A True Third World Wife

I am in my mid-50’s, married since 1990 to a man 11 years my senior. Until recently, we lived in Orange County, California, before moving to the mountain town of Boquete, Panama.

This blog is about living in the emerging country of Panama. It’s called “Third (?) World Wife” and the inserted question mark means Panama can no longer be called “Third World”. Maybe
2 and 1/2, but not 3rd.

This blog will contain other aspects of my life here, my passions, my activities and my hobbies. Truth be told, I am just trying to negotiate life’s passages on this rock upon which we’ve landed. I would like to do that with as much dignity as possible and without wreckage, hurt feelings and tears.  I can do that.   At least until I get out of bed.

24 Responses to About

  1. Sherrie Jones says:

    Hi Robyn,
    I read your blog! Love it! Do you think you can move over to Boquete and not start a business, but just play?! I have a feeling there will be a nice little cafe that serves coffee in your future:) Sorry to have missed your estate sale, I loved seeing “Big Red” and sent my sister and Bob the email. My sister, Barbara, was happy to see the hutch Bob built, and hopes all works out well for you two. Take care, I will check in on your blog. Hugs to you and John!

  2. Nancy Halbert says:

    I luv your blog…..we will be down to Boquete in January to find a rental and our move date is March 1. We also are staying at the Boquete Garden Inn for 16 days in January and hope that will be plenty of time to decide on where we will lay our heads for the next year or two. We will be taking our time before we purchase something. Look forward to meeting you and John at the Tuesday Morning mtg.

  3. robyncole says:

    Looking forward to meeting you, too, Nancy! Say hello to Jay and Susan and tell them you saw me mention them on my blog. They always love electronic “shout outs”! I’ve gotta tell you, I am so excited about this it’s all I think about, day and night.

    • Barbara Pettit says:

      Hi Robyn, Bob and I had no idea you were moving to Panama until Sherrie sent us a copy of your blog> You sound great and very open to going with the flow,I wish you all the luck in the world, and would like to hear all about your adventures!!!
      Barbara and Bob

  4. cheryl zakhar says:

    Hi Robyn, holy cow! Jim called me and told me all about your new adventure…how awesome for you guys.

  5. Barb says:

    Love your blog Robyn – you’re giving me a sense of real hope about the possibility of moving to Panama to retire. We’re heading to Boquete this weekend to check it out for the first time. I’ll keep reading your stories to see how you handle this adventure. Thanks for sharing your story (oh and the photos and videos too!)

    • robyncole says:

      It won’t be without its challenges! So far everything has gone ultra smoothly for us, but we have our little bumps in the road like everyone else. The sink is broken (will get it fixed today), the closet literally fell down on my hubby (it got fixed right away) and the Cable TV hasn’t been initialized like we were told. So this morning we wait for “The Cable Guy”. But other than that we’ve accomplished so much in the first week here. And it’s so much fun and the area has all the services you would want. The drawback? Things are getting a little more expensive here than we thought. With all of us expats coming down, prices are going up. So, while we rent for one year, we may look around to see if Boquete is the “be all and end all” for us or not. Food is still cheap, but restaurants are raising prices. Keep reading — I’ll have lots to report.

      • Woody says:

        Since I am remotely building in Caldera, despite the advice of everyone, I already know some of the frustrations you are having. Don’t let it get you down.

        This is the only blog I read — and I look forward to regular updates — please.

        God bless,

      • robyncole says:

        Woody, I’ve been offline for two weeks now. (Hey, it was supposed to be for only five days….this is Panama, remember?) But I’m back with a vengeance! Look for a nice, lengthy post tomorrow, okay pal???

  6. Chris White says:

    My husband and myself spent our honeymoon 30 years ago in Panama. He was working on the pipeline. We spent a lot of time in Boquete and decided we would go back sometime. Now that we are getting close to being able to retire, we are again thinking about Boquete. After reading the article in AARP’s magazine, we have decided that within the next two years we will be moving to Boquete. It is really a pleasure reading your blog because it gives us an idea of what we might just face. We loved the people and the city itself. Your blog is making me want to move tomorrow. We have been talking to several people we know about Boquete and everyone wants to move with us. Please, please keep your blog up. I just can’t wait to move there. The prices are part of the reason and our pension and social security will go a lot farther. Can’t wait to hear more about how things are going with your move. Besides I think we are friends on facebook. Stacey Cook-Strausbaugh is my bosses daughter. I am Sue Cook, Stacey’s mom’s assistant. I have been her assistant for over 15 years and we have become part of the family. Please keep writing your blog. I just love reading it.

