My First Year as a Panama Expat

Here’s another selection from the archives. Enjoy! I became a Panama expat one year ago. On March 13, 2012, I landed — along with my mini-mountain of luggage — at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. My first few days here were pretty stressful. I’d flown down by myself to find us a place to […]

It’s a Bird – It’s a Plane – it’s a Speeding Ticket!

Recently we experienced a less-than-pleasant aspect of life as Panama expats. We were driving from Las Tablas to Chitre and got a speeding ticket just outside the town of Guarare. It was a motorcycle cop who pulled us over. We could see him as we came around a gentle curve in the road. He was […]

Do You Need to Habla Español to Live in Panama?

Many plan-to-be expats are concerned about the language, and rightfully so. After all, if you can’t communicate you’ll have a much harder time with everything in your new country. Shopping, eating out, finding a place to live, getting utilities turned on, taking cabs and buses or getting car repairs — all the business of life […]

My First Year as a Panama Expat

I became a Panama expat one year ago. On March 13, 2012, I landed — along with my mini-mountain of luggage — at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. My first few days here were pretty stressful. I’d flown down by myself to find us a place to live. My husband and the dogs would […]

Three Ways to Learn Your New Country’s Language Before You Arrive

Now that I’ve been here in Panama for a few months, I really wish I’d put more into learning Spanish before I arrived. Oh, I worked on it, don’t get me wrong. I took three semesters of conversational Spanish at my local community college, and I continued on my own using a couple of different […]

Six Ways to Learn a New Language

So you’re planning on living overseas — do you really need to learn the language of your adopted country? I have a simple, two-word answer for you: it depends. Don’t learn the language: If you plan to live, work and play among other expats If you’re not interested in immersing yourself in the local culture […]

Are You Meeting Your Expat Goals?

Future Expats, what can I do to help you move closer to your expat goals during the coming year? Please choose up to three topics below to let me know what you’d find most helpful. [polldaddy poll=”5100257″] I’ll let this poll run for a couple of weeks, then share the responses with you. You can […]

At What Time Washes the Door?

In my recent scouting trip to Panama, my Spanish language skills were tested to the max. Now, I’ll be the first to admit it’s not a high hurdle. I figure my Spanish is at about the level of a bright two-year old’s. All my verbs are present tense and my vocabulary is severely limited. Think, […]

Learn a New Language Online — Before Your Overseas Move

When you imagine a different life for yourself overseas, do you hear yourself speaking English, or do you visualize yourself conversing with the local people in their own tongue? Should you learn a new language when you move? That’s a question only you can answer, and that answer will depend on several factors. What kind […]

It’s Not Easy Being… Well, a Dog!

The Complexities of Communication in a Foreign Language Guest Post by Heather Merkel Heather Merkel, CPC is a Culture Transition Specialist who helps Expatriates and their families feel at home anywhere in the world through a core set of strategies designed to help you overcome the social, personal, and professional related issues that arise when […]