We Live Here

During the time we’ve lived in Panama we’ve met or I’ve corresponded with many other people who have either made the move here or are considering moving here.  People leave their home country for too many reasons to go into.  Many of those reasons are deeply personal and some are practical.  Many leave their home country expecting to transplant themselves to Panama and not change the way they think, feel or live.  Some will integrate into their surroundings living frugally among villagers in a small town or the countryside and others will set themselves up in a hill-top home, a high-rise apartment or in a gated community and rarely interact with others who are unlike themselves.  Neither way is right nor wrong, just different and I like to think that we’ve managed to find an even balance between the two lifestyles.

I’ve run into a few people who think that life in Panama is one big vacation with a party every night.  It’s not normally like that in the real world or if you are really living in Panama because:

We don’t go “out” every night and every day is not one big drinking party that begins at noon because…we live here;

We take pride in working in and around our home ourselves but we know enough to ask or hire some extra hands when we need them because…we live here;

We have the time to do the things we never had time to do when we were working and have discovered new hobbies because…we live here;

We keep up with local and national news that may affect us or our neighbours, not to criticize and compare but because…we live here;

We’ll probably never be fluent Spanish speakers but we manage and we are learning more as we continue lessons every week because…we live here;

We are trying to help improve our community because…we live here;

We frequent local businesses when possible because…we live here;

We don’t ask for a discount from the local restaurants or small businesses because we know that it decreases their revenue and because…we live here;

We try to practice patience and kindness with the people we interact with because…we live here;

We take part in local and community events when we can because…we live here;

We’ve gotten used to the spontaneous fireworks and tolerate the loud music, the roosters crowing and the dogs barking because…we live here;

We expect an electricity “bump” or two during a rainstorm and frequent power outages during Dry Season because…we live here;

We’ve adjusted to the heat, the humidity during Wet Season, the dust during Dry Season, bugs, spiders, snakes etc. because…we live here;

We’ve met many kind, giving, talented people because…we live here; and

We can watch and still be in awe of a beautiful sunrise, the birds flying home at twilight, a crab on the beach, the crash of the ocean waves, the sight of a whale spouting, the greenness of the hills and trees….because… we’re not on vacation, we live here.

Birds at sunrise


About indacampo

You'll find me at https://indacampo.wordpress.com/ blogging about Panama...and other things.
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11 Responses to We Live Here

  1. Frances says:


  2. shellmcc1106 says:

    Awesome blog today! I’m starting to feel the same way, I live here!

  3. Very well put. It’s important for people to realize that vacation is a. It different from everyday life, and I love how you said it.

  4. Amen! I love this post!!! Very well said, thank you for starting my day off with such a poignant message. Life is good!

  5. mcmoller says:

    Well said. This is home now and when I travel elsewhere, that’s usually a vacation.

  6. John Pazera says:

    Great post!

  7. pklainer says:

    Karen, I like this post a lot. Living in a place really is qualitatively different from using people and place just for fun or diversion. You’ve both become part of the village where you live, and it shows in all of your writing. Panamanians of the heart …

  8. I’m sure you have seen that bumper sticker “I’m not a tourist…I live here.” What a difference to live somewhere and really get to know its landscape, people, and culture. A brief vacation is no comparison to your experience.

  9. cicero3332 says:

    The sad fact is that alcohol abuse is all-too-common among ex-pats in Panama. The truth is that alcoholism is no more attractive here than it was in the old country.

  10. Joyce says:

    Love your post, and glad you like our country. I let our decor webpage, hope you like it –> http://tucanstore.com/tienda-tucan-store/

    • indacampo says:

      Oh wow, what wonderful “stuff”. I’ll have to take some time to peruse it closer. Thanks for stopping by!

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