Why Are We Going? Panama

Why are we going on a six week trip to Panama? This is a question that could take pages to answer. In future posts, I’ll go into more detail about how we came to the decision to leave, and why we chose Panama and the length of the trip that we did. But in this post, I want to cover the benefits we hope to obtain from going.

In short, we think a trip like this will help us be more happy, well-rounded people, and grow closer together as a family. Could we become more happy, well-rounded and close without leaving home? Probably. So why take the trip? This was the debate that went on in my mind for some time.

I made a long list of concerns and benefits and pondered them for days. But after discussing this list with Jen, she simply said, “You don’t even know if any of your benefits or concerns are valid until you get there and try it out.” And since we were both in the mood for a change and an adventure, we decided to take the opportunity while we had it!

panama-cultureNow, this trip didn’t initially start out as a plan to take a six week vacation somewhere in the world. We wanted to experience “living” somewhere with a contrasting culture, a different language, and different geography. We wanted to broaden our horizons, and escape the monotony we were feeling in our every day lives. We wanted to get out of our comfort zones to learn and explore, and grow.

But I guess we’re not the ultimate in adventurousness, because we didn’t just pack our bags, sell our house and move somewhere we’ve never been. We’re making it a relatively short stay, but long enough to see what it’s like to live somewhere else.

Now hold on! I’m not saying that our goal is to move to a foreign country to live our the rest of our lives – although I guess I’m not ruling that out either. We just want to see what else is out there! We want to give our kids the chance to see what people and cultures are like in other parts of the world.  We want to learn new languages, meet new people, and take life at a slower and more relaxed pace than is common here in the US. And this is probably not the first of this kind of trip we’ll be taking.

Mark Twain said:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Our past vacations have been so much of rushing from one sight to the next, having every minute planned out in our on-line itinerary (since I’m that type of guy). I’m trying to make this trip different, but am finding it difficult to not plan at least one activity every day.

pearce_family1My greatest fear with this trip is that we’ll go and nothing will change. I’ll continue working on my laptop as I do at home, not able to get away from e-mail and other tasks (either mentally or physically), neglecting play time with my children, and not being focused on rejuvenation, personal growth, and loving every minute of whatever I’m doing. That is my challenge.

I’m hoping to use this trip as a catalyst for positive changes in my life, and in my thinking. I believe that such a dramatic change in scenery and activities will be effective in turning me off to my normal world of constant task-oriented productivity, and give me more reason to focus on times of quiet pondering, gratitude, family, God, and other areas of life that I consider more important than “working” for money. If it doesn’t work, then at least we’ll have lots of fun. :)

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. I’m delighted and excited for you – and look forward to reading all about it.

    Personally, I think everyone should live abroad for a short time (if not longer). At least out of their home town/comfort zone. What a fabulous gift you’re giving to yourselves and your little girls.


  2. Hi Sweetie! I’m so excited and proud that you are doing this blog. It is so fun to hear you articulate your thoughts and feelings in such a fun and organized way. I’m very excited for some warm weather adventures in Panama!

  3. I am delighted and excited for you as well. And if our family were financially able, we would LOVE to do the same thing. We’ve joked about moving to London- and I wouldn’t be opposed to it, at all. I think it’s healthy to try new things. *says the girl who refuses to try octopus or escargot*

  4. @Your seeester – Thanks! You may be surprised to know that it can be a LOT cheaper to live in a foreign country than in the US. (Although London would probably be more expensive). The trick is being able to work from anywhere, or have a steady income regardless of the time you put in – rather than trying to save up and get time off work. I’ll be talking about this more in future posts.

  5. This is great Brandon. I’m glad you’re taking the time to post to the blog, it keeps me from having to email you every few weeks to see what’s going on in your world. I can’t believe how far you’ve come since we first started discussing your piano teacher database in our intro database class!

    I highly doubt Rachel and I would ever do something like this. It’s just not our cup of tea. I sometimes think it might be fun, but I know that Rachel would never really consider it. That’s why sometimes I think it would be nice if I got called to be a mission president, then I know she wouldn’t say no to that.

  6. @Dustin – Yeah, it’s amazing to look back at when we knew virtually nothing. :D I wonder where we’ll be in another five years… Yes, being a mission president would be fun (and definitely challenging), especially if it were somewhere far away and exotic. And you get to take your family, too! :) (BTW, your comments is above the others because I realized the time zone was set wrong. The next three comments were really posted several hours earlier…oh well. This is my first time with hosted wordpress. Just saved me some time setting it up myself – and time is something I value very highly these days :)).

  7. I thought it was weird to see my post at the top :D

    ** Caution: Nerd talk below **
    Speaking of setting up wordpress, I think I’ve got it down to a science. I just use Fantastico in cPanel. It takes about 30 seconds. On top of that, I’ve created a folder on my VPS at /usr/local/wordpress/plugins to keep all my plugins. So after I create a new blog, I just delete the plugins folder and create a symbolic link to that common one. So if I update one plugin, it gets updated on all my blogs. So then I just pick out a theme and I can generally have a blog up in 10 minutes or so.

  8. @Dustin – Nice! That sounds like a really good implementation! I should have talked to you first! :) I still have one server that’s running DirectAdmin (most of my clients are on it, and a couple of my sites as well) so don’t have Fantastico there. But I’ve been wanting to dump it for a cPanel like my other servers – it’s just such a pain to move everything over. You’d think an extra $30/month of wasted hosting expenses would be enough incentive…

  9. I know where you’re coming from. I’ve had the same concerns. I think the person hosting my DA account died or something because I could not get any type of support the past year.

    I’ve found that in the latest version of WHM, there is a tool to move DirectAdmin accounts over. You can even move them all at the same time. You just enter your DA server root login, it will see which accounts you have, then just select the ones you want to move.

    There are only two issues I’ve seen with the transfer. 1) It seems to make a copy of what it puts in public_html and what it puts in domains/yourdomain/public_html. The www points to the latter and is never really used. This was really confusing at first because I would make changes to files and they would show on a web page. I just delete the domains folder and change the www link to point to public_html. 2) Cron jobs don’t get transferred, so you’ll need to set them up again.

    Other than that, I think everything else is transferred just fine.

  10. I think this is such a great plan. I wish we all had or could make the opportunity to do this – to experience another way of life, another reality, a different way of doing things and viewing things. What a wonderful thing to give your girls — broadened horizons and understanding.

Leave a Reply