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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Neumeyer

From Dreaming to Doing: The Journey Continues






We started seeing the writing on the wall in regard to us having to make some tough decisions. 

As cattle ranchers in North Idaho much of the land we ran our cattle on was leased land, with the influx of people looking for a simpler life, many of our leases were sold, cost of taking care of animals was outpacing us.  We decided to sell our herd and thus we began this journey.



After a couple of years trying to find our perfect next chapter, we stumbled upon Panama.  Gary worked with a guy who had mentioned back in October of 2019 prior to us going to Belize that he vacationed in Bocas del Toro and really enjoyed Panama we figured, “why not”?


After the “fall out” of Belize we set our sights on a trip to Panama.  We started our research as most do, Facebook and internet with some YouTube interspersed in there too.  Again, there just wasn’t a lot of current information on Panama and unfortunately there still isn’t. 




Our first trip in February of 2020 we had planned it to be a type of vacation more than exploratory after the last 2 ideas we had went belly up, we just did not want the stress.  Gary and I had two schools of thought, mine was beach life, and his was more mountains.  In the end, we comprised, and we now currently live in a beach town with an ocean view.





Gary did reserve a beach casita about halfway in the country at Playa Las Lajas.  He fell hard and after a few days he said he’d be happy to just pitch a tent and live on the beach.  We never did look in the mountains even though we do enjoy visiting them now.




The heart I found on our last walk on the beach, I had been praying asking for a sign that this was where we were to be.

We spent about 10 days in Las Lajas that February, we explored a bit, but we absolutely just were enjoying where we were, and we just knew this was going to be our life. 


While we were enjoying the sand, the water and the slower pace that is Panama, we received an offer for a piece of property that we had had for sale for some time.


Little did we know what was in store, Covid hit hard a few days after getting back to Idaho, Panama closed down, and life as we knew it was going to change big time.


Once we got back to Idaho we started our next phase. We started a make-over of our house that was built in the 70’s and still had that going for it sad to say, but as ranchers and business owners a lot of that kind of stuff was always put on the back burner.  We wanted to get our place up for sale since we knew where our feet were going to land. 


We had to wait for Panama to re-open from Covid and we had no idea when that was going to happen, so we put our heads down and got to work.  Inside and out, we worked every day. 








It wasn't all work; we took some time to relax with a fishing trip to the coast of Oregon


We did a road trip to California to deliver a pick-up we sold to my nephew; he did an amazing job restoring it. And a visit with my sister while we were there.



After it was all said and done, Panama re-opened and we planned our next visit for November of 2020, knowing this time was going to be a lot more exploratory than vacation.  We had an offer on the house, just waiting for it to close with a stipulation of not moving out until January of 2021. 



During this visit we did explore a bit on this trip, we looked at homes in Las Lajas but also in La Barqueta/ Las Olas and Boca Chica….at the time, nothing really seemed to fit but we hadn’t given up the idea yet of Las Lajas.


Thank you for reading about our journey to Panama, next week I will be sharing the actual move from North Idaho with 2 dogs to a foreign country during Covid in a U-Haul….and how we landed where we did. 

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