I would like to start out this post by apologizing for not putting a post on in – oh my god – 43 days! Rest assured, this does not mean that we have taken a sudden shift in our decision to move to Panama – on the contrary, it is all we talk about. During the last 6 weeks we have been working on our itinerary for our upcoming trip to Panama from Dec 7-21. We have done a lot more research on where to live and what would be our “dream retirement spot”. Now I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but D and I (mostly D) is a “researcher”. He researches everything to death :). This sometimes can make it very difficult to make a decision. Heck, I remember it taking him months to decide which flat screen TV or vehicle to buy. (That being said, he still isn’t as bad as a good engineer friend of ours who took a year to replace his toilet because it had to be “just right” – lol).
So after much discussion, and all the information and research we have done on moving to another country, we have decided to take heed and listen to what other expats have suggested, and have decided, for us, the best thing to do would be to rent first. This will give us the opportunity to get a “better feel” of all the different areas of Panama to help us decide which area is really right for us. I am sure this is because of two things called fear and apprehension that are creeping in with our d-date fast approaching. So for our upcoming trip to Panama we have decided to first take a closer look at Coronado, Gorgona, and the surrounding areas because of the high volume of expats in this area. D and I are feeling that renting in an area where most North American amenities that we are accustomed to are more readily available will make the initial transition easier and may alleviate the culture shock phase that a lot of expats experience after being away from their native land for an indefinite amount of time (not to mention the close proximity to Panama City).
Stop number two for us will be Bocas del Toro. Why Bocas del Toro you may wonder being that we want to be close to amenities? For D and I, Bocas del Toro has a lot of intrigue and many beautiful islands, so for us being that we love the beaches and sand, not to mention scuba diving (we are both certified divers) these islands really capture our interest and now that we are looking at renting instead of buying initially, Bocas del Toro has a lot to offer us in the way of leisure activities and isn’t that what moving to new country is all about – exploring all our options?? If nothing else, Bocas del Toro, for us will be our vacationee part of our vacation (if that is such a word), where we can just unwind for a few days and enjoy the warm ocean breezes.
Our third and final exploration destination on this trip will again be Boca Chica and surrounding area. We also like this area because of the close proximity to beaches and to the city of David which again has all amenities that we feel we will need to make our transition easier. We LOVED Boca Chica and Las Lajas on our first visit but only spent 1 1/2 days here last time, so will be spending a good portion of our stay (8 days) in this area the second time around. Friends of ours from home will be joining us for this portion of our vacation as well as they have been showing a genuine interest in also moving to Panama (although they will not be ready to do so for at least five years). We have been told by them that we are the guinea pigs, doing all the research and figuring out all the ins and outs, paving the way for them and others who have only dreamed of moving to a warm, tropical paradise with a much lower cost of living, but who are too afraid to make the move – lol.
And so here it is, trip number two in a nutshell! Sounds easy doesn’t it? Not really – lol. Like I said earlier, for us to get this itinerary in place has been somewhat of a challenge (we had to change our AirPanama flights twice already) given our indecisiveness but we are very happy with the final outcome – and are SOOOO looking forward to once again visiting this beautiful country. Until next time :)!