I wanted to let everyone know about our newest advertiser – who is not a Gooooo guhl advertiser! Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental (click here for more; or see the ad on the right side column of the main page; should be live now).
They can help you plan the trip of a lifetime – guided or unguided – through the beautiful backcountry of Ecuador. They offer mountain bike, 4×4 and dual-sport motorcycle tours – all equipment, support (including meals and lodging) provided.
Equally important, Ecuador Freedom specifically contacted EPautos to advertise with us because they want to support liberty-minded media. You can help, too – by supporting our advertisers, including Ecuador Freedom.
And have a helluva good time, too!
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I’ve checked their website, and I would SO LOVE to take a trip with them! That looks like an adventure of a lifetime… 🙂
As for expatting, I’m of mixed mind about it. While I can’t speak about the rest of South America, I do know Peru well; I made 8 trips there with a mind to possibly moving there. Here’s what I observed…
On the downside, even if you could get your vehicles down there, it would be expensive to do so. My brother offered me his old Yamaha Maxim 700, a sporty cruiser style bike. Back in the early or mid 00s, it would have cost me $1,000 to ship it from FL to NJ; it has to be the same, if not more, now. Can you imagine how much it would cost to ship your vehicles out of the country? Oh, and forget driving in Lima; it’s a zoo! Traffic there is so bad that it makes NYC or DC look good; I’m serious! Unless you can either live in the boonies or in the pricey sections of the big cities, your cars and bikes will be on the thieves’ radar.
Airport security has gotten noticeably tighter since I first went to Peru in 2014. When I returned from my first trip there, it was like pre 9/11 was here. Now, you have to remove your shoes, belt, etc. and go through a metal detector. That begs the obvious question: how much longer before they start X-Raying and/or groping passengers as they do here? The trends are clearly heading in that direction.
Expect the domestic violence and divorce laws to tighten up. During my last two trips to Peru, there were PSAs on TV and radio about domestic violence; they sounded much like the PSAs we heard here pre-OJ. Thanks to OJ, we got laws like VAWA, which eviscerate our rights. I could see a Peruvian style VAWA being passed there at some point, probably within the next 15-20 years.
Nuisance laws are being passed too. For example, you’ll see signs with picture of a pigeon within the circle and slash; below that, the signs say, “No alimentar las palomas”, or don’t feed the pigeons. The fine is like 540 soles, or $164 and change as I write this. This is a FORTUNE for Peruvians! It’s not a small amount for most of us, either. Though they don’t quite have the police manpower to consistently enforce these laws yet, the point is that they’re on the books. My ex GF’s elderly father liked to feed the pigeons in the park by his house, but he doesn’t anymore. Why? Because people bitch about the pigeons’ excrement and its threat to health, so they threaten to call the cops on him.
Peru, though it’s more well off than it used to be, isn’t quite First World yet. The poorer parts of Lima are Third Worldish, while the nice parts (which have American housing prices and rents, BTW) are more First World. Even so, the quality of goods that can be purchased down there isn’t the same as here.
For example, you can get Nike sneakers down there. HOWEVER-they will cost more down there, and the quality will be less. It’s the same with everything. Companies ship their higher quality goods to the US, and ship lower quality things down there.
Certain things, like special foot supports for those suffering with plantar fasciitis would need, are not available at all. Though they have a fair amount of medicines available down there, it’s not the same as here. Either the type of medicine you may need isn’t available at all, or it’s not in the form you normally use; that is to say your medication may only be available in tablet, not capsule, form.
Then, there’s the biggie: you’ll ALWAYS be the foreigner wherever you go. Even if you have a support system in place as I do, you’ll always be the foreigner. My GF would always be telling me that so & so saw me, what I was doing, etc. Unless you’re going to another western country with a sizable white population, you’ll stand out.
That said, there are some good points to the country. One, there are cars and motorcycles available there that we cannot get here. There’s more personal freedom. Cops don’t bother you for the most part.
In Peru, you’ll see a LOT of cars that we can’t get here. The Chevy Sail, which you wrote about, is UBIQUITOUS down there; they’re everywhere! Cabbies like them a lot. You’ll see Chinese marques such as BYD, Chery, Geely, and Great Wall are common there too.
You’ll also see motorcycles you can’t get here. Lifan, Ronco, and Zonshen are common there, along with the Big Four. Most motorcycles are 150cc-250cc, because unlike here, motorcycles are used for daily transportation. Economy and practicality rule the day when it comes to motorcycles in Peru. Such is not the case here.
In Peru, you still have more personal freedom than you do here. Though they don’t have all the medicines we do, they have most of the more common ones. Many of the medicines requiring a prescription here can be bought over the counter there. In most cases, if you know what medicine you need, you can simply walk into any pharmacy and buy it. I like that!
The cops in Peru leave you alone. Unless you do something MAJOR, they don’t bother you. Though I haven’t had to deal with them, they don’t seem to be the steroid jacked, Nazi wannabes that we have here.
