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About Jim Santos
Jim Santos is a freelance writer and voice over artist, currently based in east Tennessee after 6 years of living in Salinas, Ecuador on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, exploring that country and three others in South America. He has written and published over 200 articles about living in Ecuador and travel to other locations around the world for the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and various International Living magazines, e-newsletters, and web site content.
In addition to the just released "Living Abroad: Challenging the Myths of Expat Life", "An Uphill Climb: Survivor's Guilt and the Inca Trail" and "The Galápagos Islands:On Your Own and On a Budget" he is also the author of "Ecuador Scouting Trip Itineraries and Travel Guide: An International Living Report" and has edited/updated IL's "Escape to Ecuador" book every year from 2017-2019. He has been a popular speaker on various aspects of life in Ecuador at six expat conferences held in Ecuador and the USA. His blog site (http://jimsantosblog.com) has surpassed the 100,000 readers mark, and he is the host of the upcoming podcast “International Living’s New Rules for Retirement” which will be available (hopefully) later in 2021.
Prior to that he has worked in a wild variety of occupations; a radio DJ, a cook, a bellman, a driver, an in-home day care provider, a teacher, and as a computer/network engineer assigned to support the US Senate to name just a few. Born in 1958 and now semi-retired, he was married to his first wife, Carolyn, for just 22 days short of 25 years. She died of complications arising from cancer in December of 2008. They have two children, a boy and a girl, now adults with children of their own.
He was 50 when she died, morbidly obese, and pretty much ready to run out the clock by himself - but much to his surprise he met and fell in love with another wonderful woman, Rita. Even more surprising, she decided she would like to marry him. He still doesn’t completely understand that.
With Carolyn he had travelled to France and Hawaii, and several other places around the USA. Once Rita and Jim were together, they indulged in a mutual love of travel to see more of the world. He is currently working on two more book projects, including a "satiric conspiracy/cook book/diet plan" and a sci-fi novel. He has also started publishing shorter works in the series "Travels with Jim and Rita", "Short Takes!", and the upcoming "Where Could I Live in Ecuador?"
Jim and Rita plan to continue to indulge in their love of travel and look forward to launching a “roving retirement” lifestyle, spending 2-3 months each exploring as many countries as they can, stopping back in the States a few times a year to visit family (four children and nine grandchildren between them) and friends.
Of course, life has not always been wonderful, and over time Mr. Santos plans to publish more about the good, the bad, and the ugly – as well as the adventure and excitement of living in different countries, and exploring new places.
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NOTE: This story is an excerpt from "An Uphill Climb: Survivor's Guilt and the Inca Trail". This story deals only with the Hike itself, and not any of the personal issues addressed in sometimes painful detail in "An Uphill Climb"
This is not your typical Inca Trail book.
Although you will find practical advice for preparing for the Inca Trail, and follow along with colorful pictures as Jim and Rita make their attempt, you will find much more. There is the story of pain and loss leading up to a new life that should be a happy ending, but instead is tainted by guilt and feelings of unworthiness. You will get a fascinating glimpse of expat life in Ecuador, as the couple take advantage of their home in South America to train in the Andes. As the author shares stories of his first few months as a widower, you will even get a peak behind the curtains of working in the US Senate.
From the ups and downs of the loss of childhood innocence, dealing with cancer and death, finding love again, and fighting depression, you will experience an emotional journey every bit as difficult as the Inca Trail itself just to get to that first checkpoint at Kilometer 82 in Piskacucho, Perú.
After all of the preparation and pain, will they make it to Machu Picchu? If they do, it will be An Uphill Climb.