Why Panama?

Why in the heck are you moving to Panama?

Well, there are several reasons we chose Panama. I was looking for an affordable place where the three of us could live for less than $2,000/month. I did a ton of research on Google, and found that there are quite a few places where this budget will work- mostly in southeast Asia and Central and South America.

I have some digestive issues, so I was afraid that southeast Asia and I would not get along food-wise, so, I looked into Central and South America more. Naturally, I started with Costa Rica- it is such a popular destination for American expats. But then I found Panama. My research has led me to believe that we can get an equally safe/safer lifestyle with decent infrastructure and good healthcare options for even less money.

I also like the idea that I can choose to pursue residency there with the Friendly Nations Visa. I am not retired, nor do I have a pension, nor do I have thousands of dollars just laying around that I can use to purchase property, so most other countries’ residency programs don’t work for me.

I also like the idea of being relatively close to not just one, but two different oceans. I am a scuba diver, and absolutely adore the ocean. I hope to eventually live closer to the beach, but I’m not sure which side I will prefer. We will use our condo as a home base to explore and perhaps find a more permanent place to settle (or, maybe we will love the area where our condo is even more!).

So What’s Your Plan Once You Get There?

I have a nice little condo lined up for us to rent about 50 minutes outside of David. The owner seems extremely nice and helpful, and he is Canadian, so I don’t have to worry about a language barrier with my landlord. He also lives on the property, too, so that makes me feel good from a security standpoint.

I plan to have all of my paperwork gathered and apositilled before I arrive, so, if we decide that we do want to make Panama a more permanent home, we will be prepared to start the residency process.

What About The Kids’ Education?

Obviously, the kids’ schooling is very important to me. From what I hear, the Panamanian school system leaves something to be desired, and so I have decided to homeschool the the kiddos. I was homeschooled myself, and swore I would never homeschool my own kids (oh, how those words come back to haunt me now!), but, aside from rather expensive international schools, there really aren’t many good options for us there.

Maybe we will come back to the states for high school, or maybe my internet businesses will be more steady to the point that I can better afford one of the international schools in Panama. Or, perhaps, our wanderlust will have kicked in again and we won’t even be in Panama anymore. We will get there when we get there. But, for now, we homeschool.

Obviously, the purpose of this blog is to keep you posted on this whole process. I’m sure there will be all kinds of craziness along the way, but that’s what makes life interesting, right? 🙂

If you have any tips or helpful info for us, I’d love for you to post them in the comments below!

And So It Begins!

panamom-garage-sale

Alright, its on like Donkey Kong now! We had our garage sale this weekend in an effort to downsize our possessions to prep for our move to Panama in January. Its funny how much stuff you can accumulate without even realizing it!

To think of the thousands of dollars worth of stuff stacked all over my driveway…. stuff the kids played with only a few times (or, in a few cases, not even once!)…. It will be so freeing to get them out of this “Culture of Stuff” and reset in a place where we can actually have the space to focus on what we really want our lives to look like.

That’s one of the biggest lessons I hope the boys take away from our Panama adventure- you don’t need “things” to make you a whole, complete person. You don’t need to hide from yourself or your problems behind “stuff.” You are already whole and complete, and YOU can choose exactly how you define yourself. Your toys and games and bikes and video games should only exist to give you pleasure, and they should never weigh you down or change you as a person. I am hoping that, by stepping into a place where many people have fewer things, that A) they will learn that they don’t need as much to feel satisfied and happy with their lives, and, B) that they will learn to appreciate the things that they do have a lot more.