Leaving Home for Home

Snorkeling in the water right off of Isla de la Plata.

Somehow, we’ve reached the end of our two weeks in Ecuador. But not quite, either. You’ll have to stay until the end to see what I mean by that…

Our last full day in Ecuador began with us taking a boat bright and early to Isla de la Plata. It was an hour there and back, and we went to see native animals like frigate birds and blue-footed boobies. All around us during the hike were the sounds of birds making calls to each other and doing mating dances. We swam with sea turtles, tropical fish, pufferfish, and dove off the top of the boat. Luckily, I had my GoPro with me the whole time, so I recorded all of us swimming and the fish circling my arm underwater. We saw dolphins swimming and jumping alongside the boat as we boated there as well which was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

Unfortunately, we had some trouble getting back to the US. While flying from Guayaquil to Quito, we found out that our flight from Quito to Atlanta was delayed 8 hours, meaning most of us would miss our connecting flight back to our home city. So we sat in the Quito airport trying to figure out our flight changes, checking bags left and right, and attempting to figure out the airport signs in Spanish. Eventually, we figured it out, but it involved staying awake in the Quito airport all night long until we checked our bags at 4am to make sure our flights weren’t changed again. I bounced between airports all day, lounging in some of the largest airports in two countries in a sweat suit with some books and movies, and I had lots of time to reflect on the trip. The second I left everyone in Atlanta to head to my gate to head back to my home town, I felt all of the joyful moments of the trip mixed with the sadness of leaving everyone and a country I’d come to think of as a second home.

Ecuador is a beautiful place. It’s so wild and natural and unique and exciting. If you ever get the chance, GO. It will change your life.

Signing off for the last time,


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