IT’S A WEEKDAY morning again. And instead of jumping hastily into her sports car to half-heartedly drive to her office in Calgary, Jen Spicer is walking her two dogs, Roxy and Lola, on a beach. She is not on vacation. This is her life now and every morning it starts with a fresh walk along the sandy Pacific shores of Playa Serena beach in Coronado, Panama.
At 39 years old, Jen had it all from the perspective of the naked eye. She was the HR Manager for an Oil & Gas corporation making bank, with supportive and loving family and friends by her side. There was probably lots of maple syrup involved, since she’s Canadian after all, but even the sweetest of nectars drizzled onto an unfulfilled spirit will leave a person feeling empty and sticky. Jen traveled extensively to almost 30 countries—from Peru to Tanzania—and the niggling feeling she had to set ablaze her comfortable, cushy life in Canada started to grow like a heavy tumor. Soon she asked her company to transfer her to Australia, but they couldn’t make it happen. It wasn’t the only hurdle that she faced in her journey toward freedom. A friend asked her if she would be interested in taking over the helms of a beach bar/restaurant in sunny Panama, and as she learned more about it, the more interested she became. She took a flight to Panama to see for herself why this country kept popping up on the radar for being the happiest country in the world (according to The Guardian) and a place where snowbirds and expats have been flocking to for a century.
When Jen arrived in September 2014 she found Panama to be in “massive growth mode with exciting times ahead.” She fell in love with Coronado as she entertained the idea of running a beach bar. Unfortunately, the tantalizing opportunity fell through. But feeling alive and inspired in Panama, she was able to move past the disappointment and it was at
that same time that she met a few expats in Coronado who would change her life, leading her in the direction of her current love of renting Panamanian real estate.
Within two months, Jen had gone back home to Canada to sell her car, furniture, and condo, and then she made her way back to Coronado on a one- way ticket. She has been here for six months now and is happy to be working with expats from around the world who come to Panama like she did, with a dream to feel alive, and make their own way in the world. She helps them with finding rental properties where they can feel comfortable and inspired doing the things that they love.
After getting up each morning with a direct sense of purpose and enthusiasm (and maybe a small headache from the happy hour with friends from the night before), she walks her happy dogs on the beach, and then heads home to get her work done from her peaceful hammock. As someone who once held a top managerial position in a competitive environment, she still utilizes her keen business sense and has full autonomy in her work here in Panama. Whether she is communicating with new visitors to Panama to help them find a great rental, brainstorming marketing strategies for new listings, or driving through the beautiful countryside on the traffic-free PanAmerican Highway (which is especially lush and flanked with verdant green tropical trees during the rainy season 8 months of the year) to check on the rental properties, coordinate repairs, or purchase furnishings, Jen finds herself happy and content here. This is something she knew she was looking for when back at home in her maybe-too-comfortable life in Canada.
Although things are great here and Jen sees much growth and opportunities, there are a few things she still hopes will arrive in Panama as a changing demographic of younger expats and young families make their way to Central America. She wants brunch! And not like the Denny’s kind of brunch that’s greasy and makes you feel like a fat cloud afterwards, but a solid brunch with pancakes (and probably maple syrup), thirst-quenching mimosas, and melt-in-your-mouth French toast slathered in honey (okay, maybe the author of this post wants these things, too). She also wants more outdoor community spaces like parks. which she’s used to from her hometown in Calgary. Last but not least, she mentioned the need for more nightlife. As Jen was used to heading out at 10PM back home for a night out on the town, now she goes to happy hours that start at 5pm and end at 10PM in Coronado. There are a few places to continue the fun—like the well-loved Cholo’s TexMex restaurant with burritos as big as your face, in addition to Sukha bar and a few others—but there is still room for growth. Since other expats have mentioned similar wishes, the opportunity is ripe for entrepreneurs looking for a change from their day-to-day lives, to start all kinds of businesses here in Panama, ranging from family-oriented, to community-based, or even fun things for adults to do late at night. The thing about Panama is that the sky is the limit and only your imagination can contain you.
Interested? Get in touch with Jen as she would love to hear from you. She enjoys getting to know what lifestyle each person is looking for (Are you looking for beaches? Mountains? What kind of weather do you prefer? What hobbies do you like?). Armed with knowledge about your preferences,
she also enjoys trying to match your wants with a rental property that you can be your best self in. Jen has contacts all around Panama to help you find what you’re looking for.
Jen has made the journey From Boredom to Freedom. Her friends sometimes look at her in awe and everyone always says the same thing: “You’re so brave.” She doesn’t see herself as brave, though. She just knew she had to make a change to live the life she wanted. Won’t you join her? Get in touch today so that your tomorrows can be just a little bit brighter (and hopefully a lot less boring!).
Panama Beach Rentals & Management
Panama Cell: 011 (507) 6670 2646
Here are a few great properties to get you started: