…and it seems like we just got here. We planned 1 adventure per week and have hardly scratched the surface. The thing we have done is made some decisions for where we will live. We know now that we will reside 1 – 2 hours west of Panama City on the Pacific. We have looked at houses and condos. Our first choice is an ocean front condo; we just have to find the perfect community for us. People here all have opinions about what makes a community perfect. We know that perfect for us is not necessarily perfect for others. We love Coronado Bay, but it is small, loud, and hot in the afternoon. We know that having a west facing balcony is out of the question because we enjoy our balcony to much to be kept off it in the afternoon and early evening. We also need a big balcony, because we would practically live out there if possible. We love to cook, and eat at home so the kitchen is important. We need a garage or covered parking because the sun is hot here and it is hard on the car to be baking in it 12 hours per day. We will be living there as our primary residence so we need a little more space than a glorified hotel suite. These are our minimal needs and you may be surprised to know that these minimal needs allow us to rule out many places. We are trying to find a place that is further away from the tourist and resort areas while close enough to find a clinic, grocery store, hair salon, and a dentist when needed. We also do not want to be more than 2 hours from the International Airport in Panama City. Currently that is the only place that has nonstop flights into Panama. There are other airports that have international service from Canada or by connecting through Panama City, but we want travel to/from the States to be easy.
This past week I had an appointment with a local dentist. He cleaned my teeth and did an exam. He spoke perfect English and his dental office was state of the art. His equipment put my dentist in Michigan to shame. The total cost here was $42. We would be happy to share his contact information with anyone who messages us. We have shared the names of many of our professional contacts privately here and most everyone is reporting similar good results. We also met with an insurance professional to discuss our insurance needs here in Panama this week. Our health coverage will go from $1267 per month to $383. Our homeowners insurance will be less than $400 per year and our car insurance (full coverage) less than $500 per year for a small 4X4 SUV. We are going to have insurance physicals on Monday morning. We will share that experience as it unfolds.
Next week we will also look at a few more condos in projects that we have not yet seen. We will also, return for a 3rd look at our current first choice. It checks off all the boxes plus has a golf course, children’s water park (grand kid thing), miles of walking and bike paths, pools, beach club, restaurant, and much more. Our other goal for the week is to open a bank account. Opening an account here is one of the hardest parts of integrating into the local society.
We are going to wrap it up for now. Our time for the next couple of weeks is going to be busy. We will be wrapping up our research for daily life and taking at least one more adventure. We are anxious to check out the jungle and go to a village of indigenous people in the Darien region between here and Columbia. Please continue to check back, follow and comment. If you’re following on social media, consider subscribing to the blog by e-mail. E-mail delivery is much more reliable.
Greg and Jen