When artist Cynthia Hass Bishop met her now husband, Fred Bishop, she had an important question for him: “Would you consider living outside the U.S.?” “When I was 10, I told my parents I wanted to go the University of Mexico City,” she says. Exploring has always been in her blood. And Panama was on her list early on.
As I approach retirement, I realize that I will want my day-to-day life to be convenient. And, for me, having the option of walking to and from the places that supply what I want and need will be important. It will be crucial to live in a city where I can find the daily necessities and minor luxuries within walking distance of where I live.
On my recent trip to David, Panama’s third largest city, I heard a common refrain from expats there. Whenever the topic of Boquete, a small mountain town about 30 minutes up the mountain, came up they’d say: “It’s too cold. Too small. And there are too many gringos.”
“Our lifestyle is more relaxed here. We don’t live to work but the other way around. The cost of buying a home, living comfortably in the country, and eating good food is lower here compared to the U.S.,” says Laura Springham about rural France where she, her husband Keith, and their son Patrick moved almost two years ago.
I was a single parent raising a daughter in the U.S. and working in logistics management. Every time I was laid off, which happened several times, I was thrown into complete panic—how would I pay my bills and keep a roof over my child’s head? It was the most horrific fear I’ve ever experienced.
Many people don’t realize that Panama’s famous Pensionado discounts are by law given to all who qualify by age—expat or Panamanian. When women reach the age of 55 and men 60, they can automatically start using the benefits that the Pensionado provides.
I was a little choked up on stage at the amount of applause when I proclaimed to the audience, “Hooray, I’m fat.” Maybe I should explain a bit here. I was giving a talk at a recent International Living conference.
I'm sipping a golden ale nano-brew and looking out over the peaks of Panama's Coclé Province. It's a broad vista. Beyond the bright, grassy shades of mango and banana trees are mountains, richly carpeted in a deep, velvety green.
Who doesn’t love spending some time in France? The enticing smell of a patisserie…freshly baked baguettes and pain au chocolat…who could resist? Not myself and my husband Duncan, obviously.
I didn’t move abroad for the affordable healthcare. I moved abroad for the adventure and the weather. I wanted to see how other people in the world lived. I wanted a more relaxed, less stressful lifestyle. I wanted warm weather year-round.