New Stores in David

Construction is everywhere you look in David. I am not exaggerating at all. I do mean everywhere.

Chiriqui Mall

Lots are scraped, old businesses are torn down and mini malls or high rise structures are taking their places.

While some structures seem to take months to get done, others seem to go up overnight. From new fancy car dealerships to coffee shops, it is hard to keep up with what is going on.

Recently I came across a new mall taking up an entire block downtown. The design is modern with lots of parking and beautiful manicured landscaping. So far just two shops are in but I am excited to see what else will come to David.

Mall David

David now has a  “The Vitamin Shoppe.” It is the chain from the US which I have used forever to get my vitamins from. The new store in David is large and carries a nice selection.

Also in the same location is a new upscale jewelry store. Lots of bling! I try to update all these places to my Google maps area for purchasers of my book, Getting Familiar with David. If you click on the links in the book you can view the updated maps.

So far in the last month: A new coffee shop called Warala. you can find it on Facebook at It serves sandwiches, ice cream, crepes and other goodies. It is right next door to a new bedding place called Vianney, which has nice comforters, sheets and other bedding supplies. Very upscale. Here is their Facebook page

David Panama

There is always something to add. Sunday mornings since the traffic is light, I like to get out early and scout around David for more new business openings.

It is indeed exciting to be a part of a city that is growing and seeing a bright prosperous future.


Documentary on Panama

Nice Documentary on Panama Worth Watching

Nice documentary on Panama. Even though Panama now has a tourism bureau and nice webpage, they have not put out any videos yet. Tourism is a new concept for Panama which until recently has played a minor part of the countries revenue. The mainstay and financial future for Panama still lies with the canal and banking.

David Panama

Just Had to Post

Just Had to Post A Wonderful Evening in David

The first evening in I don’t know how long and the sun is still shining at 5PM. Yesterday we had over 5 inches of rain and it was as usual, this time of year, overcast and raining. It is after all winter here until mid December.

Today gave us a reminder of summer and things to come. Lovely cooler day with lots of sun and white puffy clouds. Air smelled good and a gentle breeze smelled of all the blooming flowers.

Ah, I had to share.


August in Panama

Things Are Not So Different Here in Panama

Things Are Not So Different Here in Panama

Introducing the North American consumerism to Panama seems to be working well here.

An example would be Black Friday and Halloween.

Halloween in Panama

When I first moved here in 2012, Halloween was mostly celebrated by gringos who used it as an excuse to party (of course.) No stores had Halloween merchandise for sale, let alone costumes. In a few short years (3), stores are now stocking costumes and Halloween decorations. Even though the kids here do not do trick or treat (yet), there is a sense that this holiday is gaining popularity among the adults, restaurants and bars.

Black Friday in Panama

Again when I first moved here in 2012, you only heard about a couple of stores advertising specials on “The Black Friday.”

Last year on Black Friday at Terronal Mall in David, you could not find a parking space. People parked illegally anywhere they could to be able to shop on Black Friday. All the stores realized the potential for sales and have followed the US to make some extra money before Christmas.

Christmas in August

And as of course it must, Panama has followed suit with introducing Christmas into it’s stores in August. I was shocked to see not one, but several stores this past week getting aisles filled with all the latest decorations. So life here in many ways is not so different than Canada or the US. We are blending into the same consumerism.

Movies in David

What Movies are Playing and What is the Cost in Panama?

Movie Theaters in David Panama

As it is rainy season here (May through Mid December), we look for ways to keep entertained.

One way is by going to the movies.

We have two nice multi screen theaters in David.

The Modern David theater is located at the Chiriqui Mall next to Pricesmart. This theater has lots of parking, 6 screens, great snack bar and comfortable seating.

The Nacional Multicines which has 6 screens is located in downtown David at the Gran Hotel Nacional.  The lobby is quite nice with lots of choices for snacks and the air conditioned theaters have cozy leather reclining seats.

New movies are added to the venue every Friday and may or may not change every week. Both theaters with minor exceptions, show the same movies but at different times.

I went to see the new Jason Bourne movie yesterday at the Nacional Multicines in David. I got there about 40 minutes early for the first showing on Sunday and the lines were already long. I got my ticket though and had just enough time to scoot into my seat before the movie began.

With my Jubilado discount, this first run movie was only $2.10. While this may seem inexpensive, it was not long ago (3 years) and that same ticket was $1.50. So prices are and continue to increase. Although we can’t complain against the $12 and up prices for the same shows in the US or Canada.

There have been a couple of Panama websites that have put up the shows playing, times and whether they are Subtitled or Dubbed. Most I have found frustrating because the information has not been kept current. It is frustrating when you pick a movie online to see, only to get to the theater and find out it is either not playing anymore, it is dubbed when you thought it was subtitled or that the time of the movie playing is not accurate.

But for the past year I have found one site that continues to be spot on with accuracy when it comes to reporting what is playing and when. Bookmark 

REMEMBER: If your Spanish is not perfect, aim to see a movie that is Subtitled. That means it will be in English and the subtitles will be in Spanish. Just a tidbit with this approach. I have found time after time that these subtitled moves attended by locals who don’t know English will have a tendency to talk with their neighbors during the movie because all they need to pay attention to is reading the words, not listening.

Flickr Photo by Maureen Diddle

Being an Elder Orphan Abroad!

Thank goodness we all change. Who would want to remain the same.

