Podcast: “We Swapped Wine Making in Oregon for a Caribbean B&B”

If you’ve ever seriously contemplated a move overseas—really considered it, not just daydreaming—then you’ll know all about negative thinking. For every picture in your mind of palm-fringed beaches and waking up to the sound of birdsong…there’s another slew of ‘rational’ reasons why it could never happen. Responsibilities, obligations, the stupefying momentum of routine… Most people never get beyond telling themselves that they’ll make the move ‘When the time is right’…

JP and Mandy Caldcleugh, though, aren’t ‘most people’. A series of personal events convinced them that life was too short to waste waiting for ‘the perfect time’ to follow their dream. It turned out that the perfect time was ‘now’.

JP and Mandy chose to reset their lives and move from the Northwest U.S. to the Caribbean shores of Bocas del Toro in Panama to operate a boutique hotel—Casa Acuario. Their story is told in the April 2023 issue of International Living magazine in a profile by Jessica Ramesch entitled ‘We Swapped Wine Making in Oregon for a Caribbean B&B’.

Taking over a small hotel, so close to the water of the Caribbean that they can hear it from their bedroom, JP and Mandy arrived in Panama during a pandemic, and before they even arrived at their new business, they had their first customer. With no background in hospitality, the couple had to learn as they went. And with minimal Spanish, a slew of renovations to make, and more business than they ever expected…there was a lot to learn.

Fortune favors the bold, though, and Casa Acuario has been thriving from day one. Podcast host, Jim Santos, learns all about living on the Caribbean islands of Bocas del Toro, as he talks to JP and Mandy Cauldcleugh in this week’s episode of Bigger Better World.



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