Thirteen years ago this month, my husband and I came to Panama for the first time to investigate if it would be a good place to retire.
For eighteen months prior, I’d already visited several other countries to see if they “felt right” as a place to retire. But none of them did. Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Colombia just did not tick all the boxes for us.
We had high hopes that Panama would be THE place to relocate to. But after so many disappointments in other countries, we were being very cautious.
It was exciting and scary at the same time.
Leaving Texas in February meant we were leaving cold grey weather – like a black and white TV. But arriving in Panama in February was like turning on a huge color TV. Everything was so lush and green. The sky was bright blue. The tropical air was warm, and the air smelled so fresh. Panama felt alive!
We flew from Panama City to David, in far western Panama, where we rented a car. For two weeks, we visited mostly highland towns because our #1 objective was to live in a place where we’d never need an air conditioner or a heater again.
There were no relocation tour companies to show us the way.
You don’t know what you don’t know until it’s too late. There were some big ups and downs on that trip. Despite a lot of research, we made a lot of costly mistakes. To name a few, I got a $1200 phone bill when I returned to Texas. The car rental was $1800 for two weeks because they wouldn’t accept our insurance.
A lot was riding on that trip because we were running out of countries we would consider moving to. I did not want to be stuck in the 100+ degree summers and 20-degree winters in Texas anymore. Not to mention the high cost of living and political turmoil.
Obviously, we decided that Panama had what we were looking for, so we moved to Panama. It was a decision that totally changed my life and my husband’s life… for the better!
It was a big leap of faith if we made the right decision. But we saw it as one step away from a totally different lifestyle. We needed a change! In the worst-case scenario, we could move back to the US or find a different country.
Here I am, 13 years later, and still living in Panama. Sadly, my husband passed away a few years ago. I’m so glad he got to enjoy the amazing lifestyle in Panama.
Shortly after our 2010 scouting trip, I told my real estate investor friends, “I am moving to Panama.” Just saying those words made it “real” in my mind and heart.
Surprisingly, several people asked me to take them on a trip to Panama so they could see what I saw. A month after my initial trip, I did a 7-day tour with eight investor friends. Then others started asking me about my “Panama tours,” and that’s how Panama Relocation Tours was born in 2010.
On the first tour I did with real estate investor friends, I found a two-bedroom rental with amazing mountain views. Without even talking to my husband about it, I signed a lease. It just felt right!
As a real estate investor in Texas, I bought, sold, and leased houses every month without discussing it with my husband, so deciding to rent the house in Panama was nothing new for me.
When I asked if it had high-speed internet, they said sure. But, after I moved in, I discovered it was only 3Mpbs. I had to pay $135 a month to upgrade to 10 Mbps. At that time, there was no higher speed available.
Visiting a country you have never been to tests your bravery and emotions. It helps to have someone show you the way.
A scouting trip is critical to determine if a country is right for you. No matter how many articles you read or videos you watch, you have to see Panama up close and personal to know if it’s right for you.
You need to see many different areas in the country to see what resonates most with your spirit. Then you must dig deeper to see if the town has the amenities you need to be happy. Is there a hospital? Where’s the closest doctor’s office? Does the grocery store have the stuff you need? Are the ex-pats friendly or clicky? Can you really get away from the constant political division, or does it exist in the town you want to move to in Panama? Are the restaurants affordable? Does anyone speak English? Can you function in Panama if you don’t know Spanish?
I won’t lie to you, it’s a big decision to relocate to Panama!
Since 2010, one of the interesting things we have discovered in doing Panama Relocation Tours is that many people who THINK they want to live at the beach change their minds after seeing other areas. And many people who THINK they want to live in the highlands change their minds after seeing other areas. That’s why it’s good to keep an open mind and check out several different areas.
If you’re ready to come to see if Panama is right for you, we’re here to help.
We’ll take care of all arrangements in Panama, so you don’t have to worry about making costly mistakes like I did when I came to Panama for the first time in 2010.
Our friendly bi-lingual driver will meet you at Tocumen International Airport, then everything else will be taken care of.
Our all-inclusive 6-day, 7-night Panama Relocation Tours includes all your hotels, all meals, snacks, all the information you need for a smooth move, a flight back to Panama City PLUS access to the Online Complete Panama Relocation Guide after your tour. You also get free ongoing support in our private Facebook group.
Our goal during a Panama Relocation Tours is to show you popular places to live in Panama while teaching you all the things you need to know to have a hassle-free move. This will help you decide where to move to.. or not. Panama’s not right for everyone.
A Panama Relocation Tour bridges the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in Panama so you can relocate with total confidence.
