It’s hard to believe that I have lived in Panama 9 months already. My how time flies when you’re having fun.
One of the most important things you should do before you move to another country is lots of research. Even before that initial visit, it’s important to read and research as much as possible.
If I could get paid a $1 for every hour I spent on YouTube.com looking at Panama videos, I’d be very wealth.
I did a lot of Google and Yahoo searches to try to find new information about Panama before my first visit. Most of the web sites I found were outdated. My two favorites ( which are always up to date) are:
Richard updates his site at least once a week with his “life in Boquete” stories. By reading his stories it helped me understand the struggles with dealing with a different culture but also the JOY of living in a different culture. Richard’s book, Escape to Paradise” is a must read for anyone thinking about a move to Panama. He tells it like it is with no sugar coating. The book is available at Amazon as a paperback or a Kindle. Did you know you can read Kindle books even if you don’t own a Kindle reader? Amazon offers a FREE software that lets you store and read all Kindle books on your computer.
Richard spends about 1/2 of the year on a cruise ship. (It’s a tough life) When he’s in town, the tour group visits Richard and Nikki at their coffee farm or for dinner in Boquete.
Escape to Paradise is required reading for anyone who comes on the tour so I mail a book to each attendee! They also get a water proof map of Panama.
Bob Adams publishes economic reports about Panama at www.RetirementWave.com He’s a world traveler who worked globally in more than 40 nations in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. He worked for non-profit humanitarian agencies, the “foreign aid” programs of the UN and the US, and several international business firms. With that kind of experience, his story about why he picked Panama is really interesting. You can subscribe to his web site to get access to the reports for free.
You will be shocked and amazed at how good the economy is in Panama. Everywhere you look there is some new construction. Panama has the 7th best economy in the world. The United States is ranked #157 out of 218 countries.
Bob lives in Panama City full time and is a wealth of knowledge about Panama.
The tour always spends some time visiting with Bob while we’re in Panama City.
Before I moved to Panama I monitored the posts at www.BoqueteNing.com daily. It helped me get a “feel” for what the expats in Boquete would be like. It’s a crazy bunch – some with bad tempers or short fuses – but for the most part a great group of people. My guess is only 3-5% of the expats even post on BoqueteNing so it’s not a full representation of the quality and quantity of expats.
There are several Yahoo groups which are devoted to expats in Panama. Search for Yahoo Groups — then search for Expats Panama or Panama Expats.
By doing your research before you come to visit Panama, you’ll be much better prepared.