Panama Here We Come

Day One Panama: Travel Day
Holiday, vacation, time off… depending on where you live… it all amounts to time away from a regular routine. For most Americans though, we must try to cram a “vacation : a finite amount of time allowed to us by an employer to try to enjoy ourselves” into a short trip to ‘try’ to relax and forget about our “normal daily routines”. I find that it usually takes about a day to get where ever we are going including packing, running around dropping of the “kids” human or four legged, getting to the mode of transportation and the travel to the destination. This day is usually, or at least can be, more stressful than the stress of our daily routines.

For me I find the disconnect rather difficult even though I tell myself I am excited… I’m not gonna think about work… I’m not gonna miss my boy… we’re gonna have fun DAMN IT… if it’s the last thing I do! I worry about having forgotten something. Not getting to the airport on time. GERMS! Yes I’m a germifobe when it comes to winter travel during major flu outbreaks. I just can’t seem to ‘chill’. I just want to get there…
This trip is going to be longer than our normal. We are throwing all caution to the wind and taking off for two weeks. Our normal is five days. We are going where there is limited power… internet… and an abundance of natural living! Islands off the coast of Panama, just south of the Costa Rican border. Bocas del Toro. We’ve rented two homes that are run on solar power and the water in the homes is supplied by the rainfall and rain catchment systems… in other words, we are at the hands of the earth, the sky, and Mother Nature.

Peaceful Easy Feeling…


I awoke today to a blanket of fluffy white snow. Snow is silent as it falls. It is as peaceful as anything in nature. It blankets everything in a pureness like angel’s wings.

After a day of unease and even hate spread across the waves of social media… this snowfall has come in time to accompany a renewed feeling of empowerment to all the marchers across the world who are expressing themselves in solidarity.

If left alone, snow is a great equalizer. It blankets everything evenly… creating an unbroken wave of starkness… robs everything of it’s color, it’s individuality.  It blends the landscape into a soothing wave of white. It brings out the yin and yang in the strongest of ancient trees. It brings life and can also usher in death.

Snow… for me… brings a peaceful, easy feeling…

Peace

The Changing of the Guard

Yesterday the USA had a “peaceful transfer of power”. I sat watching this on TV wondering what this country is on track for over the next four years?  The USA already has a negative image of arrogant, rich, and maybe even Self centered. With Donald J Trump taking office a lot of our country held it’s breath in our horror.

Please accept my apologies for whatever may come…

Please know… he does not stand for the majority of the people of the United States. Our electoral system is not one for the people and of the people. The majority of the people DID NOT vote for this jackass. Unfortunately he still became president.

His inaugural speech showed how much he thinks of himself. His cabinet picks have no political background… nor does Donald J Trump. What are we in for?  He seems to think he is omnipotent and able to change everything on his own. He seems to think he is going to be our “savior”. He would like to take the USA back a hundred years on some issues and propel us into some kind of unrealistic dreamlike reality… at least for men.

Today women are taking to the streets all over America. We cannot allow this misogynistic ass to send us all back to “barefoot and pregnant”. To be nothing more than sex symbols that any man, including Donald J Trump, can have their way with.

Hold onto your bloomers people…we are in for a rough four years.

Gandaulf the Red

Over the last 25 years, we have always traveled with a dog.  Mercy “Bucket”… a 75 pound German shepherd was an awesome travel companion and member of our little family.  She passed on Mother’s Day in 2008 at 15 years old.  After a short grieving period we got Gandaulf.  We were looking for another Adventure Dog that could keep up with our travels but this time without the size and hairiness of a shepherd.  The Corgis are a working breed just like the shepherds, with a lot of the same mannerisms, easy to train and always out to please.

Gandaulf came to us as a rescue at 10 weeks old. How could a dog with such short legs keep up with our hiking, climbing, rafting and travel abroad?  He would get high centered on the Sunday papers in driveways on our walks, high centered on tennis balls… but boy could he jump! It wasn’t long before his first 2 mile hike, camping trips and rafting/fishing trips. He was a natural in the outdoors.

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Gandaulf is now 7 years old and shows no sign of slowing down.  He has been to more countries than most humans.  Every year he has his own calendar showcasing his travels… he’s a natural in front of the camera.  This adventure will be a test of his patience and travel savvy.

We have never entered another country via driving across the border.  There is a bit of trepidation on our part.  We see blogs and FB posts of people traveling with their dogs. Traveling by airplanes is such a hassle with the red tape and vaccinations he has to go through. Poor guy… but he is a trooper.  We hope crossing a border is no big deal…

We would love to hear from anyone out there with such experience for some pointers.  Dos and don’ts, etc…

The Fear Factor

If anyone our age tells you that they are not afraid to do something new, give up everything they have, quit their job, sell their homes, cash out their retirement accounts and leave whatever family and friends they have, I’d say they are not centered in reality.

As human beings we resist change. People cling to religion because it is a constant in their lives. They stay in their homes till they die or they can no longer live alone.

We are at a jumping off point that is like jumping off a 700 foot cliff with a wing suit as safety equipment. Oh… and with no prior training. Do not hesitate. Yes websites, blogs, Facebook and many other publications exist that make this journey a bit more manageable… but the actual “doing” is scary as hell!

Twenty years ago even thinking about doing this would have been a daunting undertaking. Where do you start? Where is it safe to cross a border? Where is it safe to spend the night? What do you need to cross a border? The world was a huge unknown for the most part. The US state department made you so afraid to venture into other countries. As a visual learner, I find the task at hand much easier to comprehend. The how to exists out there. YouTube, Blog sites, Facebook pages for expats, AIRBNB, VRBO, where to go and how to manuals are everywhere.

When we were younger this would’ve been an absolute thrilling notion, like when we hit the road back in 1993/4. Cell phones were new on the market and very expensive (for what they were). IPads were a futuristic concept. Hell a portable laptop computer was even just a glimmer in someone’s imagination. We were kids… we threw caution to the wind and just did it. Ahhhh… for the innocence of youth…

This time we have so many options… some more fraught with danger than others. Could we be happy settling down in some mountain town in Ecuador, Columbia, Peru? Become beach bums in Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, and Thailand? Travel the world from ‘point A to point B’ with no time limits? Will our vagabonding lifestyle be possible as planned? Best made plans are often laid to waist when put into action… still we continue to put one foot in front of the other. I continue to wake with butterflies in my stomach, that’s the “more mature age” jitters… The Fear Factor

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