How a Vacation Changed Me

I am proud to present: my very first guest blogger! Carolyn from Change our thinking wrote a post of how a holiday changed her life. Do not forget to take a look at her blog!

In 2009, I vacationed in Ecuador for 17 days, and here is what I learned:

  1. The Landscape. Living in Florida, there are no hills and for the most part, we are at sea level. Going to Ecuador, I was amazed at the mountains, the varying temperatures, and the terrain. A one hour bus trip would begin with us wearing shorts but before it was over, we would put on long socks and jackets. One minute it was sunny but as we headed up a mountain it would become so foggy you could not see five feet in front of you. I quickly learned to embrace the rapidly changing weather. Florida is simply, hot or a little less hot.

  2. The People. The people were friendly and inviting. They would dance with us and share whatever they had. This many years later, I still maintain contact with a person that I met in Ecuador.
  3. The Travel Group – We were approximately 12 people from Canada, Austria, Australia, and the US. From the moment that we all met in Quito, we seemed to just get along. I am not going to suggest that we were all best of friends but for the entire vacation, everyone was willing to partner for different events.
  4. Altitude is Real. I tried to climb a mountain and was defeated within the first 10 steps. I thought I was fit and it would be easy. I quickly learned as a native Floridian, I have zero understanding of altitude and I should never walk to the bottom of a mountain in Ecuador or any other country.

  5. There is no Magic. We spent several hours hiking to a waterfall and then we careened down to the beach. At the beach, I figured there was a shortcut back home because it was lunchtime. No, there was no shortcut. We took the exact same route back, climbed back up the mountain and through the jungle, to get home. I was exhausted but it was amazing.
  6. Friendships are Possible. This many years later, I am still very good friends with several of the people who went on the trip. We still email and update each other on life events.

  7. Pack Light. This was a rustic vacation and we traveled the same way that the locals travel. We used pickup trucks, trains, and “chicken” buses. There were many times that I simply wanted to leave my luggage on the roadside and do without. Another tip, if you are over the age of 18 and are not joining the military, forgo the duffle bag. A duffle bag is not a suitable luggage option. You will thank me for this advice.

Carolyn @

Thank you so much Carolyn for writing this piece! I would love to go to South America one day (mainly for Peru and Argentina). If you enjoyed reading, you can find more at her blog:


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