    • robyncole says:

      OMG, welcome to the big family of “Orange County Moves to Boquete”!! I love and miss Stacey tremendously, please ask her mom to give her a big kiss for me when she sees her next! I was offline for two weeks, but now I’m back. Tomorrow morning I plan on posting a nice, long blog with photos and maybe a video or two.


  7. Suzanne Vertuno says:

    Robyn, What can I say… You know how to tell a story. I am looking forward to hearing more about the adventures of Robyn and John in the “big” city of Boquete and it’s surroundings. Can’t wait to see photos of your new “digs” and see what you’ve Done to the place.. From what John says, quite a lot… LOL. You all have to clear the way for those of us who want to take the plunge but the timing just isn’t right yet. We need to know if this is the place to put on the list..
    Looking forward to seeing you in May… Is that almost April already???
    Love and hugs to both of you

  8. Chris White says:

    You can almost smell the coffee!! Now that you have been there a month — got your apartment all fixed up. Loved to see some pictures. I noticed that you were chatting with Stacey. Her baby boy is just adorable. I don’t think that there is any person on earth more happy than she is. She wanted a baby so bad, just ever so bad. He has brought such joy to their lives. Grandma and Grandpa kind of like him too! Stay well.

  9. Karen Williams says:

    Hola Robyn,

    In my never ending quest to read anything I can get my hands on regarding Panama and Boquete in particular I came upon your very entertaining and informative blog.

    My husband Joel and I have been researching Panama for a number of years and will be retiring next year to your adopted country. A couple of weeks ago we spent a week in Panama city as “silly me” thought these empty nesters might like city life but now we know we should have stuck to the original plan of checking out Boquete – but if we never had checked out the city we may have always wondered..

    We are traveling to Boquete later in the year and your blog is providing some very helpful information. Who knows in the small town we may just cross paths.

    Until then – keep writing. I look forward to reading.

    Ciao ~ Karen

    • robyncole says:

      Welcome to my blog and thanks for the kind words. Every now and then I wonder just how many people read this thing and then a get a wonderful email from someone new like you. It gives me the stimulus I need to keep it going. Thanks!

  10. Dede Basden says:

    Just wanted to make sure when we get to panama that we meet you. We have been traveling to panama for the last 3 years and have decided to make the move full time. I was ready about your adventure and got a few good chuckles. I do check in with your blog from time to time to see what you are doing now… Boquete has a very social group.
    Can’t wait. see you soon.,… dede & byron basden
    I just turned 54 on May 7th…. so we are close to the same age…

  11. Dede Basden says:

    Good morning Robyn… Where are you? You have not posted in awhile.

    • Jeanette Stout says:

      I too have been watching this blog, has been very interesting to me for we are planning to move to Panama within the next year, it has been fun to read about all of Robyn’s adventures.

      • Dede Basden says:

        Jeanette… how are you? We have been traveling to Panama for the last 3 years., We will be picking up our permanent visa’s June 20th. We will be in Boquete for 2 weeks and back to Dallas to close on our condo. Load up and head to Boquete…How do you say ADVENTURE !!! looking forward to getting out of the rat race… Perhaps, we will meet… Stay in touch….
        dede dasden

    • robyncole says:

      Hey, thanks for the concern! I’ve been out of town on vacation and without reliable internet access. I didn’t want to publish ahead of time that we were leaving (not too safe a thing to do….advertise you’re leaving your house…) Now we’re back in Boquete, and guess what? We do not have reliable internet again. I’m posting this at Tammy’s Restaurant in downtown Boquete. BUT, I will post something soon. I have lots to tell: “Bridges of One Road”, “A Mis-Managed Mustache” and more! Talk to you soon, Robyn

  12. Hi Robyn,
    I’m a blogger for SecondAct.com, a website about midlife reinvention. We’re interested in doing a piece about your move to Panama. Would you email your contact info to me? patrickjkiger@comcast.net


  13. Neo says:


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