2012 Cuenca Perspectives Collage

2012 Cuenca Perspectives Collage


My mission in publishing this blog is first to provide a living history of my settlement and life in Cuenca, and to provide myself and the reader with a journal account delineating my reasons for why I have chosen to settle in Cuenca. Second, the posts are my way of staying in contact with family and friends back in the states, and to provide them with an understanding of a country and culture that most North Americans have little knowledge and awareness. Third, the blog is open to one and all who wish to compare and contrast the experiences of expat bloggers living in Cuenca, so that you can determine whether or not from your perspective Cuenca is an appropriate move for you. Fourth, my blog provides another example of how expats view and interpret life in Cuenca. Ecuadorians and Cuencanos who may read this blog are especially invited to post comments that may enhance all expats understanding and appreciation of Cuneca and its people, or to correct any misinterpretations in my assumptions and perceptions of Cuencano culture. Finally, I hope I can convey the feeling of love and appreciation that grows within me each passing day for this heavenly city nestled in the Andes and its very special people.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


For most expats, who move to Ecuador; the cost-of-living, a nicer climate, and beautiful and diverse scenery­­­­ are many of the pluses that attract folks to make a move to Ecuador, and particularly to Cuenca.  Closely aligned with the advantage of a lower cost-of-living are the advantages afforded to expats who enjoy international traveling.  Thanks to the money saved by not living in the states, expats with a comfortable income can afford to do a good deal more international traveling while living in Ecuador. 

I have lived in Cuenca for over four years now.  While Cuenca is my home, it also serves as a way-station as I travel to other destinations.  Along with one or two trips a year to visit family in the U.S., I also traveled the last two years to other countries in South America and in Europe. 

Last year I enjoyed a long weekend in Mancura, Peru.  I intend to shortly visit Lima as well, and enjoy some of the gastronomical delights of the city with a reputation for some of the finest gourmet restaurants in the world.  Eventually, I would like to visit Medellin, Columbia, which has been a favorite tourist destination with many expats who live in Cuenca.   

Last year, I also spent a total of five weeks in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, and enjoyed both cities immensely.  The food in Brazil is outstandingly good; and from my experience, the Brazilian beef is superior to that in Argentina.  Later in the year, I rendezvoused with my brother and his wife to enjoy a couple of weeks in New Orleans, with its Cajun and Creole foods, and its evening’s of jazz and blues.  This year, I recently returned from a month in Italy; visiting Rome, Florence, the Tuscan countryside, and Venice.  I had extraordinarily great weather, and only a half-an-hour of rain the entire trip. For someone like myself who relishes art and architecture, city-planning, history, and food.  What more could I ask from an extraordinary month in Italy?

If I had been living in the states, the high cost-of-living compared with Ecuador would have prevented me from doing the amount of traveling I am currently enjoying.  This differential would also hold true even with the elimination of the cost of trips back to the states to visit family.  International traveling advantages are just another point which some potential expats may want to consider, if they haven’t already, as among their reasons for a possible relocation to Ecuador.

Sunday, June 14, 2015


For a month from mid-April through mid-May I traveled in Italy beginning with five nights in Rome, four nights in Venice, seven nights in Florence and the Tuscan countryside, and then my final ten nights in Rome again.  I was blessed with absolutely the best weather with which anyone could imagine.  The temperatures were always in the 70's and 80's with only my last day in Rome hitting ninety degrees.  During the entire month, I had exactly one-half hour of rain when I first arrived in Venice, and that was it.  I love history, art and architecture, walking cities for hours, exploring residential neighborhoods, visiting museums, sitting for hours in sidewalk cafes and people watching, visiting with everybody with whom I conversed, and eating some of the finest cuisine in the world.  Italy was everything I had dreamt it would be and more.

Below you will find one album link and seven story links of my travels.  Many stories offer a narration as well, especially the album.  I had more narrations on some of the others, but Google Plus messed me up.  I hope in time to do one more album of the art in the Guggenheim Museum in Venice.  I loved the works in the museum, so I only showed a sample in the Venice story below.  I may also edit all the emails I sent to friends during my time in Italy, and link them as well.  Time will tell.

I hope you enjoy whatever you choose to view, that it brings back memories for those of you who may have visited the same sights at one time, and that the album and stories may whet your appetites to visit Italia if you have not already done so.  Hopefully, in the process you may also learn something more about another culture and some of its contributions to Western Civilization. (Sorry, you are not going to get the teacher and the curriculum and instructional administrator out of me.)

The album is entitled, "The Trastevere Area of Rome".  Click on the link and it will take you to the album.  You will be able to view all of the photos on display.  If you wish to see each photo close-up, you click on the photo, and you will also be able to read the narration when applicable to the particular photo.  If you click on for the full photo and wish to continue in the mode with the narration, just click the arrow under each of the photos to forward to the next photo:


The following links are stories organized by Google Plus as I uploaded my photos from my camera to the computer,  and Google Plus further organized all the photos in chronological order during my travels,  I deleted or added photos not originally used by Google Plus for the story, and I wrote my own comments or narration:  (If the comments are not fully visible, you need to click your down key when you are at the end of the comment to continue reading.)  Also, a broader narration is provided for many photos when you click on the actual photo:

Friday in Rome:  A Story by James Mola


Venice:  Jim on the Heels of Marco Polo:  A Story by James Mola


Thursday in Venice:  A Story by James Mola


Trip to Florence and Siena:  A Story by James Mola


Trip to Rome:  A Story by James Mola


Wednesday in Tivoli:  A Story by James Mola


Final Weekend in Rome:  A Story by James Mola