nearly went last month but decided against anymore travelling in the rainy season and stayed in a surf town in northern peru. I will be back to Peru later this year so I hope to visit Ecuador next year. Can’t wait 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand your decision…it is definitely wet everywhere right now! A lovely surfing town is a good bet for the duration of the rainy season 😀 Lots of new posts coming about the Valley of the Volcanoes in Ecuador! Looking forward to perusing your site about Peru!

      Like

  10. Ah, those dogs are so cute. I am so glad your adventure in Ecuador is going so well. What a great experience for your kids. Good luck on your adventure. We are always about to head out on the open road. We don’t know in what yet.

    Like

    1. Thank you! Kids and Dogs are all loving the travels in Ecuador! Looking forward to seeing where you all are headed next 😀

      Like

  11. Ariane says:

    What a fab adventure to go on with your kids!!! And the way you are writing about everything is just wonderfully fresh 🙂 I’s like to travel to Ecuador as well now! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you! Glad you share our adventures with those who can appreciate them! You’ve got to see Ecuador yourself 😀

      Like

  12. Love how you experience and share your adventure. I think it is awesome how you can bring across the love and joy you have for everything you do and will be interested in your reveal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your compliments! Reveal coming soon now that we have returned from our last adventure!

      Like

  13. Anna says:

    Your kids are very lucky to have such adventurous travelling parents! Their childhood must be full of incredible experiences that even us, grown-ups, would be jealous of 🙂 Travelling sure is the best way to learn about the world!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I am a bit jealous of them, too! 😀 They seem to be having a fantastic time and we are ALL learning so much about the world 😀

      Like

  14. Hola, familia, os felicito. Veo que sabéis sacarle a la vida todas sus posibilidades de felicidad. Vuestros hijos están teniendo una infancia gozosa, que les proporciona recuerdos maravillosos para el resto de sus días.
    Recibid un cordial saludo con mi simpatía.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Muchas gracias por sus palabras llenas de tanta bondad y positivismo.
      Seguiremos por el mundo recordando comentarios como este ya que nos motivan mucho.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. You’re a great writer and an adventurous family! I have to admit that I’m jealous of how well traveled and experienced your children will be as they get older. What a fun life compared to the suburban trapped children of America.

    Like

    1. Thank you for your compliment, and yes, we are on the adventure of a lifetime! I often tell my husband that I am a little jealous of the childhood our children are having 😀 I was lucky not to grow up in suburbia and both us desperately aimed to give our kids a more rural upbringing. We had no idea our choices would ultimately lead to this…but we are so pleased with where it seems to be going!

      Like

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