Overcoming Fear And Making the Move to Panama

With retirement around the corner, it makes sense to look to a new adventure for this next chapter of life. Or maybe you are working remotely and are drawn to settling down in Panama. That’s what I did!

The allure of living comfortably for less money and experiencing better weather year-round is enticing! Images of settling down beachside may have you seriously considering packing your bags.

However, once the fantasy becomes reality, the fear of such a big life change will naturally set in. That’s totally normal! Some of the best changes I’ve made in my life have absolutely terrified me. The unknown will often bring up some of these emotions. Sure, excitement and joy surround the decision, but it’s also hard to leave behind your life in the country where you live now.

So, what can you do to overcome this fear and make your big move? Let’s check out some ways that you can take the final steps to get to that beautiful new life that’s awaiting you in Panama.

5 Steps to Overcoming Fear and Move to Panama

Ok, where there’s a plan, there’s bound to be some action. So, let’s see what you can do to make this fantasy of a move to Panama a reality without fear hindering your decision.


Being prepared for the reality that awaits you in Panama is extremely important. Certainly, there are dreamy parts of living in Panama, such as the beautiful beaches, majestic mountain towns, friendly locals, and new cuisine. However, there are also bureaucratic differences and big lifestyle changes.

Researching Panama and the specifics of what it takes to move there will help ease some of those challenges and differences. Of course, we provide a ton of information at Panama Relocation Tours to help you do research.

However, that’s not the only research you should do. Dive into where you want to live. You’ll have a completely different experience living in Panama City as compared to Bocas del Toro or Volcan. Make sure that you know where you want to live. And remember, nothing is off-limits if you love the city, beach, and mountains. You could divvy up your time between all three. But, keep in mind that that will require more planning and budgeting to make it happen.

Casco Viejo in Panama City

We have a lot of articles here at Panama Relocation Tours about all the most popular places to live in Panama. And be sure to check out our YouTube Channel, which has expat interviews. They talk about what it’s like to live there, and our videographer shows videos of the towns too. This will help you get more familiar with different areas in Panama.

Visit First

Part of the fear of moving to a foreign country is the unknown.

So before my move to Panama, I visited several countries to search for my perfect new home. And in Panama, my husband and I went on a scouting trip to several different towns to find the perfect place to relocate to. This helped us eliminate some places and focus on the towns we liked best. There are pros and cons to every area in Panama.

Finding the town that has the majority of the things on your wish list is key. What amenities are a “must-have” to make your life enjoyable? Which towns fit your budget? What kind of weather do you prefer?

Whether planning alone, with a partner, or with your whole family, consider what you want from your next home. Are city culture and the arts important to you? Or do you want to be immersed in nature from morning to night? Now, based on your desires, choose some places in Panama that match up with your wish list. Visit with an open mind. You will probably fall in love with one of the areas in Panama right away.

Being able to picture yourself actually living day to day in your new home in Panama will help alleviate some of your fears about moving. That’s why visiting and deciding where you want to live is essential in overcoming your fears. It could even be the difference between talking about doing it, and actually doing it.

Enjoy a walk on the beach

During an all-inclusive 6-day, 7-night Panama Relocation Tour, you’ll get to see the most popular places to live, meet immigration lawyers and trusted real estate agents, you’ll get details every day about things (and contacts) you need to know to have a smooth move to Panama. You’ll get to meet other expats who already call Panama home.

During your Panama Relocation Tour, you’ll see rentals in your budget, visit grocery stores so you can see that the things you need are available, visit PriceSmart, like Costco, where you will instantly recognize staple items you use, get a chance to go to a pharmacy to verify that your medications are available and see what they cost. You can even get to visit a Panamanian doctor if you want. All these things will help take the fear away.

Deal with the Red Tape

You may envision happy hour on the beach, fresh tropical fruits, and exciting cultural experiences. And that’s great! Those will all be a big part of your new life in Panama. However, turning your fantasy into reality will require you to deal with all the bureaucracy of picking up and moving to Panama.

What does that have to do with overcoming fear?

Well, once the idea of moving becomes a reality, fear of taking the final step will arise. However, if you’ve already done all the hard work of selling your home, and figuring out that you’re eligible for a residency visa in Panama, then it’s easier to get over the fear and focus on the positives of what your new life will bring you.

But, if you don’t deal with the not-so-exciting things, such as gaining residency in a different country, then your dream may never become your reality!

panama national id card
Get a visa then a Cedula (National ID card)

The immigration lawyers we work with give discounts to our clients, so their prices are much more affordable. They will make the entire process of getting a residency visa easy.

Remember Your Reasons

It may feel overwhelming once you take on all the details of moving abroad. You may even question why you’re uprooting everything you know to move to a completely different country. That’s that fear creeping up again.

Don’t worry, we can help!

Don’t let it take over your senses. If you’ve gotten this far, then you are serious about moving to Panama, and you’re almost there! (We’re here to help make your move easy) You can quiet your fears by reminding yourself why you’re making a move. Can you have a better quality of life for less money? Are you looking for a life-changing adventure? Do you want better weather? Do you truly want to immerse yourself in a new culture?

