For those of you who have been following D and I on our quest to find where we want to settle down in Panama, we have finally decided that the Coronado/Santa Clara area is where we want to be. When we initially set out on our journey to find our “happy” place in Panama, to be honest, this area wasn’t even on our radar. We have always maintained that we wanted to be close to the beach but felt also that we wanted to be interspersed in more with the locals like some of the other bloggers have done whom we have met and have been following.
Prior to our departure in December, however, during our never ending research on living abroad, we had read a lot about how “homesickness” and “culture shock” tends to set in with expats once the first few months of vacation/paradise mode have come and gone. And so …… as you know, we altered our already-in-place itinerary for that trip in December to spend at least one day looking for rentals in this area. After returning to Canada in December, we felt pretty certain that this was the area that we wanted to be in. However, we just weren’t comfortable making that decision based on only spending one day in that area, so D went back on January 25 for one more week with three close friends ….. yes he went solo (meaning he left me at home 😥 ….but it was worth the trip. It solidified for us, at least for now, that this is where we want to be. Please see my list below of why we have chosen to make this area our home.
1. Not just one, but many beaches in the area.
2. Many amenities that we are accustomed to are close by. Some of the areas we checked out during this journey were just too “far off the beaten path” for these two “norteamericanos”.
3. Many expats in the community. D and I are planning on taking Spanish classes once we have relocated (after all this is one of the reasons we chose Latin America), but feel it will be nice to be surrounded by many gringos as well so we can still get our “English fix” in.
4. Panama City is only one hour away. This is definitely a plus for when you can’t get what you need locally but also for when we want to make trips back home to visit family and friends and vice versa – no extra flight or long bus commute prior to flying out.
The decision for us hasn’t been an easy one, for we fell in love with every area of Panama that we explored, but for now, to help make our initial transition into Latin America a little easier, it just feels like the right choice….