It’s Happening…We are Going to Move!

To all the dear people who so kindly follow us here on this blog – I need to tell you that we did decide to go for this big move to Ecuador.  We’re actually just finalizing a lease with some renters who would like to rent our home for the next 11 months.  So, it’s really happening.  Wow.  The renters will be here on assignment from Singapore and they even want to take our home furnished.  We are so incredibly grateful for this arrangement and can’t believe it worked out so perfectly.  
And, we are planning to move to Cuenca.  Isn’t it pretty?
We were drawn to Cuenca because of the amazing colonial architecture, the cobble stone streets, the cleanliness of the city, the variety of restaurants, the European feel there, and the cultural opportunities (symphony, ballet, art, opera).  We also love that Cuenca is just 1 hour from Cajas National Park. (Lots of hiking and trout fishing will be in our future.)  And one of my favorite things: there are (3) rock bed rivers that run right through the city. They’re gorgeous and will be so great for my daily walks. 

We can’t believe this adventure is about to begin.  

We are now trying to wrap up our lives here in Brooklyn.  As we do so, these are the top questions we get asked…

Are you excited?

Well, yes.  I can only imagine that we have amazing experiences ahead for us and that we’ll learn and grow so much.  There is SO much to be grateful for and there are many, many good things about this move.  But, I feel a great loss to leave Brooklyn and our lives here.  As any Brooklynite knows, this place goes right to your heart and soul and stays there forever.  I know I would feel a loss no matter when or how I left this dear place.  Also, it’s strange to leave the hoped for life here with a family.  For years, I’ve envisioned having a baby here in this home, setting up a nursery, spending time in Prospect Park, going on play dates with my dearest friends, and spending Christmas in New York with our own children.  It’s sad to leave all those hoped for experiences behind even though there will be many good experiences ahead.  

Will you get jobs in Ecuador?

At the moment, the answer is no.  Because the cost of living is so low there, our real estate income will cover our costs.  We feel very, very, very grateful for that.

What will you do there?

We plan to dive right in to taking Spanish classes.  There are also (3) universities in Cuenca and we just might take some other classes, too – something we haven’t done in years.  I’d like to find a good acupuncturist and take yoga and make sure my body is cleansed and restored from all the hormone and autoimmune drugs I had to take for the IVFs.  Danny says, “we’ll also be doing some food explorations.”  ðŸ™‚  He plans to master ceviche.  We also want to continue this blog, which could keep us very busy.  We hope to make it a place worth coming to.  Danny might eventually teach at a university there as he loves to teach.  We also hope to find a way to volunteer and serve the community.  (We did visit an orphanage that we’d love to volunteer at.  It was recommended by some of you readers…THANK YOU!)  I’d love to have a little green space to garden.  And lastly, we want to travel around South America, including more of Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Argentina.

The best part of moving?

Being able to spend time with Danny.  We are the best team together and just love being together.  (We’ve both worked from home over the last two years so we’re already very used to being together a lot and know that we love it. 🙂  Also, I can hardly explain what companionship and love and gratitude we feel for each other as we embark on this next chapter.  We’ve been holding each other so tight and we just feel so, so grateful for each other and our dear marriage.  

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  1. Marriage garden in Indore December 23, 2013 at 11:06 am - Reply

    Lovely places really looking attractive nice blog.

  2. A Place to Reside December 23, 2013 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Wish you both much peace and joy in the transition!

  3. mia December 23, 2013 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Such wonderful and exciting news. Congratulations. May your next chapter be full of new people, new foods, new adventures and new dreams.

  4. Emily Bufler December 23, 2013 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    I never comment, but I just wanted to let you know I'm so excited for you! I can't wait to see where life takes you in Ecuador and I will happily continue reading. 🙂

  5. Joe and Joanne December 23, 2013 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    So exciting! I can't wait to read about your adventures there as you have them!

  6. Natalie December 23, 2013 at 1:55 pm - Reply


  7. Rose Jorgensen December 23, 2013 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    Y'all are an amazing example of love, and courage. And y'all have your priorities straight. There are so many out there who are able to have children, but are only satisfied with one or two. Then there are those such as yourselves who for years have tried. My prayers will continue to be with you both as you cleanse yourself of the past, and start a new chapter in your life. You will truly be blessed for all your efforts. For helping those in the past two years of this blog. You are an inspiration to many, and I believe that you will continue to uplift those who need words of wisdom. Stay strong, always choose the right, and may God bless you both as you start this new journey! Have a Merry, merry Christmas, and blessed 2014. xoxo

  8. kh December 23, 2013 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    That's FANTASTIC! Congrats! What a way to start 2014. Oh, what a glorious year this will be.

  9. Angela December 23, 2013 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Love love love! So excited for you 🙂

  10. erin m. December 23, 2013 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    I can't wait to follow your new adventure!

  11. linsey December 23, 2013 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    So I guess I should put some tickets to Ecuador in Brian's stocking?

  12. Kelly December 23, 2013 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Mara and Danny,
    Faithful reader, rare commenter. I just wanted to wish you luck in Cuenca. It looks lovely, and the perfect place to restore and rejuvenate. Who knows what God will bring. Much love, blogger friends, on your journey. Wishing you many continued blessings along the way.


  13. kh December 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    ps-I can't stop thinking about how refreshing and rejuvenating this will be. Hooray for you guys!

  14. April @ Hansen Love December 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    Wow! That is the greatest decision! I hope that everything works smoothly for the both of you! You both need a break from the crazy stuff you have been through and can just take time to relax and be with one another. I am so very happy for the both of you!

