When In Ecuador…

1. Turn off your phone.

2. Head straight for Otavalo and book a room at Casa Mojanda. Room 1 is rad because it has a fireplace and is closest to the food. Also, the llama. If you’re coming in around midnight on a Saturday, you might catch an indigenous rave and smile at the baby riding in a pouch eating meat on a stick. Ask your driver if Ecuador likes to party and witness an emphatic string of positives: Yes, !si, yeah, yeah, !si!

3. Curl up under wool blankets with an open fire blazing in the corner. Your allergies will kick in first thing the next morning, but it’s worth it. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat. Fuego forever.

4. Look up two friends, Danny and Mara. Take their classes on love and wellness, forgiveness and virtue. Cry, often, when you realize how often you’ve gotten it all wrong. Begin again tomorrow.

5. Try your first vegan taco (I knowwwww) and add walnuts and lentils to your grocery list pronto. Also, google recipes for cashew sour cream. (This one’s a winner for now!)

6. Witness the brown tinge landing on your white sneakers and realize how long it’s been since you’ve allowed your shoes to get super, super dirty. Mentally schedule more explorations for later (and then mentally note to bring baking soda for your smelly feet).

7. Visit the local markets; find an alpaca blanket for your mother-in-law who is watching the dogs. Over-spend a dollar on a gold rock for the toddler’s collection, and pride yourself on a $3 striped overall investment.

8. Realize that Striped Overall Investment makes a lovely band name.

9. Get a massage from a Shaman healer, and book an extra for your very deserving husband who will tote the toddler on his back up the side of the Andes mountains.

10. Speaking of the side of the Andes mountains, stay there forever. Do not leave. Standing in the tall grass with cold ears, you’ll feel like you did when you were 23 in Ireland, which is never a bad thing to feel.

11. Leave the tiny backpack of toys in your room for dinner, knowing your kid really only wants to draw pictures with the effervescent yoga instructor.

12. Try a new date brownie recipe that is crazy better than your go-to recipe. Attempt to convince raw food chef Tony to write a cookbook, and fast, preferably before you leave in three days? (No go.)

13. Learn many things; remember two: (1) everything is sand, (2) except for love.

To my sweet, loving, committed friends Danny and Mara – thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • It looks like you had a fabulous time…so many new experiences to enrich your life. Thank you for sharing the beauty of Equador. …Did you party?

    • Ha, you know me – I’m more of an observer than a participant. ;) But I loved my spot by the fire!!!

  • What a fabulous adventure! Everything is sand – I like that. Gives me lots of (crunchy, gritty, sparkly) food for thought.

  • I wish you nothing but love , happiness and success in everything you do. You have done something truly wonderful by writing this blog. You have left a footprint, a little cubbyhole in people’s hearts, that people open up now and again to check if anything new inspiring and touching has been placed inside. And we find it, every time.

  • My goodness, Erin, it just looks like the most magical of places – that image of the mountain took my breath away (and who the heck knows when I’ll catch it once more?!). Stunning. Thank you so much for sharing. And, OH – your list was so full of life, and love, and made me laugh with a deep, from my heart, chuckle – so fantastic. Your storytelling is something that forever inspires, dear one. I could only hope that, one day, my words will offer the same such inspiration to others <3

  • I just came across your blog from Effortless chic while getting details on where to find the mirror for my daughter’s room. I love the way you write and inspire.

  • Looks like you 3 had a great adventure! Thanks for sharing!

  • What a dream! Sounds amazing! The detox alone would change my life. Did Ken get to do the classes too? If so, what did you do with Bee? I have all the boring questions….

    • We switched off back and forth! He took half of the classes and day trips; I took half of the classes and say trips. We did a few together! It was lovely. :)

  • I came to read the Ecuador story and found myself lost in your other posts. No, lost is not a good word. It was more like going on a long self-guided tour of a new and exciting place. Worth the journey and looking forward to more of it!

  • Your writing is always so inspiring. I have literally just travelled to Ecuador through your words! This has been added to my list of places to travel, thank you!

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