It’s the last of the beach days for a couple of months at least. I’m on the Caribbean coast of Panama in Bocas del Toro (Isla Bastimentos specifically) and thinking isn’t it funny that sometimes you really do have to say goodbye to a place (or person) to get perspective on how good (or bad) it really was.
I’m not totally loving it here to be honest. Maybe it’s because I came from the most charming town of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, where I made new friends and thoroughly enjoyed the slow pace and friendly vibes there. Maybe it’s because I’m hungry and there’s nothing to eat within a 40 minute walk and hanger is taking over (hanger = hunger + anger. It’s a real thing I promise). Maybe it’s because I’ve built Bocas up in my head for a long time and it’s suffering from high expectations. Maybe it’s because I’m ready to go home.
I’m trying to stay in the moment and take a lot of quiet time to myself since I’ve been alone. I try to blog often but the internet is slow and unreliable in this part of the world so I’m not online regularly. Instead I write down my thoughts and feelings the old fashioned way and transcribe them when I have the chance. I get the satisfaction out of privately journaling but I’ve also been missing blogging and being able to connect with others in real time.
In a few days I’ll be continuing the second part of this travelling adventure and I think it’s coming at just the right time. I’ll be settling into Tennessee for four months or so, living with my husband again (yay!!!!) and getting to spend some time with my in-laws. Because we’ve always lived so far apart I don’t know them as well as I’d like to, but that will change and I’ll be living in their garage apartment for the summer and getting to experience some southern American culture. Fishing, shooting, cowboys, and country music are calling my name…
That’s the blog post I typed into my iPod just minutes before my backpack was stolen on the beach in Panama. It’s partly why I wasn’t vigilant enough about what was going on around me as I was still engrossed in my thoughts. I forgot that I wrote in actually since I got so swept up in everything that came after.
It’s been a few weeks since the theft went down and nothing has come from it. I met with the teenage suspect and his aunt who vehemently denied having anything to do with stealing my things. I offered to drop the charges if the kid brought back my memory card but sadly I haven’t seen it (or him) since and know that the photos are gone forever. The police on the island were a complete joke and did absolutely nothing to help me. Locals, in fact, were the ones who identified the boy and were so apologetic and angry for me as word got around town.
After accepting that my things would never be returned to me I thanked those who had helped me and got the hell outta dodge. I took an overnight bus to Panama City where I’d be flying out of the city five days later.
|Casco Viejo, the old neighbourhood of Panama City|
All turned out perfectly fine though, with the exception of my main pack which missed my last connection and was delivered a day later, and now I’m sitting in a clean and comfortable apartment listening to the wind rustle the leaves through my open bedroom window. The weather is warm and I feel incredibly grateful to have skipped winter this year.
And you know what… about the theft thing… to walk into our new home here in TN, which M painstakingly fixed up for us while I was finishing the trip, and see clothes he’d unpacked for me hanging in our closet, and a kitchen stocked with groceries, and have hot water with amazing pressure when I went to take a shower…. it made me so appreciative of who and what I had in my life. To the kid who stole my bag, I hope you at least get use out of everything that you took and it’s making your life better in some way.
Tomorrow it’s supposed to be sunny and 81 F (27 C) so we’re taking a day trip to M's favourite fishing joint, driving through the countryside with our sunroof open and music blasting, figuring out what we’re going to do with our lives, and probably stopping for a picnic lunch along the way.
I think I’m gonna like it here...