By the beginning of 2015 our family had been in Ecuador for three years. We’d traveled the country and to surrounding nations. We’d launched, operated, and sold a successful restaurant. I delved into the world of freelance writing while David took on the challenge of teaching Spanish to expats. We met fascinating people and had amazing adventures and our lives were not wasted.
But something was missing. Some sense of fulfillment. And we began to search once again for that missing element.
At first we thought a return to the U.S. was the answer. We have family there of course, and the distance between continents and loved ones sometimes feels as far as the earth from the moon. But then we began to realize that a return to the States meant working 8 to 5 at corporate jobs once again. It meant buying a vehicle, a house, and all of those other little items and expenses that come sweeping in like a covert tsunami. In short…it meant a return to consumerism and the eat, sleep, work routine that funds it.
And that’s when David panicked. That was NOT, in fact, what was going to bring him fulfillment. Just the opposite actually. And so we moved on to plan B.
A couple of hours away from our home in Cotacachi…just around the back side of Mount Cotacachi and down into a cloud forest “valley”…lies the Zona de Intag. It’s a region that has been traditionally remote due to accessibility issues. But the soil is rich, the mountainous misty landscapes gorgeous, and it’s the kind of place that calls to those inclined towards self-sufficiency and a live-off-the-land approach. If you know David at all, you know he fell hard for the siren song of the Intag.
So, here we are today with approximately 75 acres of land that David is progressively turning into a viable farm. He lives out there most of the time with a trip or two into Cotacachi to buy supplies and take care of administrative tasks each month. My base is still at our house just outside of Cotacachi because that’s the best place for me to work and homeschool the boys (there is no internet access at our Intag farm). The boys and I try to head to the farm every weekend though it’s definitely not a set schedule. It may not be a traditional set up, but it works for all of us.
Instead of building a house out in Intag we had a shipping container brought in and we converted that into a living space. It’s not Pinterest-worthy, but it works perfectly well with sleeping space for all of us, a mini-kitchen, dining area, and storage for a whole lot of *things.* The cost was about the same as having a small house built but the big advantage was that it was an immediate housing solution and there were no construction headaches. We did have a small outdoor building with a bathroom and washing area built as that’s the norm in this area and honestly we really didn’t have room for that in our container.
David has been very busy planting avocado trees, plantain and banana trees, clearing pasture, fixing fences, running and repairing water line, corralling wayward cattle and dealing with ravenous horses. It’s never ending work, but he’s happy and fulfilled. And I’m happy for him.
Stay tuned because this venture is a big part of our lives now and one that’s sure to take up a lot of space on this blog.