Welcome to my Blog! Hello! It’s Me, Holly and my Hubs, Scott , We’ve been planning, dreaming, researching and dreaming some more about starting a new life in a new country! After six years of very in-depth research as well as in-depth dreaming and traveling, we have finally settled on Boquete , Panama! To say we are excited to have finally made a decision on where we’re moving, would be an understatement ! We are beyond thrilled to be about a year away from making it all a reality. Our goal for liftoff is June of 2013. I invite you to follow us on this journey and live vicariously through us! I’m hoping this blog will be a great way to stay connected to all the people who just can’t believe we are leaving! I’m also hoping my blog will be somehow helpful to others who are contemplating making a life change like this. I’m beginning our story at the very beginning because as I started reading blogs about expatriating I discovered that most of them skipped over all this early stage stuff. I found myself wishing I knew more about how and why they had made such a major move to another country. I hope that sharing my experience somehow helps someone else as they begin to plan their own big adventure. When I think about all we still have to accomplish, my head spins, but when I think about the end result, I smile! Sooooo Let’s Get This Adventure Started!!!
A little over a year later….
Well, I’ve been blogging now for a little over two years and living in Boquete, Panama for a little over a year! Wow! Time does fly by! It’s been a Whirlwind since our relocation and so much has happened! We’re busy settling into this wonderful life here in the highlands of Western Panama and I can’t express in words just how happy we are that we decided to do this. If your interested in my blog, chances are it’s because you too are considering making a similar move. Well, I’m not an expert but I’m happy to answer any questions you may have and to share my experiences in more depth if you like. Feel free to contact me or just enjoy my silly little posts as I write about my life as an Expat living in Panama. Life is good and it’s always an Adventure! Cheers!
Hi Holly, I finally figured you how to view your blog. Wonderful pictures. Great to here you and Scott are having fantastic time. Take care and have fun!!!!
Just found your blog. Like you we are researching our move. We are still 3 – 4 years out though. We were in Panama in November and are already planning on returning. We REALLY liked Boquete. I look forward to hearing more about your move.
Thanks Shelly! It’s an exciting move to prepare for, have you decided that Panama is the place for you, or are you still in research mode? As your working on your plans please feel free to contact me if there is any way I can help. I’ve found an abundance of support and encouragement through this blogging community! Cheers! And good luck with your plans!
Just found your blog today through Indacampo blog written by Karen. Off to visit our daughter in final year of grad school so will start reading and absorbing it all tonight! My husband and I hope to be retired in Panama early 2015. We have visited once last October and have another trip in three weeks to scout other areas. More planning and researching!!!
Hey! Welcome! I just love ready Karen’s blog . Do you publish a blog? Let me know so I can read it! Good luck in your research, it’s such an important step. Cheers! Enjoy your visit with your daughter
My folks moved to Boquete in 2007. I visited twice a year for over 4 years……THEN we sold off everything except for 2 suitcases and the dog and moved here in 2011. Please feel free to visit when you arrive, we would love to meet you! You can reach us by the website I provided.
Best Wishes! Andrea
Andrea! Thank you so much for sending me a message. Wow! I cant wait to read more of your blog. We will be so glad to meet you when we arrive in Boquete. Cheers!
Hi Holly! Like you, my husband Gary and I have done about 6 years of research and traveling to figure out where we could live other than Seattle. Originally east coasters, now west-coasters, we started with our first trip back in 2007 to Panama City, Coronado, El Valle and Boquete. Then Costa Rica, then Panama twice more (one of them during the terrible floods), then just last week to Puerto Vallarta. But we can’t get Panama out of our systems as we really love it. We just can’t deal with tropical heat 24/7, so Boquete is becoming more of a real possibility and we may come down again in December. We are probably 3 or less years from retiring but if things change, it could be sooner! We are so happy for your exciting new adventure and can’t wait to hear how you’re doing.
