Escape To Paradise

flowers-040There comes a moment when you realize IT’S TIME TO GO … time to move on and time to make some changes.  You may find yourself in a situation or place or experience that you’ve outgrown, no longer meets your expectations, or has headed in directions with which you are no longer comfortable.  You can grit your teeth, stress, and keep on doing the same thing in the same way, or pick up and move on.  It’s your choice!  A rut is just a coffin with the ends knocked out.

So now what?

Unfortunately just changing locations doesn’t always solve the problems … but it sure helps!  Sometimes you have to change you.  Change your outlook and your way of thinking.  Move from a negative outlook to a positive outlook.  Assuming you first deal with your own s***,  then maybe a change of place, a change of locationopportunity, a new opportunity is just what you need.

Over the years I’ve written a lot about escaping to Panama.  There’s my book, and scores of articles on my blog about moving to Panama.  It’s not for everyone, but it may be for  you and now may be the time.

Panama is a peaceful country … with no army and not spending trillions of dollars to get the rest of the world to live the way we do.  Maybe that’s why Panama is one of the happiest countries in the world!  We not only are located at the crossroads of the world, but our famous Canal continues to bring the world together.  Panama uses the US dollar as its currency, so we don’t have the wild currency fluctuations of many of our neighbors.  Panama has THE most robust economy in the region.  It’s not only the Canal, but international finance, the second largest free zone in the world, logistics, construction, the country of registration for 25% of the world’s ships, the airline hub of the Americas, and a burgeoning tourist industry.  We have been a democracy for almost 30 years with multiple political parties (not just two who are “the establishment”) and civil elections that are fought at the local level (not on TV) by candidates who mostly have very similar views, and serve 5 year terms (and are required by law to sit out for 10 years before thinking of running again).  Elections are hard-fought, often very close, but in the end everyone gets together with Seco or rum, and comes together to move the nation forward.  Peace, prosperity and happiness.  Nice!

Panama is in the tropics so you can have hot, hot, hot! … both in temperament and climate … or enjoy to cool, year-round spring-like climate of a mountain paradise like Boquete, which is where I choose to live.  Hottest, maybe 80 degrees F at noon with the sun out, and 61 degrees F at 3:30 am when the dogs wake me up to go out and pee … and the stars  look like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”   It  really is paradise!

Of course things change … and not only places, situations, and experiences, but we also change.  We want new experiences, new adventures and new opportunities.  And sometimes those changes aren’t always what we would choose, if we had a choice.  Sometimes those changes you wouldn’t choose are physical, and you have to regroup and reevaluate, which is why we end up offering our own personal paradise for sale.

Our beautiful 4,500 sq ft Tuscan-style home and 3.5 acre estate filled with lush tropical gardens, exquisite Arabica coffee and a host of tropical fruit trees … orange, lemon, , guanabanas, banana, plantain and others, is being offered for sale.  It is a private paradise with incredible views and has been dubbed by others as “the most beautiful house in Boquete.”

For physical reasons and because I still spend much of the year working on fabulous cruise ships sailing around the world, we need to downsize.  I welcome your inquiries about our home and small farm.


BookCoverPreviewAfter living in Panama for over 12 years and seeing lots of changes, both in Panama and in the rest of the world, it was time for a major rewrite of THE NEW ESCAPE TO PARADISE.  It’s finished and available now.

The new 2017 version includes a special Panama Q & A section, based on all the many questions I’ve received over the years.

This is what you need to know if you are contemplating a move to Panama.


