Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Time for a sanity break soon...

This blogging thing is kinda therapeutic, a way to purge oneself of frustrations or, more likely in my case, as a way to connect with the world around me from time to time. After too many days of being locked in my office, scrambling to catch up on 'stuff,' I'm taking a breather. And that means writing a post to take a brief sanity break.

Short breaks are great. They get your mind off whatever you are working on. A change is as good as a rest, right?

Soon, I am going to need a longer break. I finally booked the trip to Panama that I have been planning for months. I'm leaving on November 14 and will be gone for 10 days. I'll be roaming around Panama in a rented car, all by myself, looking into land investment possibilities in Boquete, Isla Colon and possibly Isla Contadora. I am increasingly of the opinion that the future is outside of North America and want to at least explore investment possibilities elsewhere. I don't plan on leaving Canada. I just want to diversify. My son may thank me, someday.

Panama is an interesting place. After Manuel Noriega was toppled, the electorate decided that no military dictator would ever rule the country again, so they did the most logical thing: eliminate the military. Makes sense to me. Panama has political stability, economic growth, warm weather and English is widely spoken. It's worth a visit.

I love to travel. Family travel with my wife and son is great, but I also like to travel alone. That way I can roam at will, stop wherever I like, do whatever I want. I have visited England, France and Germany and have roamed extensively through Florida, Texas and elsewhere in North America on my own. Traveling alone is good for my mental health. I recommend it.

If anyone out there in the blogosphere has had any experience in Panama, good or bad, please share. I would appreciate the input.


  1. HI

    If I was looking for land to buy outside of North America, I would probably buy in Argentina - low prices, great weather, educated workforce etc.

    My problem with Panama is :-

    -1. that it is too involved in the drug trade.

    -2. Too close to Venezuela - how do you know their will not be a revolution?
    -3. kidnapping is a major risk for westerners visiting third world countries - how safe is Panama?

    I think you might get a better return, buying land in India as well -

    fast grwowing country
    educated workforce
    youthfull demographics
    speak English
    Indians are some of the most gifted business men I know

    Hope you have a nice trip, maybe it will not be as bad as its reputation

  2. So what if a country sells drugs? How does that make it bad?

  3. Hi

    I was not really concerned about drug selling per say, I was thinking more about Panama's has a reputation for money laundering of drug money. I would take this as a sign that the local law is either corrupt or incompetent.

    Mr Pedde asked for comments about Panama, I offered a view about the country
    I still think he would get a better return investing in India (best) or Argentina (best of the Americas)

  4. I agree that Argentina would give better bang for the buck. Prices are lower, there is a lot of tradition, and economically speaking there is no direction to go but up. Panama, on the other hand has already had a big boom and one has to go further afield to find bargains.

    The pluses for me, in Panama, are that English is spoken virtually everywhere, it is closer for me, and I actually know quite a number of people indirectly (friends of friends) who have moved and/or invested there.

    Argentina is next, though, perhaps next year or the year after. I hope I won't have missed the proverbial boat.

    India is a place I have long been interested in. Problem is it is so far away. I have used Indian software engineers on prokjects for my software company and they are excellent. Product is delivered exactly as ordered, on time, at the agreed upon price. If I were younger, I'd been travelling there to look for business opportunities.

    Venezuela is indeed a wild card. Not sure what is going to happen there. However, risk is always a part of any investment and for the right deal I'm willing to accept a degree of risk.

    I appreciate the comments. Any direct information on Argentina would be welcome. It never hurts to know as much as possible before investing somewhere.

  5. Wow. I just re-read my last comment and realized I should have done so and corrected some typos before I submitted it. Sorry!

    Jason, I agree about the drug money. As long as the country is safe (and it appears to be) and the laundered money contributes to infrastructure and economic growth, I don't really care. According to my sources, the earlier wild-west atmosphere in Panama has long since settled down and it is probably safer than most big cities in the United States.