Hey Sandra! Thanks for visiting my blog and sending me a comment! It sounds like you guys have done lots of research. Actually traveling to the countries is the most important part of the research , as I’m sure you agree. I love hearing other peoples stories which is one of the reasons I started this blog. The other reason was , when I began researching and discovering blogs written by people already living this expat life I was on the edge of my seat reading about their life. It sounds like you have already made the decision to move “somewhere”, and you must be so excited. If you end up coming to Boquete in December please let us know, would love to connect with you. Cheers! Holly
Hi Holly & Scott,
We are so happy to find your blog. You certainly have a talent for writing and ‘putting the cookies on the lower shelf’. We are Jerry & Jennifer Moellenkamp and live in Florida. Our plans are to retire in about a year and live in South/Central America. We only started the ‘hunt’ a few weeks ago, but have already narrowed our list down considerably. Ecuador looked great – until we learned that most cities are above 8000 ft. Much too high for our tastes, so then we started looking at elevation as an important factor. The area you chose seems perfect for us and we have narrowed our search to include the things you mentioned. Panama is at or near the top of our list. We still have so much to learn and your blog goes a long way in answering questions we have. We learned already not to trust many of the expats internet sites as it seems all they are interested in is making a buck from would be expats. The only valid information seems to come from bloggers, like you, who are not expecting to make money from other expats. There are several things we would like to know, but don’t expect you to share personal things in your blog — particularly concerning costs you incurred — things like shipping your goods, rent, etc, etc. However, we have put your blog at the top of our list to read daily and will follow your journey with much interest. Just from reading a few of your posts and scanning through others, I think we have much in common (although we have no cats – or other animals – not even a gold fish). You guys are such a wealth of information but we would never want to impose on your good nature by asking too many questions. However, if you would be willing to chat via email we would love to learn even more about you and the things you experience — the good, the bad, and of course, the ugly. Don’t want to get too wordy here so I will sign off with my email address if you should agree to contact us.
Abundant blessings on your amazing journey,
Jerry & Jennifer Moellenkamp
Thanks for your response, since you must be REALLY busy these days. Still following your adventures and it’s looking like we may be down in December so we’ll let you know ahead of time….Keep bloggin”!
Sandra and Gary
Jennifer and I are making a list of questions — fortunately, most of them have already been answered by your blog. We started out trying to glean information from sites like International Living and others -however, it seems that for every bit of useful information one has to read hundreds of pages that are designed to sell us “stuff” from vitamins to real estate to conferences around the world :). Then we are left wondering if anything they say is really truthful. Just wanted to ask you the right way to ask you our questions. Would you prefer that I just post them here – or if you will send us your email address, we could ask them more privately. Thanks again for your blog and all your help. Jerry & Jennifer Moellenkamp Jerrymo@centurylink.net
Hello Allison, Have caught some of your blog over past month. Wife Debbie, son Dwayne (29) and I are presently in Panama. We plan on traveling to Boquete Thursday or Friday for a couple of days. Would enjoy meeting you. Local pone # 670+25099. email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think Randy meant to use header “Hello Holly” since I am not in Boquete lol and he is responding to your blog 🙂
holly why don’t you have a contact form? eh? eh? so hey we’re headed out of panama next week and i wanted to know if you would like to inherit our halloween costumes.
thank goodness my husband has found your blog! we are in the very beginning of thinking of making this life changing move but we are still about 4-5 years out. We are wondering the same things that you are writing in your blog such as shipping containers, visas, and just how to actually get started with all this! I look forward to reading all your info and being able to find someone to ask questions to 🙂 I am an occupational therapist assistant and hope to continue my work when we move. we are not retirement age as we have two school age children that will be coming with us also so its nice to have as much information as I can to make and informed decision. thank you again!!
My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
We quite enjoy your blog about living in Boquete, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.
Yes, my seat in vicarious land is very good 🙂 I will enjoy your journey. Our big move, if we can make it will be to return to Texas, where Mr. Quantum (my hubby) was brought up, and where we spent the first 8 years of our life together. Now we’re up in the frigid Northeast, and are in our 9th year here.
I am bringing Mom & Step-Dad with me in the spring (2016) to check out David and Boquete (A fact finding mission) – I am seriously thinking of retiring in Panama in a couple of years. I think I may want to build a place for all three of us and I was wondering how prices compare to building in North America? Also – did you find it easy to contract out for the work?
Perhaps, you could get us some contact information for someone in that line of work? My “parents” don’t speak a word of Spanish, so someone who speaks English would be helpful!
I like your blog. Thank you. Kerry
Holly I love your blog. Can I just say that your font is so small that I am having trouble to see it these days. I am obviously getting old LMAO!
Keep it up. The truck re-model was priceless!
Holly & Hubby
Fantastic blog. Incredibly informative and entertaining. My name is Jeff and my wife is Heather. We are going to visit Boquete in Oct. We are going to stay at The Boquete Garden Inn and are thinking about talking more with Casa Solutions in the area. We were just wondering if you had an opinion on the Casa folks and who else we should have show us properties & homes etc. We don’t plan on moving for a couple years but we want to start getting a better idea of who has a grasp on the area. Any other sites with Boquete information chat or anything would be greatly appreciated.
