I am a pediatric nurse who quit her job at The Children’s Hospital Colorado to explore life in another country. Selling or giving away all that I own I have ventured south of the border to Cuenca, Ecuador with my dog Barkley. Here are the stories of my life change.

November 20 2015
Life in the day

My Beautiful New Home in Cuenca

Cuenca is a beautiful little city. It’s lovely to walk the cobblestone streets and gaze at the colonial architecture while observing all of the local hustle and bustle. When I first arrived in Cuenca I lived in El Central in a small one bedroom apartment that was leased to me on a short term arrangement. This happened to be perfect at the time. My dog Barkley and I would daily walk the city and enjoy all of the local food and culture. Daily we would walk to the Tomebamba river for a refreshing stroll and sometimes lunch. The time living in El Central gave me the chance to fully appreciate just what living in town means. The constant din of noise from the cars, buses and the many dogs can be exhausting. The activity of the pedestrians, vendors and tourists is at times also a challenge. All of this left me with the decision to find an apartment a bit outside of the center of town.

Rio Tomebamba
Rio Tomebamba

I found the perfect two bedroom apartment just west of the center of town for $300 a month. Close enough that Barkley and I can take a long stroll into town if I wish but far enough to enjoy the peace of a bit of “El Campo” (the country). The bus line number 13 runs into town has a stop about two blocks down the road from me. Other bus lines that can take me anywhere I need to go are a short walk away. We are about six blocks from the Tomebamba river for our daily walks to continue but this part of the river stroll is more tranquil. We live in what looks like a big house which has three apartments within. The family above me is a lot of fun and I find myself up there often for dinner and cards.

Barkley in the Rio Tomebamba
Barkley in the Rio Tomebamba

Setting up a new home is something that I was expecting but it is somewhat frustrating. To have to buy all new things from silverware to furniture to towels and sheets is pretty hard to do. Especially…when I was so proud of “simplifying” my life. I really do not want to again accumulate all of that “stuff” that seemed to control my life. Then I came to this brilliant conclusion when I found that beautiful large plants can be purchased for a mere $3.50! So…instead of filling every corner of my home with stuff I will be placing a plant in every corner!!

Little coffee shop down the road
Little coffee shop down the road
Our walk along the Rio Tomebamba
Our walk along the Rio Tomebamba
My living room
My living room
My bedroom
My bedroom

Things are good and Barkley and I are very happy!!

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  • Vicki! So excited to hear you’re living in Cuenca now and having a wonderful life! Jonathan and I wish you every happiness and success in your service to Jehovah! Take good care of our cousin Carmen Melseth! A true treasure, just like you! We love and miss you.

  • Vicky your apartment looks great!! I’m so happy for you! It’s Cathy from Guatemala!! Good to hear your internet is up! Send me your address in Cuenca I want to send you a little present! Hugs!!! 🙂

  • Wow! Your apartment is beautiful. Your surroundings look so peaceful. Life looks good my friend! Barkley just must love how much time you have for him to! Love to hear some stories on how the territory is??? Stay well💕

  • Vicki hi my sister, I am Colbi’s mother she just visited with Jamie and Chris. I have enjoyed your blog and just wanted to say hello and hopefully with Jehovah’s help we will meet you

  • Hi Vicky,

    Wow! Your pictures are amazing! And it looks like you are settling in very nicely! Can’t wait to see you in February and hear about all your adventures. Take care!

  • Hi Vicki! Looks peaceful and lovely… so glad you are enjoying your adventure (and Barkley too)! As always, reading your blog is just like visiting with you in person. Love that!

  • Vicki, what you’ve done is so inspiring! The goal of “simplifying” crosses over into so many areas of our lives. I loved your potted plan (life) solution to avoid acquiring more “stuff”. And love the photos and layout of your blog! May Jehovah bless you with continued ingenuity. : )

  • I love that you are settling into your new home. It sounds so tranquil and beautifully simple. Love and miss you, but are so excited for you too. Como esta los classes de Espanol?

  • Vickie, you are so brave !! It does look very beautiful there. Keep the pictures coming were really enjoying your whole experience.

  • Hi Vicki, so good to hear from you! Your new home looks fantastic, sounds like you are settling in. Retirement is good for us, just like you we are enjoying a quieter, more tranquil time!

  • Hi Vicki, it’s Deb from work. I am happy to hear from you it had been so long I was getting was little worried about you. Your pictures are wonderful, your apartment looks adorable and you sound so so happy. Congratulations you did it. I am looking forward to hearing more about your adventures

  • Vicki, I am so impressed with what you have done….You have really got me thinking. I can’t wait to spend time with you in February and hear so much more. You seem very happy. I’m so glad your internet is up. Please keep the emails coming. Luv Marilyn

  • Vicki – wow! Someday, I hope to be as brave and do the same thing, only in a small village in Italy. Enjoy!

  • Hey Vicki, great pictures, and commentary. It takes me back to your beautiful new home in Cuenca! Which I am missing!!! I will be back to visit, I loved Cuenca!

  • I see you have replaced the plant in the corner of your bedroom with a stationary bike! Lol! Good for you! Exercise has always been a part of keeping my sanity, especially so when living oversea’s. However, in another culture it is not always appropriate or available OR even comfortable to exercise outside like we do in USA! You will love that stationary bike like you loved your pink Yeti!! I am so happy that you LOVE Cuenca! Take Care!

