I first visited in Panama when I was 18 in 2009 with a Panamanian friend that was studying abroad at my college in Louisville, Kentucky.
Driving from Panama’s Tocumen International Airport into the city was a mighty skyline of glistening glass skyscrapers and construction cranes. I was instantly intrigued as to how a “third world country” could look like this.
The 15 days I spent there were a whirlwind from the second I landed. My friend immediately took me out to a chic nightclub on Calle Uruguay that was then called The Loft where we bought cheap bottles of Absolut. We then had a 6am flight to Bocas del Toro that we almost missed because of the previous night’s partying. The flight ended up being on “Panama Time” so everything worked out. In Bocas I drank Cerveza Panama for the first time while I waded in turquoise Caribbean water on a deserted island. From Bocas I went to the chilly mountains in Boquete where Panama’s coffee and produce is grown and then headed back to the city.
I then booked three more trips to Panama and then finally moved on July 4, 2011 (I know it’s ironic to move from the U.S. on the 4th of July but flights were cheaper) with my dog Riley to finish my final two years of college in Panama.
I loved the chaos, the heat, and people I’ve met in Panama City so I have now decided to make it my permanent home.
In 2012, I started my blog PTY Life because there much else around at the time on what life in Panama is like through the eyes of a 20-something. In the blog I cover things to do in Panama, events, news, tips, and just overall how to have a good time in Panama. (And just in case anyone is wondering what PTY is, it is Panama City’s airport code and often the nickname referred to by locals)
I have really enjoyed my time in Panama and I hope that by sharing my experiences and what I have learned, that other people will be able to appreciate this country as much as I do.
If you have any questions about Panama, would like to feature your business on my blog, or just want to say hello feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @joeybonura.