An Interview with My Daughter about Our Crazy Plans

An Interview with My Daughter about Our Crazy PlansWe all know that everyone loves to hear from my daughter on here more than me.  So I thought that this time I’d bring her back as an interviewee.

Most of you think that our plans to move out of the country later this year are pretty bold but cool (albeit, a little crazy).

But the problem is that you’re only getting my perspective on our upcoming plans.  And I know a lot of you want to know what the rest of the family is thinking.

So today, I’m presenting an interview I did with my daughter, Faith, to talk about our July plans as well as our upcoming move to Panama in August.

Hopefully, I can get Mrs. R2R on here in the next couple of weeks as well to give her viewpoint on this big change.

So, let’s get on with the fun!  Ladies and gentlemen… here’s my sitdown with Faith!

Note: If you’d rather listen to it, I’ve included the audio for our conversation at the end of this post.


How old are you and what grade are you in?

I’m 8 years old and I am in the third grade, but my Dad did think I was in the second grade.

[That really did happen.  I was chit-chatting with an acquaintance and told him that my daughter was in the second grade.

Later that day, Faith and I were watching something on TV and the boy on the show said he was in the third grade.  Faith said, “Cool, he’s in the same grade as I am!”

I looked at her and said, “Wait, you’re in the second grade.”

She laughed at me and said, “No, I’m in the third grade… you’re the worst dad ever.”]



How do you think everything’s going with your Dad being home every day since early retirement started?

Well, I think it’s pretty good.  It’s usually good because I get to hang out with him a lot, but sometimes it gets a little annoying.

[Ouch, that hurts!]


We have a lot of plans coming up in the next few months.  What are you most excited about?

I’m definitely most excited about Cedar Point.  I think Cedar Point will be super fun and I will get to ride all the roller coasters now that I’m tall enough.


What are you least excited about?

Um, I don’t know.  I think all of it is pretty fun, but I think least excited about is Kelleys Island… no, probably camping… but, I don’t know because it’s all fun.


With everything we’re doing to prepare for our trip and the big move, we’ve made a lot of changes and continue making changes (sold the house, moved into a small apartment, selling all of our stuff, etc.).  Has this been easy or hard for you?

Hard because I had to clean up the mess that my Dad made when he sold everything.

[I’ve been using OfferUp to start selling some of our stuff.  Good and bad, but our furniture like dressers, tables, and bookshelves have been selling almost as fast as I put ’em up there.  Without things like dressers though, we’re starting to just have piles of stuff to sift through.  It’s a good kick in the @#$ for us to get rid of our stuff, but it’s a lot of work.  Faith doesn’t like that.]

What’s been the hardest part for you?

Probably getting the feeling that I have to leave my best friend Ralf and my friend Aleah – she’s like my FBFF, but like, it’s kind of sad.

[Ralf is my in-laws’ dog… it’s funny he makes the top of the list.  Also, I’m not allowed to say what FBFF stands for because she claims that’s their secret code… yup.]

Ralf and Faith


We each get to bring two suitcases with us to Panama… that limits what you can bring.  Tell us some of the most important things you’ll be packing.

I’ll be packing Froggie, Piggilo, all my dresses, stuffed animals, of course, and just like a few toys.

[Froggie’s a stuffed animal that’s been around since she was born.  I don’t how that thing hasn’t disintegrated yet, but he sticks with her like glue.  Pigglio Wigglio hasn’t been around as long, but he’s welcome in the family… at some point, it seems his name changed from Pigglio to Piggilo.]

An Interview with My Daughter about Our Crazy Plans
The day Froggie finally got to blow off a little steam…


Is there anything you have to leave behind that you’re not happy about?

My big bear!  My big Coke bear!  But I think I might be able to fit it in my suitcase.  I will do that!

[My brother won her a giant stuffed Coca Cola bear years ago – like as big as she is.  Somehow Faith thinks it’s going to eventually make its way to Panama… I’m betting against that happening!]


Are you excited about homeschooling or do you think it will be a disaster and why?

