Two years ago when I moved to Panama, I could not have predicted the life path that is now unfolding. If you don’t already know, I didn’t move to Panama because I liked it. I moved here to have escape the Bay Area rat race, to have a new and different experience and to be closer to my parents. Dad was 90 years old and considerably younger Mom had just fallen and fractured her hip. Being here seemed like a good idea except that the trash and noise and traffic and chaos drove me nuts. For my entire first year here, I kept asking my mom why she stayed.
And then a shift happened. I just got used to living here and started to like my life — regardless of the circumstances. I was enjoying teaching business law, I had made friends, I was engaged in creating a new website and meeting other young entrepreneurs. I was fine but now Mom was the one increasingly frustrated with her situation and the people around her. The traffic and the noise began to bother her more and more. She no longer wanted to participate the non-profit she started. And her activity level — both intellectually and socially — began to diminish.
This is what worried me the most because Mom has always been a bright, energetic person with a ton on the ball. I didn’t like seeing her spend so much time at home without social engagement and mental stimulation. For several months I noticed this but didn’t know what to do until we took a trip to Boynton Beach, Florida to visit friends. Like my insight to move to Panama, I received another bright idea. Let’s move back to the US where Mom can do work she loves.
I used to be uncertain of my Panama move; I now know why I came. In making a better life for myself, I have taken on making it better for my family was well, which gives me immense joy. I am excited that Mom and I are starting a medical consulting business to help people with chronic disease through nutrition. Dad will love our new home in a quiet neighborhood with a back yard in which to soak up Florida sun. Ali and Naya, our extended family, are thrilled to soon live in America.
Billy and I depart on Monday. Mom, Dad, Naya, Sammy and Maven arrive one week later and Ali a few weeks after that. We are family.