  15. Krista December 23, 2013 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    I am so excited to read about your Ecuadorian adventures and to hear you are moving there! From all you have written, it sounds like a great decision and fit for you. I can't wait to read more about your move and all the new adventures to come!

  16. Teneill and Corban December 24, 2013 at 12:32 am - Reply

    How exciting for you two! What an adventure! What's the health care like there?

  17. Kristelle Larsen December 24, 2013 at 1:13 am - Reply

    I think that is awesome. The pictures are gorgeous. I am sad I was never able to meet you in person before you left for your big adventure. I am moving soon to…Wisconsin. Not as exotic but still an adventure.

  18. Anonymous December 24, 2013 at 1:34 am - Reply

    Congrats on your big move! Having explored the whole South American continent, just a little tip, you will be forever with regrets for not having explored Chile while you're there. In my humble opinion, it is hands down the most beautiful place of all.

  19. Michelle Bunt December 24, 2013 at 5:52 am - Reply

    Yay!! I think this is a great opportunity to recharge, rejuvenate and also serve in different ways. Wishing you a smooth transition! Merry Christmas too 🙂

  20. Stacey December 24, 2013 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    This makes me want to move really bad. I haven't been following your blog for that long but I'm very happy for you guys. I pray your time in Ecuador will continue to be wonderful. I just read your recent post, Christmas peace and it was just what I needed. I'm going through a divorce and am getting ready to move back to FL from TX and it's hard. Thank you for your heart. It's beautiful. May God bless you both and I look forward to following along on your adventure.

  21. Morgan Reece December 24, 2013 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    dang. i'm completely jealous! i've always wanted to live abroad and my husband has, too, but we don't know if or when it'll ever happen. he's finishing school and we won't know anything til after that. but….anyway..i love that you guys are taking this leap and just fully living life! so inspiring and exciting. merry christmas!

  22. Angela December 26, 2013 at 5:54 am - Reply

    Danny and Mara, one question I would have: what about your families/church family? My husband and I are childless as well… The main thing holding us back from some kind of similar adventure is my family and our church family. Even though we won't be adding to the brood, we definitely feel that we have necessary roles as mentors and members of this community, especially family. Do you feel comfortable sharing about that at all?

  23. Allison December 26, 2013 at 7:21 am - Reply

    I may just be super emotional today– this is the 4th thing I've cried at… just tonight– all good tears—– but I love this. So excited for both of you!!

  24. Sonel December 27, 2013 at 5:08 am - Reply

    So, so excited for you guys! I can't wait to hear all about a living in Ecuador! I love how informative your posts have been so far!

  25. Leanne Rees December 27, 2013 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    I am so very happy for you Mara and Danny! My boyfriend and I are also embarking on an adventure of a lifetime. we'll be teaching English in China and we leave this Sunday the 29th. I am thinking that perhaps after our year contract in China is up we should try head to Ecuador, it sounds great. Well done and good luck for the plans ahead. Lots of love to you both

  26. Rachel E. Bytheway December 29, 2013 at 6:34 am - Reply

    So neat! My sister-in-law is serving there! Her current area is in Cuenca!!

    • danny December 29, 2013 at 6:59 am - Reply

      Well how bout that…we met her at church when we were there. She and her companion walked with us later that afternoon and helped get to the bishop's house. We had a good chat, she was delightful!

    • Rachel E. Bytheway December 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm - Reply

      No you did not! That is neat!

  27. Andrea Weinberg January 2, 2014 at 1:11 am - Reply

    My heart swells with love for you guys!! So, so inspiring to read this and so, so happy for you both

    (Also, your blog is already a place worth coming to – duh!!)

  28. Christine January 2, 2014 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Keep an eye out for the Herreras at church! They were my parents' next door neighbors for many years and just recently moved to Cuena- wonderful people and we miss them!

    I love your blog, love the peace and hope you share. Thank you:)

  29. SarahC January 6, 2014 at 12:30 am - Reply

    Hi Mara and Danny,
    I just stumbled across your blog this evening (in MA) from a link in the blog. I have been clicking though your posts for over an hour and am so inspired by the little bit that I've learned from your story. Thank you for being so open about it all! Looking forward to reading more. I'm hooked!!
    Much love,

    p.s. love your style, too 🙂

  30. Holly Olsen January 8, 2014 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Yes it does look absolutely beautiful! Lovely pictures. Looking forward to learning more about Cuenca.

  31. Anne January 12, 2014 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Congratulations on your new adventure! I really admire people willing to take big risks and try something new, which is something I really struggle with.

    I know you're not looking for advice, but having lived overseas where I worked in the consular section of the embassy, I want to give you a friendly reminder to register with the American embassy in Quito when you arrive (you can do it online if you want). While it's unlikely there will be any event that would require it, it is important that they know how to get a hold of you in the event of an emergency. Just think of it as piece of mind.

    Best of luck to you. It looks like a lovely place to live.

  32. pkj January 14, 2014 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    Would you mind sharing your tactics for locating the long-term renters for your Brooklyn apartment? My husband and I are going to Paris for 3 months and need to find someone suitable for our place. Would love any tips on how you went about it!

  33. Gardenella January 17, 2014 at 12:52 am - Reply

    It should be pretty easy for you to get a job there. I am from Quito. Universidad San Francisco de Quito has an extension in Cuenca, they prefer to teach in English. Here is the link.

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