Panama 2009 – My First Adventure Outside the USA

Hamock on Taboga Island

In the summer of 2009 I made my first trip outside of the Country.  At the ripe age of 39, I boarded a plan and headed to Central America.  I’d never been though customs, immigration and had a naked passport.  I wondered if the representative at the desk would question where I’d been for the previous 39 years, thankfully he didn’t.

Confession Time – I immediately fell in love with the thrill of landing in a foreign location and soaking up all the ambiance.  I fell in love with the fun of working remotely from an exotic destination and even the thought that only my team knew where I was and the clients I chatted with had no idea.

TaxiMy loving and fun guide on this adventure was my fantastic partner, Tomie who had previously visited Panama on several occasions.  While this was my first trip, I’d been there many times in books, magazines and via the web.  I began to look at moving to Panama when after the summer of 2004 in Central Florida I endured weeks with no power after 3 hurricanes visited.  Shortly after that summer I learned that there were no hurricanes in Panama, plenty of infrastructure, friendly people and warm weather.

We ventured into the old City of Casco Viejo, out to the beaches of Santa Clara and into the jungle 3 hours down a winding road from Santiago.  We boarded a speed boat and enjoyed an entire day and night out on Tobaga  Island.  From the condo we stayed in we could see the ships as they waited in line to go through the Panama Canal.  While on the island we enjoyed an entire Saturday and Sunday with no internet, it was absolutely liberating.

Hamock on Taboga IslandIn 7 days we ate, drank, swam in the ocean, enjoyed siestas and made some new friends.  We happily lived without our Blackberries, or as I use to call them, Crackberries.  Oddly enough the first two days without checking the silly thing to see if someone sent me an email was tough, then well it was actually liberating.  Along the way we enjoyed wifi at most hotels, I was easily able to connect with my team, answer client questions and even make phone calls.

I learned a valuable lesson that I don’t think I could have here in the states where my phone easily let’s me get interrupted all day long.  I learned that while I’m pretty important to some people, everyone who wanted to connect with me had no problem waiting a few hours or even until the next day or so to get a reply.  Not responding with in seconds or minutes to an email didn’t not make the earth spin out of control or my business to suffer.  It actually helped me gain focus, clarity and some much needed relaxation.

FNeigobors on Taboga Islandearing the unknown often times keeps us stuck, makes it impossible for us to enjoy the life we truly want.   Life is meant for us to enjoy it ~ so make a list of the places you want to visit, the things you want to do and start doing them.