Was That a Sign From the Universe? Possibly

Since I was still awake at midnight-ish I checked my phone when it beeped. This is something I usually don’t bother doing as most of the notices are about “special offers” from the phone company that I won’t want to miss.

This one was different.

Date: Thu, Nov 01, 2018 10:01 pm
To: <>
Cc: “Votey” <>
Dear Jody

Warmest Regards from TNTO Travel and Tours!

Apologize for our company not accept payment through MASTER CARD .

We accept payment by cash or transfer through any Bank in Cambodia .

Thank you very much for your well cooperation.

Should you need any  inquiries please feel free to contact us.


Last week, I booked a ticket to Colombo, Sri Lanka for 9 November as I am feeling restless again. Why not move back to Asia? Different country, different continent, they are about the same, really. I need to be done and dusted with Ecuador by 22 December.

J – making plans

Sri Lanka was ideal as I’ve never been there and it would be country number 108. The only person I know from Colombo is Anosha and she now lives in Singapore, but visits regularly. And I don’t speak Tamil. Neither am I likely to learn as I am still stumbling around in Spanish.

When I read the above message, I had a sudden flash that it was a puff of ju-ju smoke, an Insha’Allah, and a slice of karma.

The message – as I interpreted it – was that the universe wanted to keep me wrapped in its arms in South America.

Consequently, it is back to Plan A to go to Piura, Peru when my tourist visa expires in 47 days.


Moving to Peru

Piura – founded in 1532 – is the oldest city in South America. Just across the border, it is dry windswept desert to the north and the Pacific ocean to the west. It is billed as the “land of eternal summer” which translates as the temperature hovering around 30C all year.

After the cold and chills of Loja it will be wonderful to thaw. And according to the tourist literature, the city centre can be explored in a day.

There is work teaching English in Piura, but I think I’d rather work on-line. As I see it, teaching English on the net is the new waitressing job. Everyone thinks they can do it – wrong – and there is a high turnover

Lingering in Loja

I gave up my apartment on 27 October and had booked into El Cardenal for two days. Darwin and Nathan, his three-year old son, helped me move.

J and Darwin

As I really like it here, I decided to stay for a week before moving on to Manchala, a coastal city close to the border with Peru.

I’m still here and working on a website for the hotel with Remi. Not sure how much longer it will be, but I’d like to stick around until the site is operational.


J, Senora Christina, Remi at El Cardenal Hotel

Leaving Ecuador

When it is time to hop on the bus, there are some wonderful people I will miss here.

Besides Darwin and the Méndez family at El Cardinal, Agusto has carved an engraved place in my heart. I gave him the tablet as a parting gift. I’ve seen him since I moved to the hotel and he doesn’t really understand that I’ll be “gone.” We are just going to leave it at that.

Agusto with his tablet
Agusto and J









Another person I’ve become very fond of is Jose Luis, a bag-packer at the Supermaxi store.

Hey, when was the last time you got an ear-to-ear smile, a handshake, and a kiss on the cheek when you went to get groceries?





Making plans – subject to change

Logically – not that anyone has accused me of that lately – it makes sense to go and live in Peru for 183 days. By then it will be warm enough to head to Canada in June.

Sri Lanka is still on the possibilities map. And the more I check it out, the more I think it would be a good move for July 2019.

Such is the life of we visa-bound nomads who can’t settle long enough to become immigrants.



Featured image courtesy of FelixMittermeir at CCO