One of the great advantages of traveling is the wonderful opportunity to take time for relaxation. Ecuador is a beautiful country with a variety of climates, so a few weeks ago I traveled to the coast of Ecuador. The coast is hot and tropical while the center of the country is mountainous and cold. Since I live in the mountains, and right now it is the rainy season, I like to go to the coast and enjoy the beach and sun.
Hostels – Finding Accommodations that are Safe, Inexpensive, and Friendly
When traveling the primary thing to confirm is where to live when you get to your destination. A lot of people like to stay in hostels. These are less expensive than hotels, and they also have a family atmosphere. However, remember with everything there are advantages and disadvantages.
Advantage: I went to a hostel where the owners were very friendly, which is nice because if you go to a place where you do not speak the language you can practice with the people staying in the hostel. For example, there was a traveler from England who did not speak any Spanish, so he would hang out in the common areas and talk to the owners and others that were at the hostel. He would help them learn to speak English while he practiced speaking Spanish. That is the beauty of hostels, there is always a common area where you can meet people from all around the world who are visiting the country, making it easy to create new friendships.
Disadvantage: You have to be careful about what hostel to stay in because some are not very secure, and it is not uncommon sometimes to share rooms and bathrooms with strangers. I recommend going to hostels that are approved by Hosteling International or ones that have come recommended by other travelers.
Hostal SASS in Playas, Ecuador. A wonderful place to stay and a great seafood restaurant.
Leisure – Being in the Moment, Making Time to Unwind, and Trying New Things
Once you are settled in your hostel it is time to start the real relaxation. The coast is wonderful because you can sit on the beach and unwind. The coast is also filled with very friendly people. While sitting on the beach people came up to me just to talk. I recognized that they wanted to know about me just as much as I wanted to know about them.
I also stopped for a moment to watch people fishing. It was very different than what I have seen. They throw out a big net and then bring the fish to shore. Fishing is a family affair in Playas; the whole family helps to gather the catch of the day!
Lastly, don’t forget to take time to try new foods. Being on the coast I couldn’t resist eating a lot of seafood. However, being in a different country means you have to be careful about the types of foods you try because you can easily get sick. The best thing to do: go to places that are recommended by other travelers.
Fishing on the beach in Playas, Ecuador. The birds are doing a little fishing, too.
Photo Credit: Erika Turpin
Erika is the Travel Contributor for the Phoenix Rising Collective. She is an English as a Foreign Language Teacher, who lives in Cuenca, Ecuador. To express her passion for sharing her traveling and cultural experiences, she shares a verse from her spiritual practice, “Jehovah himself gives the saying; the women telling the good news are a large army.”(Psalm 68:11) Furthermore, “why should women travel the world? Learning about women of all different cultures all around the world helps us to become connected and understand ourselves better. Many women around the world don’t understand their true worth, we must help and love each other.”