Panama

Here I am in Panama hoping to have some amazing dives and meet super people.  It is raining today however so most of my plans are at a standstill.  I am here visiting my long time friend Jamie who has been working here for an international school.  It is amazing to hear about the work she has done, the places she has seen, and the experiences she has had in a foreign country.    Being here is very symbolic because I would like to think I inspired Jamie to take the leap and live in a foreign country.  We were sitting in a bar in our hometown of Helena, MT both feeling like there is this great big world to see and she not quite knowing if leaving was what she wanted to do.  I, in no way, helped her move to Panama but I would like to think I created a path for her to follow into the unknown by relating with her all I had learnt from stepping outside my comfort zone.  A lot of times we get into our day to day routine and when we think about the logistics of travel or moving it often times becomes very overwhelming and scary.  I have walked people through the steps, from immunizations they need, to how to get there, to what they should do, and if I'm not traveling with them I even give them ways to contact me.  I have found that people who aren't traveling with me but meet me at a certain point feel immediately relieved.  The pressure of taking the planning and organizing a trip off of peoples shoulders is immediate and the response is physically visible.  I often hear people say, this trip has been a nightmare I'm so glad we finally ran into you, this day was so easy with you.  I had another person step off the dock in Koh Tao and literally fell into my arms saying oh thank god you are here.  I have to chuckle because I was there once too.  Crying on a beach wondering how am I going to do this, where do I go, how do I get there.  There is no right or wrong way to travel, but there is definitely an easy and a hard way.  I like to think that most people I've met, like Jamie, have been grateful for my ability to help them take the leap, travel to a foreign country, and enjoy the experiences they have.