Expat Profile – Neil Mailer

Hailing from Calgary, Canada Neil Mailer is a young entrepreneur living in Cuenca Ecuador trying to carve out a piece of the action and take his passion for travel and adventure across the country.  A Good Samaritan, sports enthusiast, washed-up athlete, card player and jack of all trades. Neil is a self-made thousandaire looking to make a life with his girlfriend and his French bulldog Sophie south of the Equator.

Where was the last place you lived before moving to Cuenca?

Before coming to Cuenca I lived in Calgary Alberta. Spent nearly all of my 30 years there before I got on a plane to South America

Why Cuenca?

The short answer, I fell in love. I had always wanted to see what life was like in other countries around the world. Cuenca was never on the map really. I was dating a girl back in Calgary who was planning on moving here and the opportunity presented itself. I jumped in head first.  I’ve been here now for just shy of 2 years.

What do you like most about Cuenca?

Cuenca is changing every day. There has been so much progress even in the 2 years I have been here. We all get to watch the city grow up into the world. I really enjoy the combination of the new and old meeting to create this unique cultural fusion that we all get to be a part of.

What was your profession before you retired?

Well, seeing as I am only 32, retirement is way off into the future.  I have done a little bit of everything over my lifetime. Everything ranging from a mechanic, car salesman, framer, cabinet designer, drafter, custom home superintendent and lastly, before coming to Cuenca I was a Project Manager for a multi-family home developer. I am currently working in the vibrant online marketing world. This has given me the opportunity to travel and see so much of this incredible country. With so much left to discover, something tells me that the fun is only just beginning.

If you could go back in time, would you do something different, and if so, what?

I really wouldn’t change a thing. Sure I’ve made some bad decisions but I’ve made some pretty great ones too. All of those experiences have made me who I am today. I guess if I had to pick something I would go back in time and invest in Google.

What’s the magic Formula for Success?

My 2 step magic formula for success: 1) Never reveal everything.

Do you make friends easily?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I am definitely a talkative person so that works for and against me sometimes.

What’s your favorite pig out food?

Sushi, no question! There hasn’t been a city I have visited with my girlfriend that didn’t involve copious amounts of sushi. Noe definitely raised the bar for us.

What do you do for exercise?

Outside of going to the gym and the occasional yoga class… not much anymore. That’s probably been the most difficult part about living in Cuenca for me. I played multiple sports year round back home. Golf, baseball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, volleyball and skiing to name a few… I would love to start a co-ed sports league here one day

If you could get rid of one state in the US which would it be and why?

Alaska could be Canada and no one would know the difference. Outside of Russia being right next door and a couple military bases that they would have put there anyway, I don’t see how much of an impact Alaska makes for the US anymore. They would have had a few less natural disasters. Plus how many Americans actually go to Alaska? I think they could do without it.

How do you make a tuna sandwich?

You don’t. Make a ham and cheese sandwich instead, Throw some Sriracha on it, toss it in the frying pan, brown up both sides and call it a day!

How would you cure world hunger?

I think the answer to this is multi-level and deserves much more space and attention but I think we can take a step in the right direction by promoting urban farming. Almost one-quarter of undernourished people live in an urban environment. Urban farming empowers families to gain control over their own food source. I think another huge problem to world hunger is the access to education. Education is the best weapon against poverty and hunger. It is especially powerful in underdeveloped countries. Education means better opportunity and more access to income and food. Some countries even have food-for-education programs where students are given free food for coming to school. I think this could be life saving in many under developed nations.

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