Category: Living Abroad


Restoration for the People

“I’ve lived here for 42 years” she said. “I raised my children here. I’ve seen a lot of changes.” Almost every evening, Joaquin and I take a stroll around the neighborhood at dusk.  In doing so, we always see the usual suspects: Dani having his 6pm drink outside of Manolo Caracol, a slew of local kids running rampant, Julio the… Read more →


Taking the Plunge

I recently heard from an old friend that he and his wife quit their jobs in San Francisco, and with their very young daughter, moved to Italy for the next six months while he pursues a wine apprenticeship. My instantaneous reaction was pure glee as all I could do was imagine how much of an exciting roller coaster adventure the… Read more →


Just Visiting

Moving often and living in new cities and countries involves starting over. Obviously, the starting over includes basic things like an apartment, a job, discovering the local hangouts and markets, transportation, the general day-to-day stuff. But, moving abroad is also largely made up of the people that we meet along the way, the friends we make, and the social circles… Read more →


17 Hours : A Photo Story From Panama to California

7am Pick Up – Casco Viejo, Panama Nobody’s Turning Back Now Wave goodbye to El Arco Chato, Joaquin Passing Folks and Blurry Colors Central America, Car Seat Not Always Required Waiting for Take Off Empty Middle Seat : Happy Baby, Happy Parents Layover Snacks I see California Clear Skies and A Clear Coast Bay Bridge View of The City Smell That Air Joaquin?… Read more →


Caribbean Sunday

Sunday was one of those perfect Panama day trips that will stick with me for a long time. Living in Casco Viejo (Panama City) it’s important to get out on the weekends as often as we can.  Geographically, the world is our oyster.  We can be swimming in the Caribbean or the Pacific, we can be hiking in volcanic craters… Read more →


Lluvia Panameña

Living in the tropics is just as one would imagine: hot, steamy, moist, luscious, fresh, green, sticky, and humid.  There are two “seasons” here in Panama (if that’s what you want to call them) which are Dry Season and Rainy Season. The only real difference between these two seasons should be blatantly obvious: one is dry and the other is… Read more →


A Baby and A Hustler

It’s June.  The school year is coming to an end, summer is nearly upon us, vacations are beginning, and most everywhere, teachers are boxing up their classrooms for a well-deserved vacation.  It is obvious to most how hard teachers work, and how much time and energy they put into their jobs.  Without summer, without vacations, without some kind of a… Read more →


I Love It When They Call Me Big Papa

In life we have to take risks if we’re going to learn and grow.  As a mother, I realize this is true but when it comes to Joaquin I cannot help but be anxious and worried sometimes (*Footnote 1).  Maybe it’s me but “Mom” is just not synonymous with “Risk Taker” even for the sake of learning and growing.  It… Read more →


California, I’m Coming Home

For all the years that I have ever spent living away from home, there has always been one song that wraps up my deepest and fondest feelings of California. In my Junior year of college I lived abroad in Brighton, England.  It was a huge year for me and a really big step. Somehow, I had always known that studying… Read more →


Creative Goodness

I’ve always loved design and designing.  Photography, writing, making jewelry, arranging a room – I love the creative process of putting things together.  Being in Panama, I am exposed to an endless amount of pattern, color, texture – the cultural and artistic products of Panama’s people and history. Casco Viejo is a stop on every tourist’s map when they come… Read more →


Your Average Corruption

The following is a dialogue, translated from Spanish to English, that occurred yesterday in Panama. It was the first time in three years of extreme driving conditions, that I have been pulled over by a cop. For those of you who know me well, I was completely telling the truth. I promise. Nothing about what I did was exaggerated, feigned,… Read more →


Yoga for a Cause

I started practicing yoga in 1998. Throughout the years it has become a practice, both physical and spiritual, that keeps me centered, challenges and rejuvenates me unlike anything else. Moving abroad was a difficult transition for my practice because of a lack of studios, until one fateful day when a best friend of mine in NYC suggested a website called… Read more →


Beauty Is Perspective

Sometimes photos say it all. Sometimes the initial, wide-eyed looks of friends & family who come to visit us in Casco Viejo, say it all. Casco Viejo is not perfect; it is a disheveled and gloriously flawed neighborhood in a developing country.  When many first arrive, they are shocked by the dichotomy of old & new, clean & dirty, rich… Read more →


Climbing for Coconuts

If you happen to find yourself in a tropical place, longing for one those luscious coconuts that dangle from the palms, then welcome to the club. It’s probably not news to any of you that coconut water (agua de pipa) is incredibly hydrating, full of natural electrolytes, packed with B-complex vitamins and amino acids, a kidney purifier, and when served… Read more →


Color, Color, Everywhere

I’m always taken by the colors that surround me here in Panama. It’s a bright country, both aesthetically and socially.  The people, the clothes, the music, the weather, the fruit, the buses – it’s loud and bright with colors here.  Panama has a large Caribbean influence which somehow, in my mind, adds to the sultry sexiness that seems to seep… Read more →