Western Union


So this week’s work; getting money to Pedasi. This to pay the person who checked out the house, double checked that the electricity, water etc. is working well and made out a whole report on the state of the house.  By the way the house is fine, just some minor problems which the seller has agreed to have looked at. So good news again, time to pay the man for a job well done. This has proven more difficult than I foresaw. The person I am working with has no bank account, so I had to send the money to him via Western Union. I went online and filled out the necessary numbers, boxes. Some time later I got a mail that payment had been cancelled; no reason just to inform me payment had been cancelled. So I tried again, with the same effect.

This was turning in to the first bump on the road, till I saw you can send money via Western Union at the post office. So I went to my regular post office where they helped me out in a friendly and quick manner and now money has been sent plus I have a gold card to save points and make further transactions easier.

It was more difficult than expected but it got done and I kept my smile.

Practicing Spanish


As I will be moving to a country where the main language is Spanish and my Spanish got very dusty I though it best to get some practice. Last time I was in Pedasi I already saw a language school where I could take Spanish lessons, which is still the plan. But why wait, I found a super initiative in Antwerp. It is called languagecarrousel its a very relax way to train a language. As I am to cool for school, this is the best way for me to practice. Mainly languagecarrousel is just an evening at the bar, but at this bar half of the people speaks Spanish and wants to learn Dutch and the other half speaks Dutch and wants to learn Spanish.


Not only did I get to speak Spanish all evening, I also got to meet a lot of friendly faces, some from Belgium some from Ecuador, Venezuela,….

Bank affairs


After going through the paperwork to buy the Panamanian corporation and start-up my B&B, guess what I had to do. Yes correct make out the first payment. If I wasn’t at the point of no return before, I’m certainly there now. So after scanning my ID, filling out some forms I was ready to send over the first payment.  I heard back later that week that the funds had arrived in good order. Happy me, things are moving  along swimmingly.  Well bye-bye for now bank I am sure I will be seeing you again soon.

And if you take a look at the sky in the picture you can see that my work to live under the Panamanian sun is all done under the Belgian grey sky.

A bit of Paperwork


As I mentioned in my last post, I would now have to go over some paperwork. Regarding all kinds of stuff. The first batch I had to go trough were papers on the corporation I wanted to buy. So I had to find my way through notary documents and documents that entailed the separation of the different fincas (grounds); all in Spanish. I did understand them all and everything in the papers seemed to be in order. For the translation I relied partly on my Spanish and for the other part I used my law knowledge, because the law is also a language as it turns out.


Then it was over to the city hall of Vorselaar. Here I had to get some papers in order to get my visa once I get back in Panama and also the get my driver’s license accepted. So I got a print out of my blank criminal record ( yes you read it, BLANK) signed by the mayor and a form that shows that the driver’s license I have really belongs to me. I have already been in contact with the Panamanian consulate  to get the documents stamped. However I will first have to get them translated. This will be work for another day. For next up is the bank.

Deciding on my future


Last post you could read how I visited Panama for the second time and how I was charmed by Pedasi. Even before I got home to Belgium I knew Pedasi would be the place I would start-up a business. The house and ground we, Jonathan and I, went to look at on via Toro interested me the most. When I got home after the exhausting flight, which was mainly spent drawing out the B&B/Hostel that would have to be built on the 2 grounds that were still empty, I sent a mail to Jonathan asking some more information on the place.

I got a reply with good news; the 2 grounds next to the house were also for sale and they were put into a corporation for easy transfer. Most importantly everything was affordable, or so my business plan tells me. In the next 2 weeks we went from gathering information on the corporation to making an offer and closing the deal, Panama works quickly. So by the end of February the house you see in the picture above will be mine ( for all the friends: yes there is a guest room). I would like to thank Jonathan for all his help and of course I thank https://www.panamaequity.com/panama-real-estate/pedasi/ for helping me find the real estate that fits my dream.

Also wonderful is that the entire property is held under a Panamanian corporation. So I am buying a corporation. Which is wonderful because owning a corporation is one of the requirements to get a Panaminian visa under the friendly nation visa act. So part one of the visa requirements; check. However there will be a lot more things to check off before I can get my permanent residency in Panama. We have arrived at the point of no return and I must say, looking out the window at the rainy grey sky of Belgium, I am glad.

Next up paperwork.

The second time around part 2


As promised here’s part 2 of my second trip to Panama. We had just left Pedasi via Las Tablas and where now heading for Torio. There I was also in contact with someone who wanted to sell their property on the beach. However I had already heard from some people that this region was less attractive for tourism.

The drive over to Moriato a town a bit before Torio turned out to be longer then expected. This mainly being because of the state of the road. The road is ok if you drive slow and avoid the potholes. However this became more and more difficult as night set in. We had to search a bit to find our hotel Pacifico del Sur. That evening we ate langosta for the first time this trip, of course served with patacones. My mind was still spinning from all the info and all the possibilities I had to consider in Pedasi.


The next day we went for a drive trough Moriato and on to Torio. It’s a very nice place especially the nature. However Torio is a bit out there, it wasn’t stacking up next to Pedasi. The only thing that Moriato could offer that Pedasi will never was the beautiful sunset over the ocean. I foresaw less of a rise in tourism here. So I decided not to get in contact to see the house. By now it was decided it would be Pedasi where I would pursue happiness.

I had been able to do what I came to do on this trip. On the way back I reserved in Casa Mariposa again as we passed by Vale De Anton. Imke was able to meet her spirit animal on her birthday; the sloth. One of the sloths had a baby just 12 days before, you have got to love this tiny little animal. And last but not least thanks to my new friend James for the delicious papaja.

