Sometimes we find ourselves measuring the distance of our journey by the amount of border crossings we have completed; other times by the amount of time that has gone by. But there is no measuring magic, like the magic that happens when we cross that invisible territory line and are once again teleported into a different world. And in the case of Ecuador, it was the Middle of the World.
Ecuador was our 10th border crossing, and it didn’t take long for this country’s story to unfold. As we drove on the seemingly uninhabited, wide-stretched and perfectly paved multi-lane roads, we were immediately struck by the massive peaks, volcanoes and valleys that stretched the land throughout this relatively small country. From the Paramo of the vast, high, chilly Vicuña-filled Andean Peaks to the lush, green, humid avian-filled cloud forests and Amazon Jungle, Ecuador boasted enormous diversity, which allowed us to experience a wide range of different adventures in a short amount of time.
With town names translating, “Plain as Big as the Sky” and “The Middle of the World,” and where the northern and southern skies can be viewed on the same starry night, there was no denying that the unfolding story of Ecuador was E X P A N S I V E. With this expanse, our hearts, lungs and consciousness followed suit – and not just from the high elevations (reaching upwards of 20,000 feet), but from the vast space that made way for greater vision. It’s the Middle (of the World) after all. Where else can one gain greater perspective than from the middle?