Finally, their immigration people are a LOT more pleasant to deal with! Whenever I’ve returned to the US, I get treated like a criminal. That’s right, even though I served in Uncle Sam’s Navy; even though I’m a US citizen; I get treated worse by our immigration people than I do theirs! That is to say that I have an easier time entering Peru than I do RETURNING to the US! That’s pretty sad if you ask me…
So, what’s the point? If you’d asked me five years ago about expatting, there was no question in my mind that it was the better option. Now, after seeing Peru change (and Nunzio’s missionary friend confirmed that the same thing is happening elsewhere in South America) over the last few years, I’m not so sure. Is it, overall, better than here WRT personal freedom? For now, it is. Will it remain that way? Based on the trends I noticed, especially over the last year or so, I don’t think so. I think that, within 15-20 years, Peru will be like the US is now. Since nations around the world are following our example when it comes to loss of personal freedoms, I don’t think expatting is worth it. That means the only choice open to us is to make the US our hill to die on…
You know, it really would be tempting to just liquidate my business, and my personal assets, and just live off of the cash in South America. I may wait until mi madre es muerta. I wish my Spanish was better, lol!
I have two issues with moving… seven, really. Five cats, my Trans Am (which has been with me longer than anything else in my life) and my bikes. If I could get these to my expat redoubt, I’d be more seriously considering it!
There are lots of vehicle shipping companies out there. I see ’em lined up all summer long in Aspen, unloading the Tesla or occasional exotic next to the airport (our office is across the highway, so it makes a useful staging area). Sure, not cheap, but if it’s a one-time cost.
I hesitate to tell you this because it would be the end of EPautos, at least as we know it. My guess is that there’s no press fleet in Ecuador.
I’ve decided to stick it out – foolish as that decision may prove to be. It is always a minority that makes the difference – whether the American Revolution or the Communist takeover in Russia.
But for a win to even be possible, we cannot lose heart – and cede the field. At least, I cannot. Let them come. My divorce has liberated me. I am no longer responsible for a wife; I do not have kids. It is just me. And I am prepared to take the risk.
Oh shit, I wanna see some cloud forest sloths. Quick, somebody figure out how we can get down there without flying
This is fucking cool Eric,
Your word is getting out there!!!!
I thought so, too! The owner is a good dude; one of Our Kind – really glad to have him and his company with us !
Moreno is actually way more business friendly than anyone expected. The government runs ads now to make sure people respect intellectual property and no more ads to encourage politically correct speech as we had under Correa. Its a nice change.
Excellent, how did he or his entourage manage that? I saw and resisted the evil of PC here as early as the 1980s, but for some reason, people here will not acknowledge that it is the antithesis of free speech. I think people here are delusional, believing some utopian Pleasantville can be forced into existence. There are also plenty of crooked bureaucrats who use that delusion to manipulate the public accordingly. Honestly, the need to control and manipulate other people is so infantile, and yet that is the way this society behaves, more and more. I believe my Grandparents’ generation (born at the turn of the 20th century) had the greatest appreciation for what freedoms we had just prior to the turn of this century. I believe I identify more with them than my parents’ generation. Problem is, it’s the baby-boomers who cave entrenched themselves in our system now, and they have always wanted things their way, constitutionally, illegally, however they can get it.
Most of my generation is riding on the coat tails of baby-boomer prosperity, so they go along with the garbage that is escalating here, fearing they may lose what material prosperity they have, by rocking the boat.
Or maybe it’s just the fact that this society has gotten so far out of touch with reality, life, death, humanity.
I have a hunch that the gradual abandonment of critical thinking as a part of education has a lot to do with this. I would like to believe that other nations are coming into their own as far as free speach, and humanity goes, even though ours is become one of repression and totalitarianism. Isn’t it ironic how prosperous China has become through their adoption of a free-market economy, even though they still maintain a Communist government? And all the while our own bureaucrats here keep pushing for further reaching socialist agendas. Even the Republic Rome had created wasn’t immune from corruption from within, I’m not really surprised ours is going the same way, just disappointed. I suspect technology is outpacing the wisdom and discretion of those wielding it, and prosperity is no longer earned but doled out by proxy. It is a cycle repeated throughout history, and still goes largely unheeded by the masses, civilized or not. Prosperity can often lead people to be arrogant and contemptuous, greedy and deceptive, self-righteous and tyrannical. Maybe a another plague of holocaust would restore some humility and humanity to these people, i don’t know. I certainly don’t want to be the one holding the throttle when this train wrecks, if you follow me! Glad to hear things are improving out your way, nonetheless, and best wishes!
Couldn’t have summed it up better than this myself..just lots of old money and proud college grads stinkin up the place.
Is there any demand there for a 50-something, over-educated auto mechanic there?
Ok, Screw everything I said today, I’m going to Ecuador, Viva Moreno! Si!