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I am blogging from Alaska about our plans to retire in Panama. I was born and raised in Alaska and want to give living in the tropics a try. I am married and it appears that my spousal unit (SU) shares my vision. Our best vacations have been tropical locations. I love to garden, scuba dive and bicycle. He loves to build boats, scuba dive and bicycle. At home in Alaska the best I can do is garden and bicycle for 5 months each year and scuba dive in a dry suit. Boat building here involves tying up the garage all winter while the car sits outside in the cold. We love the summers here but the winters are getting old.

We love the weather in Panama and we are encouraged by the many blogs we have read by expats living there or on the same trajectory as we are. Our plan is to retire in November 2016 and move there. I am sharing my journey here in order to stay focused and track our progress.

A big part of preparing for our move is learning the Spanish language. For me this process began a long time ago in high school (thank you Mr. Cresap CHS!) and now continues at Somos Amigos.

I have mentioned some of my language learning tips in previous blog entries. Today I will just post a link to a free resource I have just recently uncovered. Learn Spanish Better

I also recommend setting up an intercambio. If you read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert you will recognize the concept. A mutually beneficial experience where both parties give and take language instruction and no money is exchanged. The “match maker” in my case was The Mixxer. I have a great partner, a native speaker from Costa Rica, who wants to improve his English. We get together at least once a week for at least an hour and chat via Skype. I would also like to recommend Lang-8. On this site you can post journal entries and native speakers will make corrections. Of course it is assumed that you will reciprocate by correcting the entries submitted by English language learners. I have found this site exceptionally useful when I have a written assignment for Spanish class. I post my version up on Lang-8 and the corrected version is presented in class.

¡Que tengas mucha suerte con tu aprenizaje!


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