I left home in Ireland at 2am on the fourth of July and when I arrived in Dublin airport the journey truly began.I checked in my suitcase and quickly said goodbye to my parents and my sister who had come to see me off. As emotional as I was to leave them I was extremely excited to begin my lengthy journey to Ecuador. I navigated my way through security and finally boarded my plane. It took two hours to arrive in Frankfurt. Frankfurt is a massive airport and was overwhelming at the beginning. I got a bus from the runway to the connecting flights terminal, where I then took a train to get to where my flight was leaving from. The flight from Frankfurt to Panama was extremely long but I spent most of it sleeping! Then it was only a short flight from there to arrive in Quito.
I was picked up by a lovely couple who then took me to my host family in Quito. I was exhausted at this point and when I got there I went straight to bed. It took me a few days to adjust into the time difference, altitude and speaking Spanish all the time. I found that my Spanish lessons I had there were such a great help and the teacher was so accommodating.
When I began traveling around with a group of students from America the real fun began! We visited so many amazing places, including Mindo cloud forest, Riobamba, Baños and The Amazon Rainforest. Ecuador is a very diverse country and has so much to offer. Everyone there is willing and eager to teach you about their country and heritage. For me Mindo was one of the main highlights. We stayed in a house that was built to conserve the nature all around it, there was no windows or doors and there was an amazing river right outside that was so peaceful to listen to. It was a great time to relax and have downtime and to not have contact with anyone outside of the forest.
Also, during my stay in Ecuador I encountered a lot of male attention, such as catcalling and wolf whistling. This isn’t very common in Ireland and was something I had to learn to ignore while I was there. My host family were extremely kind and helped me understand how to ignore it and keep walking.
To end I loved every minute of my time in Ecuador and made friends that I hope to keep forever. I learned so many new and interesting things that I will never forget and my Spanish improved greatly. For anyone thinking about going abroad I would recommend Ecuador in a heartbeat. Most people fear the unknown but that’s where you find the most amazing things.
About the Author:
Name: Lucy Murphy
Age: Under 18