Retirement Begins

My life has always been trancient… father was a golf pro and we moved constantly….mostly in Hawaii, Florida and California. As an adult, I’ve followed a career path that also required constant travel (see Work Life). In 1993 I settled in a small north central Florida town named High Springs. I thought I’d never leave this peaceful, beautiful area near the Santa Fe River, where I expected to live forever.

Then, in 2004 I decided to retire, and had the urge to travel to a place I’d never been before…..Central America, where I found the beautiful Highlands town of Boquete in Chiriqui Province, near the Costa Rica border, in Panama.

Map of Panama

Panama is, of course, known as the Land Divided because of the Panama Canal which was built in 1904-1914 by the United States and managed by them until turning it over to Panama in 1999.

Gatun Locks

Gatun Locks

In this small village of approximately 5,000 people, I found my beautiful house and moved permanently to enjoy my retirement years. Again, I thought I had found the place I would stay for the rest of my life.

But I guess my childhood travel bug was still firmly in place, so in 2008 I ventured further south from Panama into South America, to the mountain city of Cuenca in Ecuador. Cuenca is a city of 450,000 people, and is VERY different from where I now live in Panama. It offers cultural, social and other things I missed while living in the small mountain village of Boquete. The beauty and tranquility of this place captured my heart and I have now purchased a condominium on the edge of the city.

Ecuador show Cuenca highlighted

Ecuador show Cuenca highlighted

No, I haven’t moved away from Boquete….I’ve just added to the adventure by buying a condo in Cuenca. I hope to be splitting my time between Boquete and Cuenca, as their weather seasons are almost opposite from each other. When it’s raining cats & dogs in Boquete, it’s clear and dry in Cuenca. Cuenca’s rainy season (which, having come from Panama doesn’t seem like rain at all) is at the time when Boquete’s dry season brings gorgeous sunny days and cool evenings. And, since It’s only a 2 hour flight between Panama City and Guayaquil, it’s not far to travel between the two. Of course, there’s the domestic travel between Panama City/Boquete, and between Guayaquil/Cuenca, but that’s just a small inconvenience.

Short flight between Panama and Ecuador

Short flight between Panama and Ecuador

I’ve created this blog so that friends and family can keep up with my adventures. I hope you enjoy it, and that you’ll keep in touch with me through this space age technology! Add your comments, so I can see what you think about my blog and the posts that appear on it. And in both places I have guest rooms/baths that mean you can come visit when I am in residence at either place.

General Timeline (in residence)*

* For 2009 and 2010 I will be required to spend 9 months each year in Ecuador to satisfy my residency visa requirements… the schedule below will change in January of 2011.

July, 2009 – June, 2010 – Cuenca, Ecuador

June, 2010 – Boquete, Panama

July, 2010 – December 2010 – Cuenca, Ecuador

After that, the following will be my residency schedule:

Boquete:    January – June

Cuenca:    July – December

USA:   May

So, as the saying goes….Come On Down!!


Penny Ripple

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