Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Panama or Bust

When I first married Clyde almost 8 years ago now he said to me, "I can promise you that life with me will never be boring." Of course he also told me that "he was my knight in shining armour that came to rescue me from a life of boredum in the big red fire truck."  But I've heard it said before that "sometimes your knight in shining armour is really a retard in tin foil."  So lets' just say that all of the above describes my dear, sweet husband Clyde and he's sooooo much more.

Fast forward another 7 years of happily, married bliss.  One day dear Clyde read an article about baby boomers retiring early and moving abroad for fun, excitement and a cheaper way to live.  He sheepisly mentioned that he was just looking into this.  Possibly Belize since it's English speaking, but also directly in the hurricane zone, I had to point out.  I quickly burst that bubble. Bound and determined Clyde pointed out the benefits of other countries like Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica.  Low crime rates, good cheap health care, low cost of living, slower pace of life, not too far from the US.  Being the internet junkie that he is and having lots of free time at the fire station to play on the computer, he soon discovered that Panama boasted that it has one of the best retirement packages in the world. 

A "Fonda" Restaurant
Chicken Breast and Fried Plantain

He said to me one day, "if we could find a way to live cheaply on my pension and have fun would you be interested?".....or "do you want to keep working another 15 years?"  Keep working???  Where we going and how we getting there?  And.....we need to learn to speak Spanish, and we need to start NOW.

One thing that my dear hubby and I have in common is determination. When we get our minds set on doing something, we think of nothing else.  So for about a year we both researched Panama online, bought books, watched videos, connected to message boards, and picked the brains of anyone that had any inkling of what it was like. We planned a vacation in January 2011 for a week. We rented a car in Panama City and drove 1500 miles through the whole country leaving a long path of gringo trails.  We drove down unpaved roads that were so rugged we expected a wheel to fall off the rental car. With  just a little Spanish knowledge and a BIG gringo smile we gambled at penny slots, ate for as little as $1.25 in local fondas, dug our toes into the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, chatted with Kuna women selling molas on the side of the road and had the adventure of a lifetime.  With 4 months of Rosetta Stone Spanish under our belts we managed to order food, get hotel rooms, get a flat tire fixed, and survive when immersed in a foreign country.

Getting our Tire Replaced

Upon arriving back in Texas we knew we had a mission.  To find a way to make our move to Panama a reality!  We had a yard sale to unload some of our stuff and put our house up for sale. Many people came to look at the house since we offered it as "an owner finance."  We had one couple interested and we thought it was a done deal until they offered us $10,000 less for the house. We declined that offer and within ONE HOUR another couple walked in, loved the house, liked us and felt that this was the right house for them.  In a housing market where nothing is moving, we sold our house in 3 weeks along with most of the furniture.  This will enable us to sleep in our bed until the very last day since the house buyers bought our bedroom set and have been gracious enough to allow us to stay here. 

We both believe BIG in the Power of Positive Thinking....and by believing that this was meant to be, everything just fell into place. 

In June we signed a contract on a rent house in Capira, Panama about 40 minutes outside of Panama City. We will be renting a 1400 square foot house, 3 bedroom, 2 baths for only $300 a month.  It's located 15 minutes from the beaches and 15 minutes from the mountains.  Clyde developed a repoir with the new land lady Betsy through email. She has been wonderful in answering all of our questions since she is bi-lingual and is willing to help us get settled when we make the move. 
This is our Home in Capira

The clock is ticking......the countdown is on.....we have 11 days left until we fly out to start our new adventure and life in "the place where the world meets,"..........Panama. 

1 comment:

  1. this sounds amazing, I cant wait to read more of your adventures!!!I have also researched living abroad. I am an avid reader of all of the live here articles I can find. I have read about costa rica and peru, but so far not anything on Panama.


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