Amelia And JP
Social Media & Websites
In 2017, after JP had 2 major spinal surgeries, we could no longer afford healthcare or health insurance in the United States.
After a lot of research and soul searching, we decided to sell everything we owned, move to Ecuador with our two dogs, and launch a YouTube Channel to show others how to live a higher quality of life for a lower cost of living and escape the hamster wheel like we did.
Each week, we share entertaining and inspirational videos about living and working online in our small South American country.
We were living the dream. We owned a nice house in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado. We drove nice cars. We had a nice, conventional life. But then everything changed.
One afternoon, while walking our dog around the neighborhood, I found it increasingly difficult to lift my feet. My legs felt heavier and heavier with each step. I had noticed some strange nerve sensations over the previous few months, but never weakness like this.
Struggling to walk, I finally made it home and called Amelia, then my doctor. An hour later, I was in the doctor’s office getting my blood drawn. They ran a battery of tests to see if I had ALS or some other terrifying neurological disease. My life flashed before my eyes. Luckily, those tests came back negative.
The next step was an MRI, which revealed a shattered disc in my neck that had nearly pinched off my spinal cord, plus 3 pancaked discs in my lower back. Soon after, I was in emergency surgery to replace the disc in my neck, and four months later I was in surgery again for a 5-level lumbar fusion.
My spine was literally falling apart at age 43. My life would never be the same.
Those two surgeries cost nearly ONE MILLION DOLLARS! My insurance covered most of it, right before they canceled the plan I was on, and my new insurance was going to cost $1,200/month. After being out of work for almost a year while I relearned how to walk and manage the pain, that was simply unaffordable. We didn’t know what to do.
The whole experience made us take stock of our lives. We asked ourselves if any of it really mattered. The house? The cars? The stuff? The dream? We were given the gift of more life just when we thought it was about to end, and we didn’t want to waste it.
That’s when we made the decision to sell everything we owned, move to South America with our two dogs, and live our unconventional life in Ecuador. We chose Ecuador for a variety of reasons, one being the excellent, affordable healthcare, which is something I have to think about for the rest of my life.
After living in Ecuador for a year, we decided to start sharing our story and our lives on YouTube. We wanted to encourage other people to take a risk; to live a different, more Unconventional life.
Since we first pressed record in 2018, we’ve posted several hundred videos sharing nearly every aspect of our lives in Ecuador. From trips to the mercado to an interview with a health insurance agent to a dental procedure, if you want to know something about Ecuador, we’ve probably covered it.
We post videos every week on YouTube. We’ve been told they’re informational, but many of our subscribers say they watch just to smile and laugh along with us. We sincerely hope our “joie de vivre” is contagious!
Amelia and I are so fortunate and thankful to be living our unconventional life here in Ecuador. We hope you’ll join us by following your own incredible adventure!