1. Why Panama? — 10
2. Dare to Dream — 44
3. Finding Paradise – 50
4. Work Until You Drop — 73
5. Change Is Good — 85
6. Running the Numbers — 94
7. Visit a Leather Bar — 105
8. How Stable Is It? — 118
9. Getting Off the Hamster Wheel — 128
10. To Your Health — 137
11. Not in Kansas Anymore — 161
12. Building in Paradise — 175
13. See Spot Run — 194
14. Burn Rate — 202
15. Exit Strategy — 208
16. Legalities — 218
17. Just Say No — 233
18. This Isn’t the Panama Canal — 242
19. Due Diligence — 249
20. The Devil You Know — 252
21. To Like & Not to Like — 255
22. A Place to Call Home — 278
23. Addicted to Coffee — 304
24. Leaving Paradise — 318
25. What People Won’t Tell You and Can’t Tell You – 328
26. If I Had to Do It All Over Again – 330

Starting to Learn Spanish — 333
For Further Reading — 336
Key Dates in Panama History -– 338
US Military Installations -– 347
Panama Q & A — 350
Footnotes — 390


Back Home!

After 3 months away at sea … fantastic ports and places to be sure! … I’m happy to be back home in my beautiful paradise.  Yes, we’re in the rainy season, which frankly I love more than the dry (or “less rainy”) season.  There seem to be more butterflies than ever, probably because I planted my garden to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  Yes, there is catching up … pruning and “honey do” items … but to sit on the porch and watch the sun rise in the morning with my own home-grown coffee … man, did I miss my own good coffee on the ship! … or sit in my own, private spa and sip a drink and watch the sun set … nothing against cramming into a ship spa with 6 other passengers, BUT at home I don’t need a bathing suit!  Well, it IS paradise!  What can I say?

Sometimes I just need to relax … stop running ….and enjoy the moment and the process!


February was on one of my new favorite ships … PEARL MIST.  I love the idea of a stateroom with private veranda, under 200 guests who are interesting and fun to get to know, where everything is included … nice!  And the perfect ship to visit Cuba.  We loved Cuba!  Yes, it is somewhat a work in progress, but the people are warm and welcoming, and the architecture, although sometimes needing renovation, which is happening, is fantastic.


I got off PEARL MIST and literally walked down the terminals in Fort Lauderdale to board CORAL PRINCESS.  CORAL was built especially to be the largest cruise ship at the time that could fit through the historic Panama Canal.  The godmother was Mireya Moscoso, then the President of Panama and President when the Canal was turned back to Panama.  CORAL with about 2,000 passengers is actually a “smaller” cruise ship by today’s standards.  The great thing for me is that the reason WHY people book a Panama Canal cruise IS the Panama Canal.  It’s fun to have a big theater filled with folks who are eager to learn about the Canal, sometimes even sitting in the aisles!  And the most fun thing for me is to get up at 4 am, walk out on deck and see folks already out and waiting for the transit to begin.  On complete transits I start the narration at 5:15 am and go on … and off … telling folks what’s happening until late afternoon.  I love it, and the guests do too!


So Cuba, Panama Canal, Aruba, Cartagena, both sides of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico … t really is a fun retirement.

So … back home.

Folks are always surprised when they see the skyline of Panama City and all the construction going on.  Many aren’t used to a vibrant economy like Panama.  And the future … looks great.  I found this news article this morning, which I can’t resist repeating.  If you are looking for a place to retire or looking for an expat lifestyle the state of the local economy is important.

Government revenues forecast to grow 42.5% in 5 years

PANAMA GOVERNMENT revenues will grow 42.5% over the next five years according to estimates endorsed by the Cabinet Council and published in the official Gazette.

The publication indicates that for this year, the current income of the Central Government will be $8.443 billion and in the year 2022 it will reach e $12. 34 billion.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP is currently estimated at $5.9 billion, and by 2022 will reach $8.9 billion (+ 50.8%).

The document containing the figures also states that by 2017 the Social Security Fund is expected to have income of $3. 545 billion, a figure that would grow 39% to $4.930 billion by 2022.

The estimates were published in the Official Gazette because Law 34 of June 5, 2008 rules that during the first four months of each year, the Ministry of Economy and Finance should make public the Macroeconomic projections for the next five years. [Newsroom Panama]

One of my big projects is to redo both of my Web sites … this one and PanamaforSalebyOwner.INFO.  Thanks for your patience while I remodel the sites.  I’ve been blogging now for over 8 years, so it is time for a major renovation.