I arrived in Ecuador three months ago, and in a month I will be on my way home. Five of us spent this past weekend in Tena rafting, visiting Ecuador’s tallest waterfall, and playing with monkeys. Tena marked the last major destination in Ecuador for us, so now it may be time to wind down, finish up final projects for school, and relax in Quito. Wanting to make the most of my last month here, I’ve been thinking about the ten things I will miss most about Ecuador.

10. The incredible street art in Quito.

9. Dinners that only cost $2.50.

8. Crazy bus rides; even though right now I can’t imagine missing them when I get home, I know that I will.

7. That it’s never too cold and never too warm, and you can actually swim in the ocean here.

6. Vendors on the bus selling empanadas and fresh mango.

5. Ecuador’s music.

4. My host family.

3. The natural wonders of Ecuador: birds, monkeys, beaches, waterfalls, sea turtles, lush rainforests, and 20,000 foot volcanoes.

2. Breathing, speaking, living, and dreaming in Spanish.

1. Teaching English every day on the way home from the bus stop to Galo, the security guard at the bakery up the street. I’ve even learned a bit of Quechua from him. As he would say, calla gama, which means hasta luego (which, for you English-speaking gringos, means see you later)!