It's five o'clock in the morning and Panama City awakes. My parents and I separated ways two weeks earlier. It's still dark when we park the jeeps in front of `Luna`s castle`, the most popular hostel in Panama City. The group is waiting on time. With a big grin I walk towards them, 'Hey, good morning, are we all excited?’. A half awaken `yes` comes here and there from the group. I count the people and divide them over the jeeps. My eye catches a fun, spontaneous guy. I give him a charming smile: “Do you have a jeep?” `No, not yet.` Perfect`, I think to myself `you can go in a jeep with me.`
When all chicklets with their overloaded backpacks are crammed into the jeeps I send a quick whatsapp to Renèe, the coordinator, we are complete and good to go. The jeep is (coincidentally) full of boys. ‘So Sanza (a nickname I have kept from my stay at hostel` Lost and Found` see same-called blog), tell me honestly, as a tour guide, you must be doing well with the boys?`.
After a burn-out it was time for a change. I quit my job, sold my stuff and bought a one-way ticket to the Dominican Republic. What was supposed to be a 4 month adventure turned into 2,5 years and counting......
Photo by: Vanessa Marques Barreto