This is one of those stories we hear all the time in Panama City. An American – or Canadian, Colombian or citizen of some other country – escapes their home after discovering all the elements of paradise in Panama.
But here is the story with a twist: The happy new resident escaped… Hawaii.
In an article in Honolulu Civil Beat, Mark Heilbron describes finding Panama, which is described as “a more affordable paradise.” Panama “is what Hawaii was 40 years ago,” he tells the paper.
“The local people here are warm and friendly to all outsiders and always treat you with respect and a warm smile,” Mr. Heilbron said. “Something that has been lost long ago in Hawaii.”
Mr. Heilbron paid $235,000 for a two bedroom, 2,600-square-foot home on the beach. “To many people on Oahu, that’s a down payment,” the paper notes. He also details how his monthly bills are a fraction of his expenses his Hawaii, with his monthly electric bill usually around $45 and food “about 75 percent cheaper” than Hawaii.
But Mr. Heilbron discovered that paradise is about more than affordability and pretty beaches.
“What most people born and raised in Hawaii fail to realize, because they are too busy struggling to live in what they think is paradise, is that there are other places in this world that are what Hawaii used to be over 40 years ago: A real paradise.”
The full story can be found here.
You can also find a podcast with Mr. Heilbron here.
Duncan McGowan is president of Punta Pacifica Realty, a Panama real estate agency focused on Punta Pacifica, the exclusive neighborhood of 18 towers perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.