Now that I have made the decision to be out of here by November, I am looking at what I need to do to get to Panama. No decision yet on where I will land, and it looks like Susan will come with me. That will make it a bit less daunting! And definitely more fun.
I have to look at what I want my life to look like, and what I want in it every day and warm water and swimming tops the list. Then comes the internet (so I can work or I wouldn't be able to do this) and a place to live. For sure I don't want to be in one of the developments being built for expats. I mean, really, if you are going to live in a different country/culture, why not live it? Not take the US with you and expect it to be like it is here - besides, I don't want here!
So I think will happen is that I will go in November for at least three months (90 day visa) then reassess, maybe move to a different area but at 90 days you have to leave the country for 72 hours then come back in for another 90 days. So side trip to Costa Rica every three months. I won't look at permanent residency or anything like that for a while, until I am sure it is where I want to be.
There are a lot of options - beach, mountains, city, whatever. The area of Boca del Toro in the islands sounds wonderful and I could get all the swimming and snorkeling I want. It looks a lot like Tahiti, with crystal clear water, houses over the water, flowers... mmmmm.
Another option, although not on the water is a small town on the east side of the country. It's called Boquete, and altitude is about 3600 feet (1,000 meters) so doesn't get as hot as the coast. And it reminds me of Kloof with all the green and flowers and hills. It definitely appears to be more "civilized" than the islands but no water. But good internet and a lot of places to stay.
Then there are small mountain towns and beach towns that I still need to research. But the basic plan is to work on the editing, save some money, enjoy the summer (if it ever gets here) and leave before next winter. I will sell my car and buy a clunker down there. And the kitties will stay here with Chris until I am settled and then I will fly them down there. They will have to lose a lot of fur!
The editing is going well, low stress, no deadlines or pressure. And while I'm not doing that, I am getting my vege garden going. Instead of digging up the front lawn, I put it down the side of the sunroom in two raised beds. Today I added some really good compost and sphagnum moss and it will most likely rain tonight (why wouldn't it? it has every night for as long as I can remember) to settle it and then will get some organic seedlings tomorrow. Brussels sprouts, lettuce, carrots, kale, cabbage, radishes. I have a whole lot of tomatoes started in the sunroom. They just don't do well outside. Not enough sun or heat.
And I will start sewing some summer dresses!