Our “Unplugged” Week Enjoying Panama’s Azuero Coast

Wait… There’s No Internet Here? Now What!

Our house isn’t ready.

Lief and I traveled out to Los Islotes this past week to furnish our new beach house there. Three moving trucks filled with furniture and appliances followed us.

We all showed up to find that our new Los Islotes home isn’t ready to be furnished.

It’s maybe two or three weeks short of ready.

Scheduling snafu.

So we off-loaded our sofas, dining room table and chairs, beds, etc., into our garage, shook our heads, took a breath, and moved on. So it goes in paradise.

The good news is that the house we’re very close to having built on Panama’s Pacific coast is turning out to be everything we’ve hoped it would be and more. Our builder Alonso is delivering and then some… only a little later than expected.

So, instead of spending the past week unpacking kitchenware and positioning furniture in the rooms of our new Los Islotes beach home, we’ve been hanging out in a nearby rental getting to know the area better.

Our rented home for the week has no internet.

Let me say that again. The house we rented for our weeklong visit out on Panama’s Azuero Sunset Coast has no internet.

Lief and I rise early and head straight to Los Islotes, where our on-site office does have internet. We work from that base for the better part of the day, taking breaks to tour the property with Alonso and others to check on infrastructure and construction progress.

Our Panama Jack’s beach bar is nearly ready for its Grand Opening… and our Founder’s Lodge is nearly ready for furniture but, again, not quite… as are the first two houses built by owner-members of our emerging Los Islotes community.

At the end of each work day, we shut down our laptops at Los Islotes and head back to our little rental house… where, remember, we have no internet.

No internet, no cell reception, no Apple TV, no cable TV, no regular TV… no input from the outside world of any kind.

What a thing.

What do you do when you find yourself in a remote setting with no access to any packaged option for occupying your attention or filling your time?

As I write, I’m sitting in a sun chair looking out beyond the terrace and the pool to the sun sparkling over the crashing blue waves of the Pacific Ocean.

And so it has gone throughout the week. By day we’ve enjoyed the dazzling sunlight and balmy breezes. Come evening, after we’ve watched the sun take its leave, we’ve retreated indoors to prepare dinner, make to-do lists for the morning, work ahead on dispatches to you, dear reader, and then maybe play a couple of hands of Gin Rummy and indulge in a couple of rum and Cokes before bed… just the two of us.

This summer has been a hectic few months… repositioning from Panama City to Paris in June… hosting a conference in Portugal in July… vacationing with our children and then convening our Retire Overseas Conference in Orlando in August… all while preparing for upcoming events in France, Mexico, and Belize… then returning to Panama to regroup with our team on the ground in Panama City… and organize for the shipment of household goods out to Los Islotes…

Lots of moving parts… lots of logistics… hectic, even chaotic days and schedules…

Then, suddenly, we find ourselves alone and cut off from the entire rest of the world on a stretch of pristine Pacific coastline watching the sea and the sunset and listening to the resident howler monkeys.

The first evening we realized we were as isolated technologically as we have been in our little ocean-view rental, we looked at each other with hints of panic in our eyes.

By the second night, the upside of our situation began to settle in.

Unable to keep up with emails in real time? Not able to review copy for these dispatches immediately? Sometimes delayed in our responses to questions from the team in Panama City?

Not our fault! We have no internet!

Alas, today we return to the real world. Today we travel back to Panama City. Tomorrow we begin a week of annual business meetings with partners and colleagues who’ve made their way to Panama from around the world to participate in these planning sessions.

Another hectic, chaotic week…

I’m ready, though. During the long work days to come, I’ll indulge in a little daydreaming… allowing my mind to wander over memories of this past week on the Azuero Sunset Coast… when Lief and I embraced a back-to-basics, get-to-know-each-other-all-over-again, 1950s kind of life.

And loved it.

Kathleen Peddicord 

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