It’s Not All Sunshine and Happiness

Moving to “paradise” sometimes isn’t always as amazing as you might expect it to be. Rather the process takes 2 months or two years, uprooting your whole life is never easy. We humans are creatures of habit and find comfort in places, people, things, weather, traffic, etc. Rather its a positive or a negative, what you experience everyday in your life makes up who you are. When all of that goes away or changes, it can be very hard. For me it has been a very tough journey from the move all way to being here in Panama, and now moved in to our new home.

Throughout the preparation for moving to Panama we had many celebrations, visitors, and trips. We were so busy for the last two months in the U.S. that we really didn’t have much time to process what our decision to move 4,000 miles away was going to really be like.

So what do I mean? Anything from the rooster you hear in the morning, the foods that are our in fridge, the traffic we face on the way to work, the wave from your favorite next door neighbor, seeing the mail man when you get home, the friendly bagger at the local grocery store that knows you like paper not plastic……as you can see I could go on and on. It’s these small interactions that make up your daily life, that you will no longer have. Coming to terms with this ahead of time can help to set you up for success living in a new or foreign location.

Another hard adjustment to moving abroad is not having your friends and/or family around. This has been very difficult for me personally. Starting over in a completely different country knowing no one and having no family other than Todd and the beagles has not been easy. Since we didn’t visit Panama before moving here, we really starting from scratch! A lot of people will come down and visit first, which gives them the opportunity to meet people and start connections ahead of time. This is also why Happy Hours are so popular in this area because it gives you an opportunity to meet new people in your community. It’s not just about cheap drinks and good food although those are some good perks!

Since arriving we have been very lucky to have met and made some great new friends! People here always at least have one main thing in common with you, they also uprooted their lives and moved to another Country. Chances are the move was hard on them too, they probably have friends and family they miss terribly. Just because you see someone happy and smiling at Happy Hour doesn’t mean they don’t cry at night because they are home sick too. By sharing our experience with the world, I hope to help with that transition as much as I can.

Yes you will eventually get in to a sort of routine wherever your travels bring you to, but they will never be the same as they once were. By learning to appreciate that instead of fear it, you can become a much happier person and really be able to adapt to new locations!

Happy Travels!


2 thoughts on “It’s Not All Sunshine and Happiness”

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for checking out our website. So we began this whole move to Panamá Central America process just over 5 months ago after researching online. We had considered Equador, Costa Rica and Panamá which we landed on. We did a lot of internet searches along with reading blogs from many expats and others residing in Panamá and many other tropical areas. We found what seemed to be three main expat places in Panamá Republic including Panamá City, Boquete / Chiriqui / David area and then Playa Coronado area. We quickly rule out Panamá City as we are not city type people and prefer less populated areas with more open space and land our last two homes in California were both on half acre lots. We then ruled out the Boquete / Chiriqui / David area as we really prefer warm areas and being able to swim and enjoy water activities on a regular basis. That left Playa Coronado, Panamá which is where we leased the first house we could find with some land that would allow 4 dogs, haha. We even paid for one month of rental on the house when we would not even be here yet just to secure it as finding a dog friendly rental was a bit challenging from the California. After being here two months we decided that the beach area was totally what we preferred and that being close to Coronado, Panamá was important, due to being able to interact and speak with other gringos in English on any occasion gave us a nice piece of comfort.

      I hope this answers your question, thanks again and have a great day.

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