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“Six Years Ago, I Couldn’t Pinpoint Panama On The Map…Today, Panama Is Home”

“Six years ago, my husband called me at work one day and said, ‘What about Panama?’

“I was doing the corporate rat race thing,” Karyn Saunders continued, “in Toronto, Canada, commuting to work through the snow and ice each day each winter. There had to be more to life than that, right?

“My husband and I asked ourselves that question for a long time. Finally, we decided we were going to figure out a way to take advantage of a ‘retired’ lifestyle even though we were nowhere near retirement age.

“That’s what led to that fateful call six years ago. I’m embarrassed to admit it now, but, when my husband proposed Panama on the phone that day, I had to go online to double-check where in the world, exactly, Panama was.

“The next year, my husband and I took a leave of absence from our jobs and flew to Panama. Now, five years later, Panama is our home.

“When I was a kid, my dad used to say to me, ‘Karyn, 75% good, 25% bad, and you’re laughing.’

“I can honestly say that Panama is that 75% good, 25% bad but not so bad.

“Our biggest concern moving here, frankly, was that we’d be bored. Our friends put this idea in our heads. ‘You’re crazy,’ they told us, ‘moving down there with all those old retired people. What are you going to do with yourselves?’

“Those ‘old retired people,’ it turns out, are among the most adventurous we’ve ever known. They run circles around us sometimes. Plus, there are more younger people, like us, relocating to Panama all the time.

“Have we been bored? Not at all. We’ve become involved in several businesses. There’s no shortage of business opportunity in this country right now. But, even if you don’t want to work, you’ll find yourself fully occupied. You can have as active a social life as you want. Sometimes we have to close our door and say, ‘No, we can’t come to that pool party. We just need to stay in today!’

“All the other expats I’ve met in the five years we’ve been living in Panama, all the friends we’ve made, we all have an important commonality. We all stepped outside the box. And just look at the adventures we’re having as a result!”

Kathleen Peddicord

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