Embarking on a journey as an expat can be both exhilarating and daunting. The podcast episode "Exploring the Expat Life: Panama Edition with Lesa, Stu, and Ziggy" takes us on an intimate tour through the lives of two seasoned expatriates, Lesa Wollman and Stu Singleton, along with their intrepid dog Ziggy. Set against the backdrop of Panama's historic Casco Viejo and the tranquil shores of Playa Coronado, their tales of transition are filled with the nuances of cultural adaptation, the ease of everyday living, and the embrace of a community that's as inviting as the warm Panamanian sun.

One of the many colorful streets of Casco Viejo

Lesa and Stu's narrative is a patchwork of experiences that resonate with anyone contemplating a similar leap. Their transition to Panama was a decision spurred by the desire to immerse themselves in a culture outside the familiar confines of the United States. The ease of using the US dollar and the country's overall safety were significant factors in their choice, but it was the warmth and acceptance of the local Panamanians that cemented their love for their new home. Through their eyes, listeners can envision the colorful life that awaits in Panama's low-rise neighborhoods, far from the soaring high-rises one might expect in a bustling metropolis.

The podcast further delves into the vibrancy of Panamanian life, particularly during the Carnival season. Here, the traditional meets the contemporary, with dances and festivities that reflect Panama's rich heritage rather than a mere pursuit of revelry. Lesa and Stu speak of the joy found in spontaneous encounters, the kind that transforms an ordinary lunch into a blossoming friendship, or a casual stroll into an impromptu guiding session for awe-struck tourists. It's a life where serendipity is the daily norm, and every turn offers an opportunity for discovery.


Listeners also get a glimpse into the practical aspects of expat living. The episode covers the challenges of mail forwarding, the benefits of a walkable urban environment, and the surprisingly accessible healthcare system that includes home doctor visits. This insider knowledge serves as a beacon for those considering the expat lifestyle, shedding light on the logistics that make life abroad not just possible but enjoyable.


For those enamored by the idea of slow travel, Lesa and Stu's story is a testament to the rich experiences that await when one takes the time to savor a destination. The contrasts between the energetic Panama City and the hushed retreat of Playa Coronado illustrate the varied preferences of expats and travelers alike, each drawn to the elements that best fit their desired pace of life.


As the episode winds down, we hear about Lesa and Stu's recent move to a new neighborhood within Panama, which provides valuable insights into the ongoing search for community and authenticity. It's a candid reflection on the expat experience that acknowledges both the highlights and the shortcomings of life abroad.


In closing, the episode's host shares a personal update on the sale of his home and future travel plans, inviting listeners to engage with their journey through social media and his writings on Amazon. For those who've always dreamt of a life untethered, "Exploring the Expat Life: Panama Edition" offers a wealth of wisdom and wonder, inspiring wanderlust in the hearts of listeners everywhere.


Follow their story as they sell their home in the US and embark on a slow travel lifestyle with the podcast series "Travels With Jim and Rita", available on all major podcast platforms.