Panama City – surprising stories – Part I

Panama City – surprising stories
Part I:
Travel alone – leave your worries at home

A lot of people often ask me: “You´ve traveled alone? And you´re going to do so again? Isn´t that pretty lonesome, boring and even kind of weird?” The answer is – to be honest – it isn´t. Travelling without a buddy is more the counterpart of loneliness.
Very easy you get in touch with locals, tourists and other interesting people. Often without even provoking the contact. It just happens.
Sure there are also many pleasures of travelling in a group or with someone familiar. For instance it is more secure, you´ve got always somebody to talk to and to share your moments with. Friendships can be tightened and old wounds might be healed. And of course fun is guaranteed if your mate is great.

But there are also a lot of advantages of being alone in a foreign country such as the fact that there is nobody remembering you of the problems back home. That emotional distance makes it easier to leave your normal life in your hometown and gives you the chance of starting as a new person. People will even treat you individual and you won´t be judged as “the group”. It is a known fact that (travel) partner shine their light on you and you will appear in a different way. Can be great or worse – depends on the partner, but truly it is not “the authentic you” anymore.

All in all it makes no sense to judge about what is the best choice of travelling because you can´t. For me the best thing is to do both in every journey, travel some days alone and some days with a companion.
This day, I´m alone. It is my last day in Panama. Sitting in a rooftop bar, enjoying some steamed green mussels in an excellent curry sauce, topped with various green herbs and Italian ciabatta as a side dish.
My last day in Panama. My travel mate is already on his way back to Munich. I´m on my own. And being on my own during my last day in Central America means a lot to me. Thinking about my travelling, thinking how that journey had changed my life. What was before, what will be next, what was it all about.
But even if I enjoy the pleasure of being lonesome, thinking about my travels, having dinner alone was never a thing I had liked a lot.
I would say: “You can stay alone the whole day for thinking, but don´t stay all alone for dinner.”

And right in this moment, right when I was thinking about having dinner alone isn´t such a nice thing to happen, a bunch of people is approaching.
They take the chair next to me and as their table isn´t big enough to seat them all, I offer mine and the possibility for me to sit at one table apart. They say it´s fine.

Then everything develops differently than anticipated, than planned.
I repeat my offer and finally I am surprised. They invite me to their table and I find myself sitting between an absolute unknown group of Panamanian and Columbian people.
An interesting evening begins.

‘Reed more about it soon in Panama City – Part II – Casco Viejo


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