Recently I have hooked up with a great group on Facebook, Elder Orphans. I am now part of a larger community of single people who have no family and are having to look forward to being elderly alone.

The major role in this community is to connect to others, share concerns and hopefully develop solutions for those of us who are single going it alone into retirement and needing or wanting to make different choices.

There are many Elder Orphans all over the world who have chosen as their option, moving abroad. They have developed strong community ties with like minded individuals who have looked abroad for more budget minded locations where healthcare and everyday expenses are within their budgets.

I can not state enough how expat communities come together to unite and help each other. The bonds that form within these communities are a comfort to those of us who have no family.

I wish with all my heart that more women who struggle in retirement look to other sources for a lifestyle that they can be happy in and thrive in. Many resist change, but since it is inevitable why not direct it, own it and make new choices to make your lives better?

It is part of my goal to make women aware they have choices after turning 50, 60 or 90! More and more, women are coming together to celebrate the best years of their lives by taking back control. And the option, ladies is infinite as to what you can do.


Flickr Photo by Simon Nowak

Expenses for June in David Panama


Okay I know it has been awhile since I wrote out my expenses. And we all know that prices increase everywhere, so let’s see how I am doing in David Panama.

Remember I own


PROPANE- Still using $6.00 tank from December, I use gas for cooking, hot water and dryer

ELECTRIC BILL- $16.02 with Jubilado Discount (Senior Citizen Discount for Residents)

GARBAGE AND WATER included in Condo Fees which are $113.00

PHONE- $33.78 which includes data plan and unlimited minutes

INTERNET- $18.13 with 3 mgs

FOOD- $216.00



MISCELLANEOUS-$110 stuff like potting soil, light bulbs, household needs, shipping fees and online shopping

HEALTH INSURANCE-$282 I have an upper end policy. It covers me 100% with no deductible if for any reason I have to be at the hospital for emergencies of health issues. I am also covered in the US up to 80% of costs for hospitals. For me it is the perfect way to feel 100% that any health issue will cost me nothing. Yearly doctor visits are out of pocket but I still get the Jubilado discount of 20% on them.

So my total expenses for June ran: $888.93

Not bad for four weeks with three nice lunches out and some other social gatherings.



What if Your “What If” Would Come True


If you don’t do what you want to do now, when will you do it?

Twenty Years From Now You Will Be More Disappointed By The Things You Didn’t Do Than By The Ones You Did Do- Mark Twain

People nearing death often say their biggest regret is not doing what they really wanted to do in life, they did not take the big chance.

You only get one shot at this. You won’t go down in history for being the one that followed all the rules and followed everyone else. You will only go down in history for following your intuition and your dreams.

Take back the simple trust in knowing and being intuitive. All other mammals survive on it alone, we think too much with our minds and don’t follow our hearts.

Flickr Photo by Henry Burrows

Are You at a Fork in the Road? Just Pick One-Do It!

Deciding to Become and Expat

I was reminded today of the decision I made to move abroad and become an expat.

Many years ago, more than 15, I toyed with a simple idea that started forming in my mind. I did not want to have to work at jobs that I did not like for the rest of my life in order to scrimp and save until some date designated by the government said I could stop and finally enjoy the fruits of my labors. It suddenly made sense to do what I wanted to do after retirement, now.

I realized that there is no time but the present. Tomorrow is uncertain and if there is anything you want to do, now is the moment to do it. Making that realization was the easy part.

Continue reading


Reiterating an Opportunity for a Retirement Choice for Orphaned Single Women

Unsplash Photo by Brian Mann

Unsplash Photo by Brian Mann

This subject keeps coming up on forums and websites I see lately. The subject is retirement. And while I want readers from all backgrounds to be encouraged to see and think about moving abroad for retirement, what I most see is single woman seeking answers about their choices. And not just single women, but also “Orphan Single Women.”

This is a relatively new term for aging women who for whatever reason are alone with no family. No sons, daughters, husbands, sisters or brothers who they can rely on as they age. According to estimates, there are more of us, (yes I am one too) that are in this category, than ever before in history.

Preparing for how we will take care of ourselves is paramount for our security, happiness , health and our bank accounts.

Knowing that you will not have family to rely on, all that matters is the relationships you build with friends. More important  these friends will become a community ,that will when the time comes help each other out. For many, you have already established that community where you live and that is why you will continue living/retiring where you are at now.

However many of us want new experiences moving forward. We are not tied down. We have been good about being financially savvy, or at least we know our perimeters going forward. We know our budgets, what we can live with and without. Now what?

I say, take a bit of time to explore options of living outside the United States. More than ever there are pockets and communities forming of likeminded souls who are coming together in unlikely places forming what has become the life they were looking for.

These expat communities engage in classes, socializing , volunteering, mentoring and more. And what’s more, thousands of single women are moving abroad for just those same reasons. It is just not couples you see moving abroad now. Women are doing it every day and I meet many of them.

They now have the peace of mind of living within even the most modest means. They feel secure because of the communities of expats within reach. They have access to great and affordable healthcare. Their days are full of learning about their new country, making a new life and more importantly than anything, waking each morning looking forward to a new day not worrying anymore.

I won’t say the road is not bumpy, but anything worth anything has to be a bit hard. But gaining the control back, your destiny back is within reach. You just need to take a first step forward, girls. Be brave, be powerful and it will blow your mind what you can achieve, the relationships you will have and the happiness that will follow.