¡Bienvenido al Paraíso! Welcome to Panama!
The first question people typically ask me is, “What caused you to check out Panama?”
So, before you get my first ‘Letter from Panama‘ let me take a moment to introduce my family and answer that question.
It was one of the most stressful years of our lives. Almost ten long years had passed since my wife and I had started creating and building our women’s fitness centers. We were still reeling from 911 when we got the call that my wife’s dad was being admitted to palliative care. In just a few days he passed away. The stress of juggling three businesses and her father’s death pushed her to the breaking point. One morning she woke and couldn’t sit up. She seemed to have some kind of paralysis. Now you need to understand my wife is an extremely fit person. After 10 years in the fitness business and 10 years prior to that working in the fitness industry we were both very committed exercisers and very health conscious. We knew something was seriously wrong.
That was our wake up call. And it was really the beginning of our journey.
Escaping the Rate Race
Have you ever heard the expression, We live in a rat race?
Well, there’s another part to that expression that you may or may not have heard of.
It goes like this,
Even if you’re winning the rat race, you’re still a rat!
On that fateful day back I realized that even with two successful businesses I was working day and night and I was working my wife to death! I was winning the race but, I was still a rat!
It was time to Escape. Time to let go – to release the past and start a new. So, we sold the fitness centers and began our search.
Like you, we started with the internet. We paused and thought about what we really wanted – how we wanted to live – what was important to us with regards to comfort and lifestyle. When it came to comfort and lifestyle the first thing that popped for us was weather. We thought some more and realize a starting point was to check out those places that offerred the best climate. That became our highest priority for the moment so, we started there. But as we searched and brainstormed some more we expanded our definition for our ‘ideal lifestyle’. What else besides having ‘nice weather’ created an ideal lifestyle? How could we define that? Before long we had quite a list including:
- Stable weather – no hurricanes!
- Stable government.
- A stable economy with a stable currency.
- Safety – Low crime rate.
- Low cost of living.
- Diverse and North American friendly.
I even Googled, ‘Cheapest Place to Live‘! Hey, we already paid enough for everything from groceries to property taxes so, Cheap Living and Low Taxes was high on our list. Yes, when you look at it we really were looking for the ideal spot to get away to!
After reading and making numerous lists we noticed that Panama kept coming up at or near the top of every list. In fact it was the only country that had everything we were looking for. We also noticed that it had much, much more from our list than any other place we had considered. It was time to take this idea to the next level. It was time to visit Panama. So, we spontaneously packed our bags, discovered a great website for cheap flights to Panama and headed off on our family adventure!
Watch your e-mail for my next Letter from Panama I’ve got some Tips and Tools to help you Learn all about Panama!
While you’re waiting for that here’s a great lttle YoutTube video I discovered. In just 3 minutes it really captures the best of Panama and like us I’m sure it will entice you to come visit Panama and discover for yourself why they say…
¡Panamá, se queda en ti! – Panama, it stays with you!
Quick Tips– In many of my ‘letters’ you will find my ‘Quick Tips‘. These are intended to save you time and money. Many of these ‘Quick Tips‘ I discovered after the fact and I really wish I had known these things before I started my adventure. However, that’s what sharing is all about – helping others learn from experience. When you see a word or phrase that is underlined and in a different colour it’s usually a link to more information. All you need to do is click on that and it will give you more detailed information about that particular item. Now for today’s…
Quick Tips– I have to admit that we didn’t even think about the language differences…dah! Although we are Canadian we are far from bilingual and besides knowing Quebecois French would not have helped us much in this Spanish speaking country. That said, the Panamanians are so kind and helpful that without knowing a word of Spanish we were able to get by but I have to admit it made for some frustrating and stressful moments. If I had to start all over again, before heading off to Panama, I would have certainly ordered some or taken an online program to develop at least some Spanish language skills. Once we arrived in Panama we signed up for lessons but we ultimately found one of the fastest ways to pick up useful phrases was through Self-Taught Spanish Language Programs. To learn about the first ‘Learn Spanish’ program our Canadian neighbour in Panama introduced us to.
Click Here – Transparent Connect Spanish – Self-Guided Course to check it out.
I highly recommend these programs and I now know that having an understanding of Latin American Spanish from the beginning would have saved us a lot of time, money and frustration.
So, before we go any further I strongly recommend you have a look at the program and get started on the fun and exciting assignment of learning some basic Spanish. I am recommending you start now because it takes a few months, at the very least, just to become familiar with some basic phrases. Remember this small investment will give you an immediate pay-back as soon as you arrive in Panama.
Watch your inbox for my “Letters from Panama” and discover everything we learned!
Hasta Luego! PanamaMark
P.S. Please tell me what you thought of this letter in the comments area below. What did you like? What could you have done without? What else can I tell you about Panama? Leave your comments, questions, suggestions – join the conversation and watch what happens!
The information expressed here is solely the opinion of the author. Nothing on this web site or in subsequent communications is to be considered personalized investment advice. Although we may answer your general questions, we are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by any associate or representative of Learn About Panama is to be deemed as personalized investment advice.