We are so excited to visit the area and look around. Thanks for your time and we look forward to reading more from your blog.
Hola Jeff & Heather, Thanks! Have you visited Boquete before, or will October be your first time here? Its really good that you coming for a visit, if you have the time to spend a good amount of time here it would be really good for you. If your considering it as a permanent relocation Its always good to really get a good idea if its really a place you will feel comfortable making your home at. My best advice is to rent first. Boquete has so many different micro climates and different areas to live and if you come and rent for awhile you can have the opportunity to really see what area suits you best. Your staying in one of my favorite areas, Palo Alto. The Boquete Garden Inn is a lovely place, you’ll really like it. Will you be renting a car while you are here? If your interested in looking at property Casa Solutions is not a bad place place. I also have a good friend named Linda Mckee…email@example.com…she will be glad to talk to you about what she knows is on the market and will even show you places if you like. She is also pretty knowledgeable about rental properties if you decide to go that route as well. Please feel free to email me privately if you like. firstname.lastname@example.org….Good Luck with your research…Cheers!
Thanks a ton for your speedy informative response!!! I’ll email you with more questions soon. Thanks again, you’re awesome!!!
Looking forward to notification of future blog posts. It was great meeting you this week!
Thanks Lisa! Likewise, it was so nice to meet you and to get to spend a little time with you. I really look forward to you visiting again next year! Cheers!
Hi, Holly — I just finished reading your blog (from the beginning). So much great information and thoughtful insights! I’ll be in Boquete in late February/early March 2018, and would love to meet up with you if you’re available and so inclined!
Hi Myra! I’m so glad my blog was helpful for you. I remember how important it was for me to read about other people’s experiences when we were in the planning phase of our move. Yes, please do contact me when you visit. We have friends visiting us until March 3rd but if you are here after that time we’d be happy to connect with you!
Looks like your guests will still be there when I arrive – I think March 1 will be the day I have scheduled as a free day in Boquete. I sent you an e-mail at your Yahoo address in your comments above – maybe we can correspond that way instead, for now. Love your positivity!
I originally followed your blog when you first started it. Back then we were thinking about Panama as a retirement destination. For some reason, we put it on the back burner (maybe it was the 8yrs. till retirement that did it.). We are once again looking at Panama and Boquete. My husband has been asking a lot of questions on the Ning. site. But I love your very heartfelt blog. I feel you are very open and honest about your experiences, which I appreciate to no end! Do you find it to be very cliquish there? I know you just found your new “joy” in working with the Indian children. Has it been difficult to find things to do, especially during the rainy season? So many questions. My emotions seem to be all over the place. First I’m super excited, then scared and well, upset? I don’t really know how describe how I’m feeling at the moment. Let down??
I saw your email on a previous post, but don’t want to presume anything. My husband, Bob and I are coming the week of April 6-13 for our first time.
Thank you so much for your blog. I think I need it in book form. ;-}
Hi Holly . . . . I lost track of your journey when I moved and just remembered the blog site. There’s nothing listed for quite a while and I’m wondering if you’re still in Panama. How is your life going?
Hi Linda! Yes, I haven’t published a blog post in ages! I sorta ran out of things to write about. I miss it so much . And yes! We are happily still here in Panama! Thanks for checking in, hope all is well for you!
Wow the years pass so quickly, I thought I’d be retired by now. But the changes in our universe seems to have me still working at a job I’m needed at for the time being. Though I’m ready for a sliver of the quiet life. Are you still in Panama? Though I can’t imagine you leaving that wonderful home and new friends, you seem like you’d be happy anywhere your spirt and soul take you.Many blessings to you and yours to continue a safe and happy journey. Drop a hello if your still out there . I still believe we are sisters from another mother. The way you’ve attached yourself and left an imprint on so many makes me proud to be a woman and have had a chance to read about your journey. Girlfriend we have the same sense of humor . Gets us thru? Yes?
Hola Whitney! Yes! I’m still here. How nice to see a comment on my blog ! I haven’t published a blog post in soooooo long so seeing a comment made me smile. All is well here in Panama. We’re still working on our house, truth be told …. It’s never gonna be truly ‘done’ hah! Its just the way we roll! Seems like we never stop veering and coming up with so many projects around here! During the lockdown we built a chicken coop and bought 8 baby chicks who are my babies now! We’ve built a small greenhouse and a terraced raised bed for peppers. Life is just so full and we are happy 😍. Thanks for reaching out … now you’ve got me thinkin… hmmmmm maybe I should get back to my poor neglected little blog! Cheers!