I think it’ll definitely be a disaster.  It will if Mom’s teaching me, cuz, like – I don’t know.  It’s like – I don’t know – I don’t think you guys are going to be the best teachers.

[Haha, at least she laughed when she said it!  And the good news is that she’s setting the bar low – much easier to exceed expectations in a case like this!]


Why won’t we be good teachers?

Probably just cuz you’re like “FOCUS!”… and then Mom will make me do extra facts tests.

[She makes it sound like I’m a drill sergeant or something.  I’m more pushover than anything!  Facts tests are something my daughter does now for school and hates it, obviously.]


What are the things you’re most looking forward to seeing or doing while in Panama?

I wanna see the festival – I’m really excited for that and doing all the dancing and festivals and stuff.  I’m really, really excited for that stuff. And also, I’m excited to do yoga and look out at the beautiful world.

[My daughter is referring to Carnival along with some of the other fun things they do there like a Jazz festival every year.  These should be some fun events!]


What do you think will be the hardest part of us living there?

Probably coming back and deciding if we’re going to stay here.  Like if we’re going to stay there or like and coming back every three months.

[For that first year, we’re purposely not going to apply for residency, so we’ll be traveling back and forth every few months to comply with their tourist laws.]


Like the travel part or only seeing people every few months?

Travel part.

[Can’t argue with that!]


How do you plan to stay in contact with friends and family while we’re in Panama?

Hangouts – definitely Hangouts.  Hangouts, Hangouts, and Hangouts.  I love Hangouts!

[Um, so you’re thinking maybe Hangouts?]


Are you nervous, excited, or a little bit of both for this adventure?

Definitely a little bit of both.  I’m nervous that I’m not going to make any friends, but we all know that’s not true.

[A little bit cocky, right?  She’s funny, kind, and outgoing though… so she’s probably right.]

An Interview with My Daughter about Our Crazy Plans
Here’s Faith hanging out with a girl she made friends with in Panama when we visited. The girl didn’t speak a lick of English… I think my daughter will do just fine making friends


Are you learning Spanish?

Yes, I am – I actually take two classes.  I take an online class which is called Drops and at school, at recess, I do a class with Mr. Kyle, and it’s just like a little class.

[By online, she means as an app on her Kindle Fire.  And her co-teacher was excited about our plans and has been helping her learn some Spanish as well during recess.]


What’s your favorite Spanish word or phrase?

Either hamburguesa, limonada, or cacahuete.

[When we first visited Panama, I taught Faith the words for hamburger and lemonade.  She was so excited that she knew the Spanish words, that it was all she ordered for most of the trip.  The last one, “cacahuete”, is just fun to say and makes us laugh – it means peanut.  Click on the audio symbol on the Google search results page to see what I mean.]


Do you think that after the first year we’ll decide to stay forever, give it another year, move to another country, or move back to the United States?

I think we will probably either give it another year or we will stay.

[One of the rules we put in place was that we give it at least a year and then we take a vote on if we stay or go – two out of three votes wins.]


Why?  What makes you think that?

Because I think Panama is an awesome country and I am not moving back… I am not selling all of my farm.  I’m not doing that. We’re going to stay for another year if we decide to move – we’re staying.

[Part of the deal was that my daughter could get a dog once we moved.  Somehow that turned into both her and Mrs. R2R wanting goats and other farm animals.  I feel like I’m missing something.]


Anything else you’d like to share with the Route to Retire readers?

Well, this is the weirdest thing in the world, but go check out my channel, Fun with Faith. [Starts laughing.]

[I decided to let her start a YouTube channel, but with our strict supervision.  If you want to support her, click on the Subscribe button on her channel (Fun with Faith) – she’ll be in heaven.  She’s only done a couple of videos so far, but hopefully, she’ll add to it soon, particularly with our new adventure coming up.]

Fun with Faith

It will be fun and I’m getting a barn while we’re there with all the animals in it.  We gotta get some doggies – we’re getting some puppies – and we’re going to get goats and some chickens and I’m hatching those baby eggs!


You’re gonna sit on ‘em and hatch ‘em?

I’ll get an incubator.

