After a longer than anticipated stateside stay, I finally made it back to an intensely missed Panama. Enjoyed the visits with family, and am grateful to have been there when concerning health matters with loved ones cropped up. Thankfully, I was able to leave confident all is well and back to normal.. Walking into the house and out in the Boquete back yard was instant anti-stress therapy. I physically sensed the layers of tension slide off and soak into the ground. The words of that old John Denver song kept cycling in my head---"ain't it good to be back home again..."
This return trip experience was more traumatic than any experienced in over 8 years of traveling back and forth. It certainly isn't as easy to leave the US as it used to be. There are subtle changes that are quite concerning. Reports from fellow expats indicate I'm not the only one noticing adjustments in attitude, nor encountering resistance to our liberating lifestyle. I almost hugged the Panamanian immigration agent this time around, and have finally decided to legitimize my residency. It's taken me awhile to realize it, but I belong here not there. I no longer harbor doubts.
It's going to take a few days to catch up on political events in Panama and discern what may be of interest to the English speaking community. Hoping to have some worthwhile and informative posts up in the next week or so.