Hola! For those of you following along with us on Instagram, you may have seen that we arrived at our new home (rental) in Panama a week ago now. After an exhausting few days of last minute packing, cleaning, and then traveling, we made it to our temporary home here. Now that we're here and settled, it feels so good, and it is finally setting in that we won't be going back "home". This is it.
Traveling with kids is not for the faint of heart, and traveling with kids, as well as a portion of all your earthly belongings, adds another dimension of stress and strategic planning. But, this was totally our choice, and I'm not going to complain about it. It went as smooth as possible, for the amount of work we had to do to get here, praise the Lord. We also brought our dog, Cosmo, so that was a whole other piece of the puzzle that took some extra work to prepare for. It also made us a bit later than we wanted to be to check in for our flight....so we barely made our flight to Panama from LAX! We had the whole "Home Alone" airport scene going for sure, running through the airport and all.
Once we arrived in Panama City, things were a bit more easeful. There were many helpful people aiding us in moving around our 47 (semi-exaggeration) pieces of baggage. The airline misplaced some of our baggage, but we were able to get it the next day, so it wasn't that big of a deal. My friend Oscar, from my days living in Costa Rica, picked us up in his giant tour van. It was great to see a friendly face and have his help. Plus, not having to drive after 24 hours of travel and no sleep, was great. Oscar has a tour/relocation business here where he shows people around Panama who are interested in retiring or moving here. His business is called Retire in Panama Tours, if you're interested in checking it out. Their blog has been so helpful to me. It has information on many different topics including relocation, visas, travel here, bringing pets, and more.
After a long drive to our final destination, the place we will call home for at least the next 6 months, we were so relieved and happy to just BE here. We stacked all our totes and suitcases around the house, said goodbye to Oscar, put a few groceries away, and headed down to the beach for our first sunset here and to decompress a little. It is only about a 10 minute walk from our rental house to the beach. It's so amazing and the walk is peaceful, quiet (other than the barking dogs) and beautiful.
The boys ran straight to the ocean water as usual, and Eddie and I just kind of stood there, looking around, a bit shell shocked, a bit nervous, but glad to be done with that super-stressful time of our lives. After we put all the boys down to sleep that first night, and we were chatting in bed, we both agreed that we were a little anxious about everything and couldn't believe we were finally here, almost like "what did we just do?!" But, we got a semi-good night's rest, woke up to a beautiful and tropical rain, got our car delivered, and were both feeling much better about everything.
Over the past week, as we've unpacked, set up our home, brought out all our creature comforts that we brought from our old home, and have been slowly getting our new rhythm here, Eddie and I both feel so much peace about this whole decision. I have had a few moments of nerves, not doubts, anxiousness, not fear; but mostly just excitement and hopefulness for all we have ahead of us. It has only been 7 days, so I'm sure there are still waves of emotions to come. But the Lord is graciously and faithfully giving us these feelings of confidence and assuredness that this is exactly where our family belongs right now.
Nicole & family