Panamá is a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities, and countries. It makes sense though, right? A bridge between The Americas. If you think about the history and logistics of trade, and where everybody from all hemispheres would have to travel through, it would be Panamá.
Chinese, Columbians, and especially Venezuelas are seen in every service industry around the city. People are migrating for a better life and Panamá City is their opportunity.
Although my circumstances are more than likely different, I guess I've always wanted to work abroad in search of a better lifestyle myself, or maybe just a way to break up the routine of a 9-5. My current job allows me to finally fulfill a lifetime dream of mine... working in a different country.
I picked Panamá City, Panamá for the following reasons:
- Creature comforts. I knew I couldn't get too far of the beaten path so I needed a city that could sustain my work requirements. Access to Hotels, AirBnBs, cheap transportation, and restaurants make living and working easier.
- The weather. Columbus, Ohio in December isn't great. Panamá on the other hand is just getting out of the raining season and average temp is around 80 F.
- Internet speed. Panamá's internet speed is one of the fastest in Central & S. America. From what I found, it can reach up to 20 Mbps. More than enough to do my work.
- EST. Eastern Standard Time. No time change for me or my co-workers.
- Cheap and easy flight. It always amazes me that in a handful of hours you're in a completely different country.
The digital nomad lifestyle isn't as glamours as an instagram #hashtag would have you believe. Working and traveling is tougher than I expected. It's hard to get into a routine. Your mind wanders so much, your stimulated by new sights, sounds, and customs... not to mention my Spanish is still terrible. Your constantly planing for what’s next on the itinerary while still getting in your 40 hours. It's especially tough when you first arrive b/c all you want to do is hit the streets to see everything at once. Try "working" in a hotel when a world of adventure and new stories are right outside your door. It's an impossible temptation. Balancing city exploring and team meetings is for a disciplined person and that was challenging for me.
Poor me I know... I'm lucky to have a job period. I spoke to so many Venezuelas that are literally running from their country b/c the of the violence, political corruption, instability, and lack of opportunities. There's no complaints from me.
Now on to the sights and travels. I was in Panamá from December 5th-20th and typically I would have more to show, but in my case I was working!