As I sit here in my new home wearing skorts and a sleeveless top, the sliding doors open, listening to the birdsong, I am amazed that I am here. I sit in a virtual paradise in Boquete, Panamá. The temperature outside is probably 71, the sun is shining and the bananas and oranges are ripening in the tree outside of my window. Where I’m working i This is Paradise to me.
This is a place where I feel held, by the earth, the sky and Nature. This is a place where almost everywhere I turn I see and feel the beauty. The photos I take don’t do it justice, but my heart and soul know it. I feel like I can breathe better here, where I can slow down and appreciate more, where the clouds speak to me, or at least they do their dance in the sky for me to enjoy. This is Paradise for my soul.
Moving to another country can be really tough. There are a million details to take care of, immigration laws, how to get your animals into another country…the list is endless. And, for me, it’s all been worth it. We’ve had so much help from virtual strangers. Someone gave me a bulleted document on all the steps needed to bring our cats into the country. And it all worked out. Had I known in advance I would have worried much less. Nonetheless, we all got here and are thriving.
While some will experience culture shock, others may not. Of course it’s very different when you move to another country. Technology makes it possible to connect, but the way is different. You can’t just ask Siri to call someone because most people in Panamá use WhatsApp to call and/or message each other. Things move at a much different pace and, after being back in San Francisco for a few weeks, I am thankful for the pace here. Time is very different here so expectations must be managed accordingly. If you know these things in advance it will make arrival in a new country so much easier.
For me, waking up to birdsong, seeing my kitties curious about the great outdoors, being comfortable in my body because the climate suits my soul, enjoying people, music, Nature and my life, that’s Paradise to me.