Of course I was sad to be leaving the warm weather and our beautiful condo and yummy food, but we were ready to go home, I think. I was looking forward to planning my garden, and Hubs was looking forward to building sheds again. We enjoyed spending some time with my sister, and it was a nice break from everyday life for us... especially winter everyday life! Just being somewhere hot for some of January was a reward in itself. But we were ready to go home.
I really enjoyed our trip to Panama. I feel like my Spanish got better. I was able to learn about so many new plants and even animals on this trip. I also got to learn a little more about Caribbean history and culture, which was a lot of fun. And of course I got to spend quality time with my favorite man in the whole wide world, doing exciting new things together!
Note To Travelers:
There were a few things we learned when vacationing in Panama that I'd like to share, for those who might be considering Panama as a travel destination. Below are four points to remember, as well as a saying I made up about the country shortly before we left. Hubs keeps asking me to repeat it, so some of what I experienced in Panama must be true. It goes like this:
"Everything costs twice as much, takes twice as long, and only half of it works like it's supposed to."
1. High prices. I felt like many things were a little (or a lot) more expensive in Panama than in the States.
2. Waiting. We did a TON of waiting in line. In the US, you go to McDonalds and expect to get your food in a minute or two. In Panama City we waited for 30 minutes to get an order at McDonalds. It was the same way at the bus station, grocery store and everywhere we went. Wait, wait, wait!!! And on the way home we'd get stuck in traffic, and have to wait some more.
3. Transportation. We also learned that you should either 1) get room and board next to attractions/grocery stores/etc., or 2) rent a car. Using public transportation did work okay for us, but it was slow and a lot of the smaller buses didn't even have a set schedule. Our resort was several miles from town and required $5-$7 worth of taxi rides just to get some groceries. Also note that, especially in Panama City, trips should be planned to miss heavy traffic... otherwise you might miss the place being open!
4. Keep luxury and backpacking separate. For long vacations (2 weeks +) it makes more sense to stay somewhere where hostels cost $12 per night, like they did in Guatemala. It would have been better for us to do our "resort-ing" for only 5-7 days in Panama at a luxurious all-inclusive resort, and then do our backpacking in another place with a lower cost of living. We will keep this in mind as we plan future trips.
Til next time,