There you have it folks – hope Faith gave you some good insight on what goes on in the mind of an eight-year-old moving to a foreign country.

I actually informally recorded this with the intention of just transcribing it (by hand) real quick and then deleting it.  But, since I’ve never gotten to add audio to a post before, I thought I’d drop it here just for fun.



Think Faith is going to enjoy our adventure or is my daughter going to be in for a rude awakening?


Thanks for reading!!

— Jim

You know you wanna share this!!

18 thoughts on “An Interview with My Daughter about Our Crazy Plans”

  1. Thanks Faith! It’s great to hear what you think.
    You’re very mature. Take care of your parent while you’re in Panama.
    Good luck with homeschooling. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Angela – she’s a smart kid and we’re definitely going to make sure that she’s a part of the decision on if we stay or go after that first year. Her future is the most important so we’ll see how it all plays out. 🙂

      — Jim

  2. I think she’s going to love the adventure, and that despite the scary parts you guys are doing something that will expand her horizons immeasurably and prepare her very well to thrive in the increasingly globalized world she’ll inherit one day. HOWEVER, I must object to leaving Coke Bear behind! Maybe she can bring it as a carry-on or something? I think it’s truly admirable and awe-inspiring how disciplined you guys are being with the two-suitcase rule, and I realize that Coke Bear is a ridiculous extravagance size-wise, but the ridiculousness would also make it a very sweet “spoiling-your-daughter-with-just-this-one-thing-not-every-thing” gesture, no? I know I’m a bleeding-heart, and I’ve probably spoiled my own daughter too much, but truth told she’s still turning out great at 16 (knocking on wood). So I’m voting for Coke Bear to get an immigration visa!

    1. From Faith:

      I definitely think that, too. I need to be spoiled. Thank you a lot for writing!

      From Jim:

      I like the thought, Adam, but that girl’s spoiled like no other – you and I should have a face-off on who spoils there kid more! 😉

      In all reality, we’re actually bringing a lot of unnecessaries just for her. In fact, I’m actually packing our entire Nintendo Wii system with her in mind. Plus, one of her suitcases will likely weigh 1 pound since it’ll probably only have stuffed animals in it! 😛

      We’ll see if the Coke Bear makes a second round trip down, but I’m going to guess not so much. 🙁

      1. Hahaha ’nuff said! If she’s getting a Wii and at least one favorite stuffed animal then there’s definitely no need to bring them all — in fact, maybe Coke Bear will want some of those other suitcase animals to stay and keep him company!

        And Faith, I’m glad your dad spoils you and I’ll tell you a secret — it makes him feel awesome to do it!

  3. Wow – Faith really has a strong sense of adventure and seems very open to such a big change. It is really nice to see such a high level of excitement, understanding, and curiosity from someone who is only 8.

    I have 3 young kids myself and would like them to have more of this mentality of not being afraid to be in a new environment. What advice or what do you attribute to the reason why Faith is so open to new experiences and adventure?

    1. Faith’s always been pretty open-minded (as much as a kid can be). She’s grown up doing things like this the day she was little – for instance, she’s been a regular at tent camping with us since before she could even walk. We continue to encourage her to try new things (like when we went zip-lining in the mountains of Panama) and even things she’s hesitant about (maybe take one bite of food that doesn’t look appealing) so that probably helps. But overall, I think that a lot of it comes down to the kid as well.

      If you’re open to trying new things, I’m sure your kids will be as well. 🙂

      — Jim

  4. Cookie LaManna

    Hi Faith, What a great interview! I am so glad you are looking forward to this great adventure.
    You know Papa and I will miss you terribly, but it will certainly be a great experience for all of you. You are wise beyond your years my princess. Love you.

  5. Hi Faith! It was great to hear your thoughts on your upcoming move to Panama and the fun you’ll have this summer. So exciting! Love the YouTube channel too…your pizza looked delicious. It will be so fun to see some of your upcoming adventures on there. Keep ’em coming!
    Wishing you all the best,

  6. Very cute interview Jim! You guys are going to have a ton of fun in Panama!

    Also: Please let me know when you guys manage to get a couch… so I can come visit! 😉

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