Life in Early Retirement

A Christmas Story in Panama… Back in Lockdown!

A Christmas Story in Panama… Back in Lockdown!

Once upon a time, a pretty awesome family was living in Boquete, Panama. They were getting ready to start their second Christmas story in this beautiful country. And then the Ministry of Health announced another scheduled lockdown over the next two holiday weeks. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. That pretty awesome family struggled with the mandate, let it spoil their holiday spirit, and became total Grinches for the rest of the year. The End. Oh, and …

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Overthinking the Cost of a Gym Membership

Overthinking the Cost of a Gym Membership

In the personal finance community, you tend to hear overwhelming voices shouting about how the cost of a gym membership makes it such a waste of money. It’s not hard to see why. Most folks in the community are trying to optimize their spending and cut out the costs they don’t need. Larger expenses like giant houses, fancy cars, and eating out excessively are a few of the big ones that we all know that can make it a lot …

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Making Plans for the Future – Stay or Go?

Making Plans for the Future – Stay or Go?

Life is funny sometimes. We made plans for the future, retired early, sold everything we had, and then moved to Boquete, Panama in 2019. What are the chances a once-in-century pandemic hits shortly thereafter and throws everything out of whack? The odds can’t be very high I would guess. I’ll tell you what – it’s been one helluva ride so far. The first six months were pretty awesome. We got settled in, had the opportunity to be on House Hunters …

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5 Things I Wish We Were Doing Again in Panama

5 Things I Wish We Were Doing Again in Panama

I’m so glad to be back in Boquete, Panama again. We really thought that we weren’t going to be able to get back here so that’s a wonderful wish that came true for us. You know I love the temperate weather here in the mountains (hard to beat daily 75 degrees temps!). However, we had a rough week here due to the effects of Hurricane Eta. Although Panama doesn’t directly get hurricanes because it sits outside of the hurricane belt, …

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Boquete, Panama – What’s It Like Today?

Boquete, Panama – What’s It Like Today?

When we left Boquete, Panama on a humanitarian flight at the beginning of summer, there were some borderline draconian measures in place here. The reaction to the pandemic here was to shut everything down to the extreme. Everyone was literally on a full-time lockdown. Women were only allowed out for two-hour periods on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays based on the last digit of your cédula or passport. The same went for men but they could only do Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and …

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Our Trip to Panama – What to Expect As Borders Reopen

Our Trip to Panama – What to Expect As Borders Reopen

We made it! Our trip to Panama went well and we’re back at our condo in Boquete safe and sound and enjoying the beautiful weather again. It was only a couple of months ago that we thought we’d be unable to get back to Panama at all. But in an unexpected turn of events, Panama announced they were going to reopen Tocumen International Airport to tourists starting October 12, 2020. Although I wasn’t confident this would actually happen, we booked …

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Getting an Antigen Test to Travel to Panama… Ugh!

Getting an Antigen Test to Travel to Panama… Ugh!

Yeah… ugh. What a mess things are. As you read this, we should be just hours away from flying back to Panama. The key to making this happen… finding a place to get an antigen test done. Oh, and we needed to take the test within 48 hours of our scheduled arrival time in Panama. And somehow we had to have the negative results in hand in that small window of time. That can still be a real hurdle and …

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An Overnight at Cracker Barrel and 5,863 Miles Logged

An Overnight at Cracker Barrel and 5,863 Miles Logged

It’s hard to believe that our road trip is now over and we’re back in Ohio. It’s crazier to think that our first night of the last leg of our trip involved sleeping in a Cracker Barrel parking lot! We’ve been across a large part of this country on this journey and have had a ton of fun in the process. It’s been a good way to end the summer and have some fun while waiting and hoping we can …

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El Paso, Tucson, Viva Las Vegas!! – Road Trip Leg 2

El Paso, Tucson, Viva Las Vegas!! – Road Trip Leg 2

The second leg of our road trip was an absolute blast and ended with some time in Sin City… viva Las Vegas! Ok, there wasn’t much gambling and drinking since we have our ten-year-old with us, but we had one of our most fun times there regardless. We didn’t spend a ton of money but it was still just a great time all around. And before we got to Vegas, we spent a night in the desert trying to make …

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Three Weeks in Texas – A Big Stop on the Road Trip

Three Weeks in Texas – A Big Stop on the Road Trip

I’m typing this in the car while back on the road and heading out of Texas. Don’t worry, I’m not the one driving! We spent three weeks in the state and now it’s time for us to move on. For those of you following along, we started our road trip out of Ohio on August 10 and made our way to Texas on August 14. My brother and sister-in-law live just outside of Austin and we spent the past few …

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