I have two weeks left in Austin and ten days in Boston. When we first decided to go on the trip six months ago it seemed like it would take forever. Now every day seems to fly by before I can make any progress on my list of stuff-I-must-do-before-I-go.
Of course, the one thing I've had no problem doing is buying the gear necessary to leave. I'll post a complete list of every single thing I'm bringing with me... some of which will probably surprise people.
We still haven't found anywhere to live in Panama yet. I send e-mails to people on Craigslist in Panama, but nothing good has surfaced yet.
Today I'm getting my car ready to sell. I have to get the oil changed and get it washed. There are two very interested people and a few less interested people. One of the guys is a car collector so I hope he buys it. I'm selling it for way less than its worth because I want to sell it before I go to Boston in four days.
I have a few buyers for the RV too. They're all associated with Casa de Luz, the restaurant I park near, so hopefully one of them will buy it and it will stay there on the street where it's been.
I'm really going to miss living in the RV. Even though I've had it now for almost eight months, I still love living in it.
I should probably say that I'll miss people the most, but I won't. I'll still have a local phone number and IM and e-mail, so I know I'll keep in touch with everyone. A lot of people are going to come visit (or at least say they will...) and I'll probably end up coming back to visit a few times.
What I'll miss most is the food. I have a great roster of restaurants I eat at, all perfectly healthy and delicious. Who knows what I'll have to eat when I get to Panama?
It's strange to start having lasts. From the insignificant (last time I'll fill up the RV) to the significant (last time I'll see my friend Hayden). I only have two tazeroke nights left. One Indian night at Casa left.
Of course all of these little things pale in comparison to the excitement I have for going on the trip. I daydream during the day of getting on that plane. I can't wait to land in Panama knowing no one and having to explore and make friends and find places to eat.
I haven't had too much to write about recently because all I've been doing is working and getting ready for the trip.
Oh... actually I went skydiving the other day.
I've been a couple times before, but always as a tandem jump with an instructor on my back. This time I did an AFF which basically means that two instructors grab on to me as I jump, one on each side. Once I pull my rip cord they leave and the rest is up to me.
For anyone who hasn't gone skydiving, you really should. It's far less scary than you think it will be (my friends Todd and Doug went too and neither was scared). It's definitely a feeling unlike any other you'll ever have.
Imagine jumping out of a plane and falling for thirty seconds with nothing connected to you other than a small backpack. It doesn't feel like falling, though - it feels like floating. When I jumped I fell through a cloud.
The whole jump went without incident for me, but Todd went the wrong way and almost landed on the highway. He was three feet away and his chute was actually on the highway. Pretty awesome.
sounds exciting. i have a friend who's moving to South America. i think that he has the same feelings of anxiety and excitement. i'm anxious to hear what kind of good times you'll get yourself into...
What's your budget? Panama is pretty full at the moment and short-term apartments are difficult to find, but I'm sure these sites can help you find something:
Also, I noticed you're planning on staying in Panama for 60 days. Are you aware that US citizens can only stay for 30 days? You can get an extension while in Panama, but it's pretty complicated, you need proof of funds, a Panamanian to vouch for you, and go to the immigration office several times. It might be easier to fly to Costa Rica or Colombia (or Ecuador, Haiti, Dominican Republic, ...) for 48 hours and then return for another 30 days.
The food in Panama is okay, the supermarkets are pretty good, and there are several vegetarian restaurants but they all use way too much fat for my taste. Do you like Mexican food? There are a few pretty good Mexican restaurants and they have a lot of vegetarian food. Also check out the Organica health food store in the Paitilla Mall; it's not that big but still the best in Panama. (Also try some green coconuts.)
Enjoy your trip... and I hope you donate to RP tomorrow! :)
We just found out that we need visas for Taiwan. We probably should have thought about that before, but every problem is an opportunity. If we can't take care of this while we're in LA then we'll take a side trip to the Philippines or something so that we're not there for more than 30 days.
The power cord on my laptop broke the other day. I searched around Panama trying to find a replacement, but there wasn't one in sight. Right now we have a system where Todd charges batteries with his laptop and swaps them out with my dying ones. It's kind of like buddy breathing.
It seemed like we had so much time here, but all of a sudden we're leaving in two weeks. I can't believe how fast the trip has been going so far. We're just starting to feel like we're settling in. We have our routines that we go through, all of the friendly people we've gotten to know at all the places we frequent, and we even know our way around the city.
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