‘I miss the openness of people in Ecuador – the warmth. They have less money but they have big hearts and big souls and are ready to take you in at any moment. Here it’s a bit colder. This is why I lived in Newtown for so long because it kind of reminded me of that open attitude that South America has.’

What advice would you give Australians about how to improve their lifestyle based on life in Ecuador?

‘Know your neighbour and look at people in the eyes. Give people real hugs. Feel them – don’t just do it because it’s a social courtesy to do it. And just relax a little bit. Stop thinking so much about money and travel as much as you can.’

Do you know your neighbours?

‘I try to but they won’t even look at me in the eyes so I can’t! They won’t even look at me so it’s really hard to even crack a smile.

‘If you just smile at one person they might be having a crappy day and might not smile back. You might feel a little bit sensitive about it but they feel the warmth and they’re probably more likely to smile at the next person they meet. It’s about making a difference in the world step by step. You don’t have to do huge amazing things.’

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