  • Vicki, You Did It for Real.! I am so happy for you. It looks beautiful there. It is snowing in Denver.
    It’s The Kathy from the discharge. My doggies has to go to manners class. Tell Barkley.

    1. Monica Heckman 11:34am 01 March - 2016 - Reply

      Vicki! So excited to hear you’re living in Cuenca now and having a wonderful life! Jonathan and I wish you every happiness and success in your service to Jehovah! Take good care of our cousin Carmen Melseth! A true treasure, just like you! We love and miss you.

      • vicki duran 05:50pm 14 March - 2016 - Reply

        Wow! It is so nice to hear from you. I will take good care of Carmen. Come visit us!!

    2. Cathy 11:09pm 03 December - 2015 - Reply

      Vicky your apartment looks great!! I’m so happy for you! It’s Cathy from Guatemala!! Good to hear your internet is up! Send me your address in Cuenca I want to send you a little present! Hugs!!! 🙂

    3. Laura Blaich 04:28pm 02 December - 2015 - Reply

      Wow! Your apartment is beautiful. Your surroundings look so peaceful. Life looks good my friend! Barkley just must love how much time you have for him to! Love to hear some stories on how the territory is??? Stay well💕

    4. Rochelle 01:19am 01 December - 2015 - Reply

      Vicki hi my sister, I am Colbi’s mother she just visited with Jamie and Chris. I have enjoyed your blog and just wanted to say hello and hopefully with Jehovah’s help we will meet you

    5. Linda Paolucci 03:08pm 30 November - 2015 - Reply

      Hi Vicky,

      Wow! Your pictures are amazing! And it looks like you are settling in very nicely! Can’t wait to see you in February and hear about all your adventures. Take care!

    6. valeen 01:21am 30 November - 2015 - Reply

      I’m so jealous. What a fantastic way to serve Jehovah and enjoy your freedom. Beautiful place.

    7. Cynde 09:25pm 29 November - 2015 - Reply

      Hi Vicki! Looks peaceful and lovely… so glad you are enjoying your adventure (and Barkley too)! As always, reading your blog is just like visiting with you in person. Love that!

    8. Tammy Booth 06:06pm 23 November - 2015 - Reply

      Vicki, what you’ve done is so inspiring! The goal of “simplifying” crosses over into so many areas of our lives. I loved your potted plan (life) solution to avoid acquiring more “stuff”. And love the photos and layout of your blog! May Jehovah bless you with continued ingenuity. : )

    9. Michele 04:20pm 23 November - 2015 - Reply

      Vicki, your place is so pretty! I’m glad you & Barkley are happy there. Looking forward to seeing you in February!

    10. Naomi 03:07am 23 November - 2015 - Reply

      I love that you are settling into your new home. It sounds so tranquil and beautifully simple. Love and miss you, but are so excited for you too. Como esta los classes de Espanol?

    11. sandi lehr 12:10am 23 November - 2015 - Reply

      What a beautiful place you are living
      and your place is just darling _ you have
      it fixed so beautifully. Take care

    12. Auntie Flo 05:34pm 22 November - 2015 - Reply

      Your new apartment is absolutely beautiful–simple is awesome and freeing–SO happy for you–LOVE and HUGS

    13. Colleen 02:37am 22 November - 2015 - Reply

      Vickie, you are so brave !! It does look very beautiful there. Keep the pictures coming were really enjoying your whole experience.

    14. Kathy Huddleston 07:36pm 21 November - 2015 - Reply

      Hi Vicki, so good to hear from you! Your new home looks fantastic, sounds like you are settling in. Retirement is good for us, just like you we are enjoying a quieter, more tranquil time!

    15. Laura 07:31pm 21 November - 2015 - Reply

      So glad to get an update! Keep on being you!

    16. Deb 05:28pm 21 November - 2015 - Reply

      Hi Vicki, it’s Deb from work. I am happy to hear from you it had been so long I was getting was little worried about you. Your pictures are wonderful, your apartment looks adorable and you sound so so happy. Congratulations you did it. I am looking forward to hearing more about your adventures

    17. Marilyn Andrews 04:14pm 21 November - 2015 - Reply

      Vicki, I am so impressed with what you have done….You have really got me thinking. I can’t wait to spend time with you in February and hear so much more. You seem very happy. I’m so glad your internet is up. Please keep the emails coming. Luv Marilyn

    18. Maxine (Moberg) Arment 02:10pm 21 November - 2015 - Reply

      Vicki – wow! Someday, I hope to be as brave and do the same thing, only in a small village in Italy. Enjoy!

    19. Tammy 01:07pm 21 November - 2015 - Reply

      Hey Vicki, great pictures, and commentary. It takes me back to your beautiful new home in Cuenca! Which I am missing!!! I will be back to visit, I loved Cuenca!

    20. Abby 04:14am 21 November - 2015 - Reply

      I see you have replaced the plant in the corner of your bedroom with a stationary bike! Lol! Good for you! Exercise has always been a part of keeping my sanity, especially so when living oversea’s. However, in another culture it is not always appropriate or available OR even comfortable to exercise outside like we do in USA! You will love that stationary bike like you loved your pink Yeti!! I am so happy that you LOVE Cuenca! Take Care!

    21. Kathy 02:28am 21 November - 2015 - Reply

      Vicki, You Did It for Real.! I am so happy for you. It looks beautiful there. It is snowing in Denver.
      It’s The Kathy from the discharge. My doggies has to go to manners class. Tell Barkley.

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