Panama in a Snapshot

As I cross the border to Costa Rica today, I think back on my time in Panama the past 2 weeks. It started off rough and overwhelming being in Panama City. Through the hostel I stayed at, I was lucky to book a trip to San Blas that would definitely become a highlight of this entire trip.

While on San Blas, I was able to clear my head and enjoy my time on the island with the people I had met there. Those I bonded with were amazing and made my anxiety about this trip disappear. The conversations we had about the world, life, and any topic really were some of the best conversations I have ever had.

The L&F Hostel was cool and definitely a nice place to escape to for a few days. (Check my last post)

Bocas has been amazing (working on a post for it now). I’ve also met some really cool people here, enjoyed my time on the beach, and was able to think about what’s next on this trip and in my life.

One thing I have realized is how my anxiety comes in waves, and these waves hit hard. For the most part, it seems I get the most anxious when I have to travel to another location. The night before moving to a place, I start to have bad anxiety. Waking up the day of traveling is even worse. Will I catch the wrong bus? Will the shuttle not show up? What will happen once I get to the next place? What hostel should I stay at? Is it in a good location?

Going to Bocas del Toro from L&F hostel was the worst travel day for me so far. I waited and waited for the shuttle I signed up for, an hour passed, it didn’t appear. Scared, I hopped on the first local bus that passed by. Thus started a 5 hour trip where I would break down on the bus multiple times and waiting for the water taxi to Bocas Town.

Every few days, when I move hostels, it means I also have to meet new people. Sometimes it’s a challenge, but sometimes it’s easy. The hardest part about it, is the fact that there’s a limited amount of time with these people before they or I move to another place.

I’ve been trying to relax and enjoy the trip, but the anxiety is too much sometimes. When it hits, I just want to be home around my family, in an area familiar to me. That’s the opposite point of this trip though right? Here I’m supposed to feel out of my comfort zone. I’m supposed to push myself, see the world, grow as a person, and conquer what I don’t think I could.

I don’t know how much longer this trip will last. Maybe I’ll go home after Costa Rica. Maybe I’ll go home when I said I’d go home in mid November. There’s a lot of things up in the air, which means there’s a lot of things stressing me out. I’m trying to take this trip day by day, but some days are harder than others.

Lauren

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