When the time comes to say goodbye to a place that has been home for many months, one cannot help but reflect on the experiences gained in that time. It is with mixed feelings that I think back on this unique period before setting off on a new adventure. One of my first stories was The Top 10 Things I Love About Panama. Interestingly, the two lists are not as similar as I thought they would be.
- Clean air – I was raised on oxygen-rich air in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in Washington. The rains regularly washed the pollutants out of the air. In that sense, Panama has been just like home.
- Locally grown coffee – After a recent visit to Los Angeles and tasting what passes for coffee in restaurants and hotels, I realize I have been spoiled by some of the greatest tasting coffee on the planet.
- The weather – Even on the rainiest and windiest days it’s still 75°F during the day all year round.
- The ocean beaches – The tropical Caribbean waters are so clear and warm, you just want to jump in whenever you get the chance. (The Pacific is nice, too.)
- The flowers – Everything grows here, so it is no surprise about the abundance of flowers.
- Fresh fruit – Like the flowers, fruit grows abundantly. I love getting fresh pineapples for a dollar, giant papayas year round, and avocados and mangos and guava and bananas and…
- Fun things to do – Even though we spent too much time indoors working on stuff, there was never a shortage of things to do and places to go.
- New friends – We met some incredible people, gringos and locals alike, and they have been a great source of warm, friendship, and support.
- Our host family – Our home has been very comfortable and conveniently located. The owner and her son made us feel welcome from the time we first met.
- Missed opportunities – We are leaving prior to the Flower and Coffee Fair, the Boquete Jazz Festival, and the visit by the Sooke, British Columbia firefighters. I didn’t get to follow-up with a lot of interesting people working to make a difference in a community with lots of needs.
There are more things I may miss about Panama. However, I will be busy discovering new things to enjoy and to share on my next adventure. Won’t you join me?