After a long and hard night of sleeping in airports and on planes, we finally made it to Panama! We flew from Salt Lake to Los Angeles at about 8:50pm, had a 3 hour layover, and then left for Houston at about 1:00am. When we got there a few hours later, we had 3 1/2 hour layover, and then we finally boarded the plan to Panama at 9am. Arriving here at 2pm, we were exhausted, but excited.

My first impressions after leaving the airplane was the heat. It was 92 degrees today in Panama City with 50% humidity, so it was very different from the cold Salt Lake weather I was used to. I’m still tired, only a little hot (it’s 72 degrees now), but I absolutely love the humidity! When I breathe, I feel like I’m really filling my lungs with healthy air!

From the airport, we boarded a newer Toyota pickup truck that took us to our hotel in the town of Balboa, a suburb of Panama city. We wound through beautiful green countryside, across bridges, through skyscrapers and towns with people shopping at local fruit markets, and ended up at a cute little Bed and Breakfast, The Balboa inn. The driver was very friendly, and we talked a lot about fun places to see and things to do in Panama City. He didn’t speak English, and though I understood about 70% of what he said, I was really glad Jen was sitting in the front seat handling the communication, as well as translating for me (isn’t she sweet?).

Jen’s back has been hurting her a lot the past couple days, so much so that it hurts her to walk more than a few minutes, so we’ve been trying to take it easy. I’ve also come down with some sort of cold (started a few days ago) where I am losing my voice and have a mild sore throat, so it’s uncomfortable for me to talk.

Even so, hunger and excitement got the best of our tiredness (and the girls pleas that we stop resting and starting doing something fun). So we took a walk around our hotel grounds, which are filled with tropical foliage. We also took a walk to a nearby restaurant and had some gyros and pizza (not very Panamanian, I know…). They also had a playground kind of like McDonald’s, so the girls played for a while, and then we had some pastries and cookies for dessert, and walked back.

The walk through the neighborhood was lovely. The air is filled with the scent of fresh flowers (except when an occasional car drives by), and there are so many interesting bird sounds that from listening only, it seems like we’re in the middle of the rainforest – even though we’re in the city.

At any rate, it’s about 7:30pm now, the girls are in beds, and Jen is sound asleep –  didn’t even have the energy to get ready for bed. I’m totally exhausted myself, but had to write some thoughts so I wouldn’t forget this day in its freshness. The wireless Internet connection doesn’t reach clear to my room, so I need to come out to the common area (which has beautiful murals painted on the walls) to use the Internet, but that’s probably good because it keeps my time on-line short.

Just one more thing – on the first plane ride, I spent almost the entire time thinking about a particular client who has been especially demanding, and was worrying that they might pick up their demands again while I’m on my trip (which it looks like they may). After expending so much energy in worry, I made the decision that for the next six weeks, I’m going to try to limit thinking about work to the hours to which I’ve delegated work. If a work-related thought enters my mind during family time, I will push it out and immediately focus back on whatever I’m doing at the time. I’m hoping this won’t be too difficult. I’ll keep you posted.

Brandon signing out. I’ll get you some pictures later.

Brandon is a location independent entrepreneur, musician, worldschooling father, and the principal author of this blog. He's all about reaching his potential and enjoying life to the fullest in each moment.


  1. SO glad to hear you’re safely there. WE have thought about you many times through the day. Get some good reat. Sure hope both you and Jen feel great tomorrow. give the girls a hug from me.

  2. Yay!! I’m very glad you made it there safely. Your mail has started forwarding here safely, as well, so no need to worry about that. :)

    Can’t wait to hear more!! I love you all!

  3. Glad you made it…. ah, the sounds and smells of the tropics. Nothing like it.

    Sounds like you and Jen are a great compliment for each other – you’re the travel agent, she’s the translator :) I hope her back starts feeling better soon. I must have missed reading what happened to cause this.

    Can’t wait to see the pics and hear more about your experiences.

