Below, you’ll find several frequently asked questions that we received before we moved to Panama. Our final stay lasted from November 2011 to April 2012.
You’re going to Panama?! Why?! We have been talking for the past two-ish years about living in another country. It’s not exactly something on our “bucket-list”, yet it is. We would like to experience another culture, see new views, tour the world, go on mini adventures and get new stamps in our passports. :) (Okay, so that last item isn’t exactly real high on the list, but hey, I’m just being honest!)
Why Panama? It’s simply one of the countries that we’d like to spend a little time in! Argentina, Ireland, and New Zealand are some of the others, but Panama seems the best choice right now. It’s fairly inexpensive to live in, with food being very reasonable, and the weather is great. At least, it is where we’re going. See next question:
Where in Panama? Boquete! In a nutshell, Boquete has a population of about 19,000 and its climate is “refreshingly cooler than that of the lowlands”. We’re talking, about 70 degrees most days. :) It’s about 7 hours drive from Panama City, and an hour’s drive from Costa Rica. It has lots of nice little restaurants, uses the American dollar and lots of retired folks from all around the world live there.
For how long? At this point we’re planning to stay 3-4 months, but who knows, we could end up staying longer if we love it! But don’t worry, we don’t plan to be there forever. We will return to our families and friends in the US and reevaluate the job progress and everything. 6 months is as long as you can stay in Panama on a travelers visa, and if we end up staying longer, all we have to do is leave the country for a day, and return. Easy!
Why now? I know, it almost seems unwise to leave the country when Daniel doesn’t have a job, but we’re looking at this way: Why not now? :) We don’t have a 9-5 job to tie us down, the house we’ve been renting has now sold (so we’d need to find a new home anyway), Natasha is young and easy to cart around (and she doesn’t have lots of siblings…yet), and if we don’t do it now while we can, we’ll probably regret it. Plus, since we don’t have a regular income, anything that doesn’t take so much money to live, sounds good to me. And the cost of living is incredibly less down there. Cheers!
Do you speak Spanish? Not really. But, we’re eager and willing and ready to learn! That IS one of the things on my bucket list. Because of all the tourists and retirees in Boquete, English is rather common. We’re thinking this will be great for Natasha, since she’s just learning to talk and we can teach her both English and Spanish at the same time!
What type of housing? Furnished apartments!
What are you doing with your stuff? Since we will be renting a furnished apartment, we are planning to store all our belongings in a storage unit, with a few exceptions. Our bikes and some garage-type stuff can be stored in my parents barn. We will basically be taking our clothes, a few cooking items and a few toys for Natasha.
What exactly does Daniel do? That is a very good question; one I’m going to have him answer when he has a bit of time. :) The short answer is that he builds websites and uses Google Adsense for income.
What will you do while down there? Aside from all the normal wife and mommying things, like meals, laundry, reading and playing with Natasha, I’m anxious to explore Boquete and walk to little vegetable markets and simply be with my family in a new country. Sadly, my sewing machine will be put in storage. (It’s a tad too heavy to lug all the way to Central America.) But I am really looking forward to doing some handwork, like knitting and maybe some cross stitch. Each of those hobbies can be packed easily. Maybe I’ll even catch up on some reading while Natasha naps! Wouldn’t that be amazing! Of course, I’ll keep up blogging and photographing our life.