One Couple’s Journey Through the Pros and Cons of Relocating to Panama
As with all love stories, our romance with Panama began with positive first impressions. Here are just a few.
Panama City is hot, humid and big: It was like walking into a crock pot the night we arrived, and no better the next morning, when we took the bus to David. But when we came back for a couple of days on our way home, we also found it to be vibrant with many things to do and see.
Panamanians are helpful, friendly and smiley: There is an atmosphere of joy that was visible on the faces and the actions of almost everyone we met. Basic kindness and common courtesy appear to be second nature to Panamanians.
Life moves at a slower pace, except for the cars: No one seems to be in a hurry, especially outside Panama City. Don’t expect quick service, punctuality or consistency. But also don’t expect rudeness, indifference or stress. Life chugs along at a leisurely pace. That is, until Panamanians get behind the wheel of their cars. Then everything goes into fast forward with constant horn honking as a backdrop to see who can get to the traffic light first.
There is a feeling of safety and calm: Nowhere in our travels in Panama did we feel unsafe. There are break-ins and petty crimes, but the violence and brutality of big-city crime is rare.
The diverse beauty of Panama is hard to beat: We found stretches of magnificent beaches, lush rain forests, groves of coffee, citrus and banana trees, fields of vegetables and edible greenery, profusions of exotic flowers and double, and even triple, rainbows, Panama had it all. And the warm, dry fresh air in the mountainous region of the Chiriqui highlands was pure bliss.
There was much more with which Panama wooed us, but after our month in Boquete, we knew there would definitely be a second date.