Well time to head back to Belgium and start putting things in motion. Stay tuned for new developments.

The second time around

As you can see the second time around also started with a few days in Panama City. My travel companion this time was Imke. We went in January of 2017, the time between my last visit to Panama and this new travel was mainly consumed with study; the laws on immigration, tax laws, business laws, visa possibilities, bussines possibilities, tourism, Spanish…. Therefore I now had a good sence of where I should travel after leaving Panama City. The chosen destination was The Azuero Peninsula where I was specifically going to look at 2 regions, the one around Pedasi and the one around Torio.


Pedasi was first up. Before I went I had already looked up the real estate on the market in this region.I got to mailing with a Dutch couple who were selling a house (picture above) and little casita just outside of town. As they were selling it through a real estate agent this gave me the opportunity to meet Johnathan. The first night in Pedasi was a quiet one as Imke and I were both tired of the long drive from Panama City. I decided to pas by the real estate office in the morning. Next morning I met Johnathan at the office. He first showed me the Dutch people’s place and as he felt that this was not totally what I was looking for he also showed me 2 other properties. Little did I know the last property would become CouCouCrazy.

After our visit to the different real estate options Johnatan invited us to the river the next day. It was a day of leisure where we got to meet some more friendly people. Pedasi was shaping up to be perfect, Torio would have to have something special to trump Pedasi. What I also noticed was that every day there was wind and I mean good wind, which being a windsurfer really spoke to me.

The next few days Imke and I went surfing and just hanging back at playa Venao. This beautiful beach is a 45 minutes drive from Pedasi. We saw a majestic moon, went to an all you can eat BBQ and met some new friend, we also grabbed a wave. The waves where of a nice height but they collapsed quickly.

Before leaving Pedasi for Torio we had some visits to do. On the way out of playa Venao we drove past James’ house, a friend we had met at the river, he had invited us to come and look at the house he was building. I must give it to James he did not brag when he said we would want to see this. A nice house on the hill, a breathtaking view from te patio, a lot of woodwork and a whole lot of fruit planted and ripe. He gave us a huge papaya to take “home”. On the drive to Torio we also stopped over in Las Tablas to give Michelle power of attorney so she could handle the purchase of a property or company. Michelle being my lawyer in Panama.

Please keep following as the second time around part 2 will be posted soon.

The first trip

Last year I visited Panama for the first time. I had traveled to countries in the neighborhood before. Always looking for the ideal place to start my business. Panama was very appealing seeing its rise in tourism, the lay back easy-going nature off the people there, the warm climate. The things that so attracted me to this country mainly being: their waves, their nature, their coffee,…

The fact that they have an easy resident visa for Belgians surely also played a part in the decision for Panama as my next travel/research destination.

My friend Oliver and I made a trip to see a large part of the country in August 2016, we visited a lot of places: Panama City, Santa fé, Santa Catalina, Boquète,  Bocas del Toro and El Vale De Anton. This whole journey was crammed into 2 weeks and fair to say that it was a life-changing adventure. We got to enjoy the country, its inhabitants and the other people visiting it, it was tremendous!


Panama City was the first stop on our journey, which is pure logics since that is where you arrive.  We took a few days to see the beautiful Casco Viejo and climb up the Cerro Ancon to see the canal zone and the city skyline. The city is a bit too busy for me, I am more of a village person, so we passed trough pretty quickly.


Next up was Santa Fé; a quiet little mountain  town, abundant in fauna and flora and known as one of the coffee producing regions. We already encountered some of the fauna driving up to the town. When Oliver made me quickly stop the car and get out only to discover a tarantula in the bushes next to the road. In Santa Fé we came to rest; relaxing near the river, going for a run in the mountains, taking other travelers along as we went for a local tubing tour on the river.We also met one of the greatest dogs named Goncho this former street dog is quite the character. I really enjoyed myself there, pity we had to get going for our next destination.


Time for some surfing as we passed by Santa Catalina. Off course we had to take advantage of the opportunity and do some surfing on our travels in Panama. Oliver also went diving when he visited Isla Coiba. Me I can’t dive so I went for a swim that day to the island just in front of the town. We were amazed at how hot it was in town, here you really feel what a tropical climate should be.


The trip moved into its second week as we moved in to Boquète. I was specifically looking forward to this part of the journey. Boquète is one of the best known coffee regions in the world. It is the place in Panama where they grow the world renounced Geisha variety. We were able to do a coffee tour and I was able to buy some green natural Geisha coffee. Already anxious about roasting it at home. The second night we were in Boquète I also hiked up the Volcan Baru, 4 hours of heavy hiking in the middle of the night. When I arrived in the morning clouds rolled in and I did not see the majestic vieuws this volcano has to offer, I will certainly do this hike again once, that mountain still owes me.


I was super tired when I got back to the hostel after hiking the Volcan Baru, so it was Oliver who drove us to our next destination; Bocas del Toro. This island group is already more touristic, however not too busy. In Bocas del Toro we were again able to catch a wave and also a glimpse of the famous poisonous red frog. We stayed here as long as we still could, for this was the furthest our travels would take us, from this part on everything we would do would be on the way back home.


The way back brought us past El Vale De Anton. We looked for a hostel we had heard about from a girl in Santa Fé, supposedly there would be sloths in this hostel! There were a lot of people visiting El Vale the weekend we passed trough as a marathon  was being held on Sunday. When we found the hostel “Casa Mariposa”, we were in luck as they just had a cancellation and we could get their room. The sloths were amazing, so was the butterfly sanctuary. Such a shame we had to get back home.

During my travels I kept a travel diary in which it became more and more clear that I was ready to move to a country like this, I just had to find out if it could be Panama. Back home the research began….