  4. Robin Pearce Says: January 29, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Brandon, I just went through your blog on Matt’s laptop while helping him with his algebra. So glad to hear you’re all there safe. I wonder if Jen’s back problem was caused by carrying heavy stuff? Remember when we flew to Japan, when we arrived, my back hurt so bad I thought I was going to be crippled for the trip. It turned out I kept pulling on our heavy food bag that I brought. Fortunately, the next day after I slept it was all better, and I stopped yanking the bag. Have fun!

  5. I’m glad you made it. It sounds beautiful. I’m impressed that you could understand that much Spanish.

    By the way, the Magna-Yuzawa Team voted that you (Brandon) and I should escort the students to Japan this summer. Congrats! You are now an official team member.
    I’ll email the details to you later.

  6. Happy to have the report that you’re there safe and sound. I hope Jen’s back feels better soon.

  7. Brandon, Glad you arrived safely. It’s a bummer that you and your wife don’t feel well. You’ll likely feel better after you become acclimated and get over the long flights and lay-overs. We’re missing you at TM – had five guests last weekl, one of whom joined (he’s giving his Icebreaker next week), and had one guest this week. Dave Kunze was TM last week and did an excellent job, and he gave a great Icebreaker this week. Enjoy that heat; although, I don’t know how you can stand the humidity.

  8. Thank you for all your comments!
    About Jen’s back – she hasn’t been lifting much, but has been bending over a lot. It felt a lot better after a good night’s rest, and only partially came back this evening.
    @Dad – That’s awesome! We get to go to Japan together!! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to join in. I’m so excited! YAY!!! Also, I was surprised I understood that much Spanish, too. However, I think he was more of an exception because there are other people I’ve heard since, where I couldn’t understand more than 10% of what they were saying. He was also talking about travel-related things which I had studied up on a bit. I think my average overall comprehension is around 30-40%.

  9. Yes, my back is gradually getting better. It gets a little sensitive sometimes, and I just need to give it enough rest and relaxation I guess. My favorite things about Panama so far have been hearing all the cool birds, the scent of tropical flowers in the air, and interacting in Spanish again. Most of all, I love the adventure of it all. I love it that you are so adventurous too Sweetie! You make a very fun vacation partner!!

  10. Wow, you’re really there! Congrats. Hey, if you get any demanding clients, feel free to give me their contact info and maybe I can take care of them while your gone… maybe ;)

  11. @Dustin – Wow, thanks! Really! Although I wouldn’t wish this client on anybody! They pay three months late, are not appreciative, and are rude in their demands (e-mailing or phoning 10 times in a five minute period with anger, etc., just because of mis-communication in their own company.) Now I charge in advance for any project I do for them, and don’t start until the money is received. I think I’ll drop them as soon as I get the chance. Are you sure you want them?

  12. Well, when you put it that way… I don’t know :) I think you are too nice sometimes. If I were treated the way you describe, I doubt I would even answer the phone. I have no problem dropping unpleasant clients. I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone approach me with anger though, so I don’t know how I would respond. I’d probably just ignore them.

  13. Yes, that’s a problem of mine. Also, I really dislike tension, so when someone’s angry or me, even if it’s not my fault, I’m troubled emotionally until it’s resolved, so for my own sake, I want to hurry and finish the project. But even though I always finish on time, and have even discounted, they’re never satisfied, and continue to demand. I’m working on not letting myself get emotionally involved, but that’s been challenging for me. I will definitely drop them when the project is over. I’m too afraid of what they might do if I dropped them now since they’re so dependent on the software I wrote for them. They make it seem like their business would fall apart.

  14. I’m glad you guys got there safe and sound and without any hiccups. I hope the rest of the trip goes as well.

  15. You probably already saw this, it just landed in my email this morning. I thought it was relevant to the discussion:

  16. Hi everybody,

    Great blog and surely a wonderful resource for you and the kids to have in the future when you look back on all your travel experiences.

    Thanks also for the great reviews on Tripadvisor and We even made it to the “Top of the week” tip there!

    Enjoy the rest of your stay. Suerte!

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