Why Panama ? I was going to Central America so why not Costa Rica like everyone else? No I wasn’t trying to be different I was actually just going to meet a friend. He had done most of Central America and that’s where he wanted to start. I had no knowledge or experience of Central or South America so I said “fuck it why not”. There are a lot of countries that are easy to research and travel. Panama was not one of them. Most research comes up only the same things. Panama Canal and Bocas Del Toro. What else was there to do ? This took months of research but the most fun I ended up having was when I turned up in random places and had really good company. My time in Panama City was one of those times. I land in Panama City , it’s 2am. My friend ended up not being able to travel with me so I was on my own. Traveling solo can be scary but most of all, a great experience. I was excited to see what Panama had in store for me.
My first day I’m looking around the hostel and I notice there is a make your own pancake station. I’m usually terrible at making pancakes. The middle is still soggy and the outside gets all burnt. There’s usually smoke. But instead of butter they only offered oil which I thought was weird but I tried it and it came out well. I’m eating my pancakes and I notice some other loners sitting at the table. I’m not usually super outgoing by I knew at this point this was my only shot to try and make friends. To try and make some sort of human connection. Two years earlier I was on a trip in Vietnam. By that time all my friends had left and it was very difficult to make friends and when I did I did not act like myself. Still very shy. I was determined to make friends this solo trip. And I was gonna show them the real me. Getting to make friends with people from all over the world is such a great experience I was not gonna miss out because I was afraid of embarrassing myself.
I knew nothing of these people so I look at them and said “pancakes!” . Somehow that worked. I strike up a conversation with them. Typical backpacker stuff. Where you from, how long are you traveling for, where you going next? After that they invite me to go out on a hike with them and from the next few days our group got bigger. We had people from Oregon, Germany, and Holland! Learned how to play Skip Bo, tried to sneak into the Trump tower swimming pool ,hiked up Antón Hill, saw the Panama Canal, and got drunk off Cashasa (Brazilian rum). After our group smaller and smaller I decided to set out for Boquete. A Small town in the Chriqui region of Panama.