This is a question I'm getting almost every day now that I've announced I am packing and leaving the U.S. on February 1st and moving to Panama. I am about to share my list of reasons, but I think my immediate gut response to the question is, "Why not Panama?" I've lived the past four years in the San Francisco area, ever since paroling from Folsom State Prison. For three of those years, I was restricted to stay within a fifty mile radius. I've always assumed I would spend the next period of my life somewhere else, and was just awaiting such an opportunity to offer itself. Thanks to my friend, Tony Busse, who has lived in Panama since 2006, though with frequent returns to his native New York, I now have that option.
Tony has been suggesting I visit and then relocate to Panama for the past several years. He is an innovative and clever entrepreneur and wants to work with me in some areas of personal development. A number of people in the U.S. and other countries have praised my work, suggested they wanted to collaborate, or at the very least, support my efforts. But no one in the U.S. has so far come up with an actual plan or strategy for doing so. Tony has, on a number of occasions. So my number one reason for deciding to move to Panama is:
The rest of the list is in no particular order of importance, and I suspect after my return from my first exploratory visit to that nation this week, some of these items will be modified or replaced.
2. The Brain Stimulation of Learning a New Language.
I have long felt like sort of a dunce for only knowing English. Especially with new evidence that learning and speaking a 2nd language is a tremendous boost to brain function. Though perhaps not absolutely necessary, I do intend to become articulate in the Spanish language.
Let's face it, I am a warm weather person. Even Southern California was a bit chilly for me when I arrived directly from ten years in Florida. Northern CA? Forgetaboutit! In Panama City, the annual average temperature is about 82 degrees. It also is out of the hurricane belt, has no active volcanoes, few earthquakes, and no killer heatwaves.
4. Cost of Living.
A lot less, sometimes 40% to 50% less. Taxis are $1.50 to anywhere in Panama City, you can have a very lovely dinner for two for less than $20, and a luxury three bedroom apartment in a high rise building with a view of the Panama Canal is $1800 a month. For a lot less, you can find a nice single bedroom place.
5. Lots of Americans.
There are tens of thousands of English-speaking expats in Panama, and they are quite often among the most colorful and adventurous people one can find, as they took this leap of faith into a whole new life in a whole new place. I also think I have a lot to share with this group, in terms of my stand-up comedy and prosperity concepts.
6. Prosperity Conscious Energy.
With the long-awaited final passage of the U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement last October, a lot of U.S. entrepreneurship has poured into Panama, and there are lots of new opportunities for Panamanians as well as expats. This means there will be a tremendous need for consulting services, motivational and sales seminars, time management information, etc. I don't know how this may specifically affect me, but I suspect some surprises may be in store--fun and most profitable surprises.
7. Access to Fastest Growing Economies.
Placed where it is, a stone's throw from Colombia, which is also enjoying a new U.S. trade agreement, and with easy access to the rest of Latin America, including the world's most vibrant economy in Brazil, it feels like a good time and place to bring some of my prosperity teaching to a whole new market. I will be meeting with some people who are interested in doing this, as well as coming out with a Spanish translation of Moneylove.
8. Shiny New Things
In my talks and writings recently, I have added this as a concept of what we all need and desire in our lives to keep our minds and hearts engaged. For me, a whole new country to live and work and play in is the ultimate shiny new thing.
9. Perfect Timing.
I don't think it is ever a good idea to make a major shift in one's life, or major decisions when one is immersed in difficulty or emotional turmoil or pain. I am having a delightful time savoring San Francisco and all it offers, and getting a lot of creative efforts going around the world, and so it is, for me, a perfect time to follow through on my longtime intention to leave California.
10. Latina Women.
Yes, I know about the gorgeous women of Panama, including many Sofia Vergara-like Colombian women who have emigrated to Panama. Tony and others have told me how gorgeous young Latinas love older American men, even if they are of modest means. My first reaction was that I am not really interested in women half my age or even younger. But I realize that is limited poverty thinking, so I am now open to seeing what will actually happen once I'm there. But this really isn't a high priority as I already have a couple of gorgeous women who are looking forward to coming down to visit me once I am settled in my new home.
So that's it, the reasons that immediately come to mind for moving to Panama. Will I love it and want to stay there forever or a very long time? I have no idea, but it's about keeping up the momentum, keeping up the life force with new options and adventures.
Check out my prosperity blog at: http://MoneyloveBlog.com