Column: In Panama, time floats on


Photo by Skylar Rush

By Skylar Rush, Contributing Columnist

Panama’s Pacific coast is a place no one really hears about or travels to.

With all the hype about neighboring places like Costa Rica and Nicaragua, the connecting bridge between South and Central America seems to be hiding in the shadow of these two.

One might think that the reason is because given the use of the dollar and Panama City’s hustle and bustle with the canal being there and all.

Photo by Skylar Rush

In reality, the country is still very untouched by American hands — something many travelers look for in a destination. Be it a cultural, spiritual or inspiring journey — hell, maybe you’re just looking for a place to go surf or party for a couple of days.

Any reason behind a trip abroad, this place has got it.

From the nightlife and sightseeing in and around Panama City, to the isolation and Corona commercial-esque beaches of the northern province of Chiriquí, there is fun to be had by all, and it would be a shame to pass it up.

I personally went for my own adventure there that incorporated all of the aforementioned and would recommend it highly to all interested.

I sat next to the cross and flowers in memory of a soul lost to the ocean and thought of what it took to get to this dream of a place.

Six months of serving drinks and food until that time of the night where you don’t know whether to call it early or late. Feeding the bank account until it seemed full enough to hold me over for four months in another country.

Photo by Skylar Rush

I thought about what it felt like to step out of the airport and be accosted by hoards of Panamanians trying to give me a ride or sell me a hand-woven straw hat. I thought about being alone and off the radar. Because I both wanted and needed it to clear my mind and get a change of scenery.

A breath of fresh air. I needed to feel what it was like to be out of that warm comfort zone that some people never leave. I thought, so that I could get all my thinking done on the beach. Out in the water there was no room for hesitations.

You just go.

So I looked at the memorial next to me one more time, said a prayer, and went surfing.