Whatever your reasons, keep them at the forefront of your mind throughout the process. Think of them as mini mantras if you start feeling overwhelmed and scared at the upcoming reality.

Remember that fear can often be an indicator of upcoming growth. So, if it’s not a little scary, you’re not evolving. And, where’s the fun in that, right?!

Since 2010, Panama Relocation Tours has helped thousands of people have a hassle-free move to Panama. We can help you overcome your fear too! Knowing you have someone readily available to answer your questions and tell you what to do (and not do) will help remove your fear.

Embrace the Excitement

Rather than getting nervous about all these big life changes, get excited! In fact, the two emotions are often quite similar in feeling. Feeling nervously excited is completely normal in this process. Just don’t let the nerves outweigh the excitement.

Most people are not willing to make such a big life change. But those who do feel it’s the best thing that ever happened to them. The only real difference between doing it or not is overcoming the natural fear that comes along with the change.

If you can lean into a sense of adventure rather than letting fear paralyze you, then you’ll be able to take that final step of moving to Panama and starting your new and exciting life there.

Moving to Panama will be an Amazing Adventure!

Fear is Natural

Understand that it is normal to be nervous about such a drastic life change. Moving to Panama was a rollercoaster ride of emotions for me. Leaving behind friends and family, as well as a place I had called home for so long, wasn’t a decision I took lightly.

However, when I settled into my new home in Panama with majestic mountain views, I knew it was the right move for me. Whether you’re sipping your coffee next to an ocean view or having your afternoon juice while practicing your Spanish in the local market, you’ll have your reaffirming moments in Panama. I still have them daily. I love my life here in Panama, and I’m so glad I worked through all the difficult emotions, including fear, that comes with making such a big life change.

Don’t let fear stop you from taking this big step. And remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed about the process, we’re here to help!

Sign up for our free 15-part email series to learn more. We can guide you through the process to ease the transition. All you have to do is decide that the fear of this change isn’t going to stand in your way! A better, more affordable life is waiting for you in Panama.

Here’s how we can help you realize your dream of living in Panama:

• We offer 6-day/7-night all-inclusive Panama Relocation Tours in mainland Panama. These are all-inclusive tours organized to give you insights into living in different areas

• Get our Online Complete Panama Relocation Guide.
It has heaps of information to help you move to Panama and settle in without making rookie mistakes. You can also use it to organize your tour to Panama ahead of moving.

With either selection, you’ll get access to our private forum, where we offer ongoing support before, during, and even after your move to Panama.


Jackie Lange

Jackie Lange is the founder of Panama Relocation Tours and lives in the highlands of Boquete Panama. She has helped thousands of people relocate to Panama.

Reader Interactions


  1. Linda Close says

    Hi Jackie

    We just wanted to say how much your help and support is appreciated.
    Loved this article it grounded my thinking.

    We are looking to relocate from Ireland to Panama by the end of 2023.
    We purchased your on line guide last year, so helpful, and are looking forward to our research trip in May.
    Will definitely book your private tour guides for support.

    Thank you!
    Linda and Andrew Close

    • Jackie Lange says

      Hi Linda I’m so glad to hear that the articles and the Online Guide have been helpful. Enjoy your Private Tour in May. You’ll be amazed.

  2. Rhonda Mitchell says

    Hi Jackie. Thank you for this article. It is just what I needed to read right now. Thank you for all of the videos and for all of the people you have helped to relocate to Panama. I am hoping that I will be one of them soon.
    Are you at all familiar with Pension Topas there in Boquete?

    • Jackie Lange says

      Hello Rhonda. I’m glad the article came at just the right time. I know where Pension Topas is but I’ve never stayed there. It’s at a good location.

  3. Anita Williams says

    Ohhh did I need your article today!

    Hola Jackie,

    Thanks for the article. I just started feeling overwhelmed about our Sept move to Panama. Your words of encouragement will certainly help me over my recent anxiety hurdles.


    • Jackie Lange says

      You can do this! We’re right here to help!

  4. Vivian Fischle says

    I was born in Panama. I live in the U.S. Looking to go back home to live. Will like to take a group tour just to see areas that I have not seen? I do have my Panamanian cedula. I plan if all goes well to fly down in either early April or after Easter holiday. I will be retiring soon, and I just want to see my options.


    • Jackie Lange says

      Hello Vivian, we’d love for you to join us for an all-inclusive 6-day 7-night Panama Relocation Tour. A Private Tour of specific area(s) you are interested in may work well for you too. See details at https://panamarelocationtours.com/private-tours

  5. Mudiwa Kumanyika says

    I’m dealing with fear and excitement at the same time!!
    I’m down sizing and boy it’s a process. I took the private and the 7 day tours last year. It was lovely. I just have to get my business in order and I will speak with an attorney asap.
    I hope to be living in Panama by the end of the summer. Thank you Jackie, for everything! Couldn’t do it without PRT!

    • Jackie Lange says

      Mudiwa, The fear and excitement are normal. You’ll have a huge sigh of relief as soon as you get on the plane to Panama. We’ll be be here to help you have a smooth relocation.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *