So Long Central America, Thanks for All the Fish!

So Long Central America, Thanks for All the Fish!
January 5, 2011 Lainie Liberti

Today is our last day in Panama, Central America and with that finality of change I feel the heavy weight of closing one chapter and the exhilaration of opening up another.

Focused on a new adventure!

Sitting on the balcony of our apartment in Panama City, watching the gentle rain fall on the streets below, listening to Peter Gabriel in my headphones, I feel the finality of it all, some how. The sadness is there, as I am invited to reflect.

I have no idea of how many times I’ve said goodbye, how many people I’ve hugged for the last time and how many promises of future meet ups I’ve made since we left on our journey in July 2009. But I feel the pressure of all the hugs on my body now, the wetness on my cheek from all the kisses, the weight of all the promises I must keep. Intellectually I know it’s all part of living goodbyes, part of life on the road and an inherent part of the process to our journey, but it doesn’t make the feeling any lighter.

My brain keeps saying “This is different somehow, somehow it’s more significant,” as I feel the trick of putting a “meaning” to an abstract concept.  “Bigger” or  “more significant”  because we’re leaving Central America and entering South America? Not really sure, and I am so surprised that I feel a loss of leaving that place I’ve come to know, the continent of Central America! Central America is one small chunk of the big picture, but I wonder, is the qualification really important?

I find it fascinating how we quantify, qualify & classify our experiences into an abstract. Time, days, regions, countries and continents. Today is the 553rd day of travel, the 4th day of the 1 year and 6 months on the road and the 8th country we’ve been to. There are too many remarkable experiences that have filled that time and that space, and countless remarkable people that have come into our lives during that duration.

I generally don’t like spending so much time looking back, as the past is a place that keeps me stuck in thought, versus being in the present moment, but it’s an exercise I  periodically find myself  experiencing. After spending  several weeks looking back, with the 500 days in Photos series and my personal “new year” traditions of taking stock in the passing year and creating intentions for the upcoming year, I’m actually emotionally exhausted from all that “looking back”.

Yep, emotionally exhausted.

I said it.

Emotions are my guide post, my indication that I’m on path or off path, and I trust the inspiration they provide. Simply put, if it feels good, feels right, than I trust that. If it doesn’t feel good, or I’m feeling some resistance, than I need to choose something else. Super simple and super reliable. That’s one of those life lessons I’ve learned from this experience, the experience of being in the world and in this case, in Central America.

Today marks my last day of looking back on this chapter Miro and I call our Central American experience and  time to look ahead to the South American experience.

And with that, much exhilaration, much excitement and much anticipation.

So Central America……so long and  thanks for all the fish!

And Hello South America!!!


  1. Lisa E 14 years ago

    Beautifully written post…it really put me there with you. I can relate to what you’re saying, having said similar goodbyes. It can be really intense, but it’s OK at the same time. nnAnd now, it sounds exciting to be embarking on the next chapter in your journey and life–South America. I look forward to seeing what happens next!

    • Author
      ilainie 14 years ago

      Thank you Lisa, I really appreciate you comments! I guess every traveler has a similar experience. You are right, friendships on the road are so much more intense for some reason. Besides saying goodbye to people, we’re saying goodbye to Central America, a place we’ve come to love.nnAgain, thanks for the comments!!!n

  2. svp 14 years ago

    So long from Fantasy Island (Isla Contadora). We will meet again and I hope it is soon.. Take care and remember the two of you will always be in my thoughts. peace and love, svp

    • Author
      ilainie 14 years ago

      We’re missing our Fantasy Island already. (I suppose that makes you our Mr. Roarke?) Be well and I know we’ll cross paths again. Much love!

  3. Nicolas 14 years ago

    Hi Miro and Lainie: I just hope to be given a pass by the beautiful Medellin – Colombia. It will be a pleasure to welcome you as at home. I donu00b4t speak English very fluent but the language of friendship always spring from my lips. Please visit for a review.nTapio Anttila is my friend too and he recommended me to you.

    • Author
      ilainie 14 years ago

      Thank you Nicolas! We’ll send you a note when we reach Medellin. Thank you so much for the invitation and your photography is absolutely beautiful!

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