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First Impressions of Panama (Day 2)

We've been in Panama for two days now, but it seems like weeks. There's obviously still TONS to explore around the city, but I'm already comfortable here and it even feels a bit familiar.

First of all, I love it. For me it has the ideal balance between chaos and structure. It's very safe... people are at least as friendly as they are in the US, if not moreso. They go out of their way to help us and put up with our mediocre Spanish. Our hotel right now isn't in a great area (though not a bad one either), and I feel totally safe walking a few blocks to go to a diner.
Even though it's safe, there don't seem to be a lot of minor enforced rules. Taxi drivers ignore speed limits and stop signs. The drinking and gambling age is 18, but I've heard even that's not enforced. You don't get the feeling that you're being overprotected or treated like a child.

The food has been MUCH better than expected. There are several vegetarian cafeterias that we've found already which are incredibly good and cheap. The one we visited tonight was owned by a very friendly Chinese couple (have you ever heard Chinese people speak Spanish?). There were maybe forty different dishes they had, and a serving of any one was only fifty cents. I asked for orange juice without sugar (most fruit drinks here have sugar) and they fresh squeezed it for me for only $1!

The Costa Rica Chronicles: Why move to Costa Rica?

On Freedom Hunters International

When we became "location independent" and decided that we weren't going to stay local, we had the whole world to choose from for our first adventure. So for all the folks who have asked us, "why Costa Rica?" here are some of the factors that figured into the equation.

Cost of Living & Amenities

Buffalo, NY (where we're from) may not have a great reputation, but it's a very inexpensive place to live. Real estate is insanely cheap, there are excellent public schools to be had, traffic is minimal, food is great, there's quite a lot of theatre, arts, music, and technology if you know where to look. We were looking to lower our cost of living even from Buffalo standards, but also feel safe and have decent amenities like good schools (we're not quite ready to homeschool/unschool our 2 wee beasties), decent roads, and reliable Internet connection--which we both need for our work. Costa Rica has all that.

Where we're going to be 'landing' is Playa Coco, about 30 minutes from the newly updated Liberia airport. Jet Blue flies direct from JFK to Liberia, so the whole flight will take about the same as if we were to fly to California.

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