Once you decide to take that leap of faith to start a new lifestyle in Panama, we’ll be right here to hold your hand and help!
With the information you get during a Panama Relocation Tour or in the Complete Panama Relocation Guide, you’ll know exactly what to do and how to do it! You’ll learn the right process for getting a visa, finding a rental, getting your pets to Panama, getting health insurance, and all the other things you need to do to relocate successfully to Panama.
You’ll even get a six-month checklist of things to do 6 months before your move, 5 months before your move, etc, and one month before your move. Using the checklist, nothing will fall through the cracks!
Come join us in Panama! You’ll be super proud of yourself for making the decision.
You will discover a new kind of freedom and a chance to recreate yourself. Yes, you can get a Do-Over!
Your life really can change for the better. It all starts with the decision that you are ready to seek a better way to live.
You don’t have to be stuck in the same-old, same-old for another month, year, or decade! There is a better way in Panama.
Come see how you can LIVE BETTER for LESS in Panama.
Join us for an all-inclusive 6-day, 7-night Panama Relocation Tour or a Private Tour of Panama.
CLICK HERE to see details about an all-inclusive Panama Relocation Tour
If you’re undecided, reach out to us to discuss your concerns. Send an email to [email protected] or call 972-496-4500.
Make one important decision today to change your life forever!
Tom Martindale says
My wife and I are in the early decision stage to move to a different country – testing the waters really. I have been to Panama and really love it but I’m curious as to why the tours and all of the print material seems to cover the Western half of the country and doesn’t mention the Eastern half at all. As we proceed I’m certain we will either book a tour or sign up for the online info but just had to ask about why half the country isn’t mentioned.
Thank you for what you do. Your information so far has been nothing short of heartwarming.
Jackie Lange says
Panama Relocation Tours actually start in Panama City (east) the travel west and south from there. We don’t go east of Panama City because there’s not much there. See the itinerary
Thank you, Jackie, for all your amazing articles and videos about Panama. I hope to sign up for one of your Tours soon! They sound so fun and informational!
My deepest sympathy to you for the loss of your husband a few years ago.
Have a nice day,
Jackie Lange says
Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed the article.
Ed Clapper says
Jackie, much appreciation for all you do for us. The online guide is so helpful and pack with information. My wife and I will be in Panama for 3 weeks arriving March 13. Looking forward to our ‘scouting trip’
Will visit Boquete, Volcan, Cerro Punta,Boca Chica and Puerto Armuelles. Doing a guided tour with Maury. Again thank you!!!
Jackie Lange says
HI Ed. You’re very welcome! The Online Complete Panama Relocation Guide has everything you need for a smooth move to Panama. You’ll love your Private Tour with Maury!
Bill nyers says
I have been watching your videos and reading your info for 3 years. Although I have not been on your tour I visited boquete and Panama City recently on 2 separate trips. I am going to give it a shot in 10 months! Down the line I will eventually get your online guide . I do have a question that maybe you can help me. I’m trying to rent a 2 bedroom home in the country but closer to Panama City. Boquete was great but right now it’s too far from Panama City and I have to be at the most 2 hrs from the city ideally 30 minutes but I’m not familiar with the country type towns that may fit me and my Bernese mountain dog. It would be great if you could give me some names of towns that fit the country type charm I saw in boquete. I know boquete is unique but there has to be some other towns that have homes in the hills or by water that I can check out . My name is Coach bill nyers from nj
Jackie Lange says
check out Chapala Panama — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOJ9VfS9rr8&t=38s
Alfredo Ledezma says
Sir, I’m from Panama, but I live in the US, retired military.
You can look at El Valle. Is a small town but is close to the city.
Thank you for all the much appreciated information about Panama, Jackie. I can only confirm to everyone here that participating in a Panama Relocation Tour is more than worth the money. I was on the tour last year, got an overview of the country and its regions, had a lot of fun with my tour mates and can’t wait to emigrate to Panama in 14 months when I finally get my pension. Goodbye cold, work mania and overpopulation here in Switzerland – hello affordable freedom. My soul is already in beautiful Panama, only my body has to hold out here for a few more months.
Jackie Lange says
Thanks Clelia! I’m so glad you enjoyed your tour and confirmed your decision to relocate to Panama! Panama is patiently waiting for you! A new life is just around the corner.
Hi Jackie, what happens with health insurance? If I need an operation do I fly back to the states? Is Panama only for people who can afford their own medical costs? Thanks Fredda
Jackie Lange says
See this information about health insurance options in Panama https://panamarelocationtours.com/health-insurance-options-in-panama