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The New Escape to Paradise: Panama Q & A Paperback – May 27, 2017
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About the Author
Richard Detrich enjoyed a varied career as a pastor and business man before retiring early and moving from Southern California to Panama. Detrich lives on a coffee farm outside Boquete, Chiriqui and lectures on ships around the world including for Princess, Holland America, Celebrity, Crystal, Pearl, and Silversea.
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A good general layout of the country with an emphasis on the western mountainous area, where he lives. Also, a bit surprising that he devotes a whole chapter to coffee. Maybe part of the Cliff Notes editing out?
One last critical comment and then I'll opine on what I believe is the best part. He includes some maps of Panama, copy paste from somewhere. The one showing topographical features is virtually unreadable, too much detail shrunk down. The other full country map is OK. An easy improvement would be to reference the areas that he is talking about in the text (i.e. Boquete and Coronado) to locations on the map. Not currently done. Work on that one during your next lecture cruise (which he drones on about occasionally).
Now for the best part of this 400+ page somewhat pricey book...a real diversified well thought out 14 day itinerary for first time visitors...Canal, beaches, mountains, and islands. But you can probably get the same or similar from Traveladvisor or Frommers on line.
Thank you Richard for pulling back the curtains to show a much more realistic view of what a successful transition to living in Panama really entails!!
I say "for the most part" because, as an ex-pat living in Panama, I do not think that this book adequately conveys how expensive it is to live here (way more than International Living would lead you to believe); nor does it address the water rationing we're currently experiencing in Coronado. I also disagree with Detrich's contention that all Panamanians welcome Americans. There are two million Panamanians; it's not reasonable to believe that every one of them welcomes Americans. I have met many friendly and welcoming Panamanians but I have also met those who are almost hostile.
Some of the information in this book is out-dated. As an example, there are in fact gangs now and there is violence in which innocent people have been hurt and even killed.
If you are considering relocating to another country, read every book you can get your hands on. If you are considering retiring abroad, read everything you can find. If you are specifically considering Panama, do not take any irreversible steps until you've read this and G. Roebucks "Moving to Panama? Not for Me." After you've done all of that, and visited potential countries, think again. And again. And, as Detrich writes, however much you think it will cost to move, double or triple that. And I can tell you that, unless you want to live in a hovel and eat all of your meals at home, triple your estimated budget. Then think again. Retiring to Panama is not for the faint-of-heart.