Why travel to Loja Ecuador?

Streaming love in Loja Province, photo by Nathaly Poma

"Travel changes the way we imagine our home places. We suddenly see them as fragile, strange, and worth savoring in new ways. . . .We see the landscapes we know in relation to other places; we are moved to change how we think at both local and global scales." - Ann Lowenhaupt Tsing, Friction (2005)

In October of 2019 I had an opportunity to spend some time with a young woman traveler who is hiking/walking the entire length of the Americas, from the southernmost tip of Argentina to the northernmost point of Alaska. Australian Lucy Barnard and her dog (otherwise known as Tangles + Tail) passed through Loja and her story is a great reminder of why travel is important to one's personal and spiritual growth.

Lucy and dog enjoying a Loja burger
A few years ago Lucy was in a bicycle race that ended (for her) when a car pulled in front of her without time for her to stop or turn. It resulted in both a spinal injury and brain concussion, among other scrapes and bruises. How does one come back from a thing like that? Rehab, yes, but also a goal to challenge the will and body and mind. Thus, a trek never before done by a woman.

Lucy is an incredible inspiration for everyone who hears about her journey. And, of course, few if any of us would undertake such an extreme travel. Yet, while she discovers the world one footstep at a time, all the rest of us can enjoy the benefits of travel in more user-friendly ways.

Seeing other parts of the world different from one's hometown (or state/province or country) expands our understanding and appreciation for both the beauty of the natural planet and for the variety of people and cultures who occupy it.

The quote above from Ms. Tsing starts to get to it. In a way, it is a rewording of a more famous quote by T. S. Eliot: "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

A view of the city at dusk
Travel is more than experiencing new places and people - it is about finding our own place in the cosmos. We can only appreciate what we have by leaving our comfort zone to adventure. We can only comprehend ourselves better - our motives and drives, our likes and dislikes - by contrasting and comparing with different environs.

Many of us feel like the world is smaller because of the internet and fast jet aircraft. We can see videos from foreign countries or chat online with people we've never met. Maybe we read books and magazines and travelogs to broaden our horizons from our armchairs at home. But none of this can compare to going and actually seeing the sunsets for ourselves, actually eating the local foods, moving among the natives of a land and being a live witness to their daily rituals.

Travel is as important as breathing. Travel is necessary for growth. Travel makes us and shapes us. And when we return home we see our homes in a new light, perhaps really knowing the place as if for the first time.

Loja - both the city and the province - is a fantastic travel destination. There is so much to see and do and experience here that it is a great pleasure for us at 'Life in Loja' to share this gem of the Andes with travelers. We are known for our Arabica coffees, traditional folk dances, mountain views, sugarcane farms, flowering trees, handcrafted jewelry, history and stories, and most of all, for our smiles. Come, we are waiting for you.

Coffee farm casa in Loja Ecuador

This blog post is an example of how the team at 'Life in Loja' helps tourists and visitors, expats and immigrants, to better appreciate the many aspects of living in Loja, Ecuador. If you would like to know more about our custom tours and relocation services then contact us by email or phone/WhatsApp at 593-098-674-5994 to begin a conversation.


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