30 April, 2013

In a Nutshell – Words That Sum It Up Nicely…

I’m constantly perplexed at how I could have possibly made so many bad career choices over the years that I am now once again sitting at the crossroads of disconbobulation and quagmiredness.

Yeah, I don’t know what it means either, but it pretty much sums up how my job has been making me feel for at least the last six months.

Oh well, life goes on and I’ll manage to get through this. It helps knowing that it’s only a means to an end…

Definition: (i) filled with uncertainty; (ii) full of difficulty;

Definition: when something odd happens and you get an indescribable confused feeling.

Definition: (i) soft miry land that shakes or yields under the foot; or (ii) a difficult, precarious, or entrapping position;

18 April, 2013

Too Many Experts...

There’s an old saying “Know what you don’t know”. There’s also a saying “know when to keep your mouth shut”.

Today, I’m surrounded by people that have obviously never heard these sayings. Everyone is offering up their opinion on how things should be handled. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times “if I were you…”

I’m all for taking advice when I ask for it and I’ll even accept it when I need it and haven’t asked for it. I’m not one for unsolicited opinions on topics that these so-called “experts” know nothing about.

There is nothing wrong with simply smiling and walking away – it makes you look intelligent and keeps people guessing what your next move will be.

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people
think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” – Mark Twain

16 April, 2013

Get Off Your Bum - Take A Break...

I owe all the credit for this blog post to Chloe Carter from LearnStuff.com.  

I find it fascinating how we have all become so consumed with "getting the job done", that we forget to stop and take time for ourselves and this unhealthy work habit is slowly condemning us to an unhealthy lifestyle.  I am so guilty of this...

Take A Break

15 April, 2013

There Was a Point, But I Seem to Have Forgotten What it Was…

The hardest part of coming back from vacation is the reality that comes along with it. We’ve been back over a week, but it seems like we have never left. As soon as our feet hit Canadian soil and our phones were switched back on, we were immediately immersed within our old lives and the day to day madness it brings.

How come it takes a week of being on vacation for the stress to leave your body, but it only takes a mere hour or two for all the stress to return?

Household chores, work, family madness, bills and all the responsibilities that go along with everything I just listed seem to loom larger than before we left. I know, I know, I keep telling myself “suck it up buttercup”, but it doesn’t mean I have to stop whining about it.

In a mere 8 months, I’ll have another chance to decompress…maybe. We are taking J’s parents on a trip to Puerto Rico with us. They wanted us to take them back to Hawaii again, but as I told them (thanks to the Rolling Stones)… “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes well you might find, you get what you need”.

On another note, we have finally recommenced the renovations of our spare room. It’s only been close to a year since we started them, but the majority of the drywall is now up. Now, for the mudding and sanding… Good thing our timeline is still a few years off – we might just make it!

12 April, 2013

More on Bocas Del Toro, Panama…

While still in Bocas, J and I started to compile a list of the pros and cons of the island.

It’s funny to me what made our list – J listed being able to flush toilet paper in the toilet as a major pro because in some countries/locations, you must dispose of used paper waste in a trash can because the plumbing is not equipped for anything except waste.

I on the other hand listed the amount of excess water bottles tossed around as a con. I understand it’s not North America, but the lack of recycling facilities bothered me. Even with the lack of recycling facilities, I was very impressed with how clean and pristine some of the beaches were.

J liked the idea of still being able to purchase oceanfront property. I too like this idea, but my expectations are that we still can’t afford even the smallest amount of oceanfront luxury in Panama.

I was also disappointed in the lack of quality fruits and vegetables. I understand we were on an island, but I thought nice fruits and vegetables would have been more readily available since the island is accessible by a 25 minute boat ride from the mainland where most crops are grown.

Before visiting, we were told to expect a party town atmosphere. We didn’t experience that at all. Yes, there were a lot of bars, restaurants and hostels, so I suppose the potential was there if the stars aligned, but we certainly weren’t witness to it during our visit.

The island certainly had a relaxed vibe to it. There was no hustle or bustle. Modes of transportation were limited but in the same respect, it was easy to get around – bicycle, taxi or water taxi seemed to be the most popular modes. There were very few privately owned vehicles, which made for less road traffic, which of course adds to the whole sense of less hustle and bustle.

If I had to pick what the major con was about Panama, I would have to say getting around the mainland itself. First landing at the international airport and then having to get across town to our hotel close to the domestic airport for our early morning flight to Bocas – 35 minutes later and $40 poorer. Similarly we had to reverse course coming back - landing at the domestic airport in Panama City and needing to get across town to our hotel close to the international airport involved a scary hour+ taxi ride and we were another $40 poorer. Unfortunately, it’s just how it is in Panama City. On the upside, they regulate taxi fares regardless of how long it takes, but still it’s not affordable.

Another con, it took our luggage 3 days to find its way home after we landed. Apparently TSA in Houston “holds” a lot of luggage coming out of Panama. There was nothing of value in it and everything did get to us eventually, it just one of those things we would need to expect and plan for.

As mentioned previously, Bocas Del Toro is still in the running. Next stop? Who knows? Only time will tell where a seat sale will take us…

09 April, 2013

A Little Slice of Paradise, But Maybe A Little Too Little?

J and I have just returned from our trip to Bocas Del Toro, Panama. Our one week trip allowed us to experience a little of what this island has to offer. We mixed pleasure, with business, as we were after all trying to get a lay of the land and to see if this place could be in the running as a retirement destination.

I’m happy to report that it’s still in the running. We may just need to adjust our expectations a little.

Some of the Pros included - Beautiful Beaches; Friendly People; Warm Weather; Cheap Adult Beverages; Affordable Real Estate; Relaxed Atmosphere...

Some of the Cons included – a lot of rain (it is a rainforest after all); not many options for household shopping; no potable water – all drinkable water needed to be purchased; not a lot to do, except relax (this is also a Pro, but long term I would likely need a little bit of something, something to keep me engaged).

I'll try to collect my thoughts a little more and expand on the above Pros and Cons over the next few posts, but in the meantime, here are a few photos from the trip:

Flying into Bocas Area...

Birthday Morning Sunset...

Starfish Beach - advertised as "100's of starfish in the water".  Umm, no.

Bocas Town - Water Taxi Anyone?

Beach Day...

Delicious - new fav beverage (when in Panama)

Yours truly - on the back of the ATV we rented

Gumby found a shell...

Bamboo forest...