Take Panama back home: Spanish, “Tranquilo” & Adventure

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"Take Panama back home: Spanish, “Tranquilo” & Adventure".

Search our blog about all things Panama! From must dos, where to party or eat, to which beaches and hiking trails you shouldn't miss, in our blog you'll find great insider info about Bocas del Toro, Panama City and Boquete, as well as Panamanian culture, customs and traditions, and certainly tips and advice for learning Spanish! We've been writing about all things Panama for over 15 years and nothing beats local knowledge from the locals themselves.


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🙃 Get up to a 60% DISCOUNT OFF ONLINE PRIVATE LESSONS or up to a 40% OFF ONLINE GROUP LESSONS when you submit your payment by "UNKNOWN DATE, SYSTEM ERROR".

CLAIM HERE!

Or find out more about ONLINE SPANISH LESSONS HERE...

🦠 Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic we're currently only offering ✅ Online Spanish Lessons and ✅ Spanish classes in a TRAVELING CLASSROOM instead of at the school, delivering a teacher directly to you in a COVID safe way wherever you are, be it your hotel, home, park, on tour, at the beach or in any other place where social distancing is comfortably and safely possible. CONTACT US TODAY!

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🙏 PLEASE 🛑 DON'T ✈ FLY TO LEARN SPANISH... LEARN SPANISH ONLINE!


🚨 On October 7th 2020 we declared a CLIMATE AND ECOLOGICAL EMERGENCY because we're facing an 😱 existential threat as Planet Earth is on track for a 🌡4°C increase in average global temperatures by the end of this century, which means 💀 BILLIONS OF HUMANS DYING along the way if we don't CHANGE COURSE NOW!

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🤔 So instead of 🛫 flying to learn Spanish 🛬 — it's not really essential travel, specially in the midst of the ongoing 😷 COVID-19 PANDEMIC — pumping even more C02 into the atmosphere that will end up crashing our common home, impacting countries in the tropics first, 🎧 LEARN SPANISH ONLINE 💻 from the comfort, convenience and safety of your office or home!

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🙏 And finally one last plea to help us ensure a just transition for our staff and Spanish teachers: please don't fly to learn Spanish because you can do it online without destroying our future as there's no Planet B regardless of what Elon Musk wants you to believe; besides dreaming of Mars, he also wants you to buy electrical cars as if that's the solution to this Planetary Crisis... spoiler alert: it's not!

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Take Panama back home: Spanish, “Tranquilo” & Adventure

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After a year in Panama, I have arrived back in the USA. It is a strange feeling.

Though I would love to stay in Bocas, my life is moving me in a different direction right now (a very exciting direction), which will have me in the States for a little while.

So, I started asking myself the question, how did my experience in Panama affect and change me and how can I keep moving forward in that experience here in the States.

The snowstorm that welcomed me back home the day after I landed was of course a big shock (this is a photo of my parent's back yard), and even though I can't bring Panama's sun to Nebraska, there are other things that I did bring back home with me and plan on keeping!
The snowstorm that welcomed me back home the day after I landed was of course a big shock (this is a photo of my parent's back yard), and even though I can't bring Panama's sun to Nebraska, there are other things that I did bring back home with me and plan on keeping!

Here is what I came up with, and I think this can apply to everyone who visits Panama, whether it be for a week, months, or years:

1. Keep the Spanish Going

True, you will no longer be surrounded by people who speak Spanish 24/7 but this doesn’t mean that your time studying Spanish with Habla Ya has to go to waste. Listen to music in Spanish! There are lots of great tunes out there and if you partied in Panama as much as I did, the music will certainly bring back very nice memories. I work 8 hours a day in English, but the whole time, I listen to music in Spanish. You will be amazed how much you will pick up on in pronunciation and honing your ear for the language.

Find a TV show in Spanish that you like, my fav is Mexico’s Next Top Model. Laugh all you want, it is a great way to keep up your listening and comprehension proficiency!

You can look up the episodes of Mexico's Top Model on YouTube or directly on Sony Entertainment's website
You can look up the episodes of Mexico's Top Model on YouTube or check them out by clicking here...

Another great way is reading in Spanish. I already bought my next book in Spanish (during my time in Bocas I read a few) and plan to start it soon. Start simple, get a kids book at your local library or order one online, it is a great way to learn new vocabulary.

Finally, find a friend to speak with! There are very few people in the US who do not know someone who speaks Spanish (which is quite bizarre), and usually, the Spanish speakers are looking to improve their English, perfect!! It never hurts to ask, even just an hour of speaking a couple times a week will be better than nothing. Try not to make excuses, there is never perfect timing, just keeping moving forward in your learning. A little bit each day is the best approach!

And of course, if you can afford it, nothing beats continuing learning with an Habla Ya Spanish teacher. They offer online Spanish lessons with flexible schedules.

2. Carrying on the Caribbean Vibes

Probably the first thing that hit me when I landed back in the States was the change of pace, life pace (even more than the snowstorm). If you have spent any time in the Caribbean, you know what I am talking about. Life is slower in Bocas and Panama in general.

When I am in the States, I feel a constant pull to be going 24/7. If it is not work, it is stressing about work, or being late, or forgetting an appointment, and so goes the days. When I was in Bocas, I had to learn how to relax and just be OK with a slower pace of life. And guess what, once I got used to it, I LOVED it.

The minute I landed in the States, I immediately felt the pull to be back into the “go go go” mode, and I thought, NO! My time in Bocas taught me that I can take a step back, prioritize, and enjoy a slower, less stressful life, and that is not only OK, but even better!

My time in Panama really helped me step outside the box, escape the rat race and appreciate life. I'm a much more laid back person now and don't let stress get into my routine
My time in Panama really helped me step outside the box, escape the rat race and appreciate life. I'm a much more laid back person now and don't let stress get into my routine

So, my encouragement to you when you leave Panama. Instead of just going blindly back into your old routine, take a minute and simplify your life. You will be surprised how much of the pressure we feel day to day is not even from our responsibilities, but from the culture itself, saying we have to “be” a certain way. Letting this go, and moving forward in what I really want for my life, and not what society wants, was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

3. Embrace Adventure

About a week before I left Bocas, I was talking to some friends about how much I have done in the past year in Panama. Everything from learning a new language, to learning to surf, to conquering my fear of heights by rapelling down a 40 ft rock face, it has been a year of new experiences and embracing life!

Now, I know you are saying to yourself, sure, great, but we have to work and we have responsibilities when we get home. Yes, true, so do I, however, I do not think this means that we cannot keep seeking adventure. One shouldn't even have to wait until the weekends: we should seek some adventure in our lives every single day.

Whether it be planning your next trip or something as small as finally training for that 5K run you have had on your to do list, don’t stop being open to new experiences just because you are back in your comfort zone. Keep challenging yourself and don’t put limits on the possibilities that lie before you.

So, although it is with a sad heart that I say good-bye to Bocas and Panama (hasta luego, not adiós!), it is with great expectation and excitement that I look forward to the future. We can’t always control our lives, but we can control the attitude that we have towards it. I intend to move forward with an open mind and heart, always cherishing the memories of my year in Paradise. I wish the same for you.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HABLA YA'S SPANISH IMMERSION PROGRAMS... »

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Search our blog if you're visiting Panama! From must do's, where to party or eat, to which beaches and hiking trails you shouldn't miss, you'll find great insider info about Bocas del Toro, Panama City and Boquete, as well as Panamanian culture, customs and traditions, and certainly tips and advice for learning Spanish while in our country! We've been writing about all things Panama for over 10 years and nothing beats local knowledge from the locals themselves.


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