shoppers enjoying the christmas market in france

Why I’m Spending Christmas In France And NYE In Panama

The Best Of Both Worlds This Holiday Season

Last year, I spent my first Christmas in Panama City and did my best to get into the holiday spirit.

But hanging garlands all over my apartment and playing Christmas music nonstop didn’t stop me from missing my family. Plus, Panama’s tropical climate just doesn’t fit right with hot chocolate and Christmas pajamas.

So, this year I’m delighted to be home in France with my family for Christmas.

I’ll be back in Panama just before New Year’s Eve, though. 

Because—I’m going to let you in on a little secret here—France doesn’t do NYE particularly well.

In fact, other European friends say the same about their countries. And, in a way, I get it. In Europe this time of year… especially approaching midnight… is dark and freezing. Who really wants to go out?

Much more fun to be in the tropics.

Panama, of course, does NYE just right. Panamanians know how to celebrate in style…

Panama Insider Peg Fairbairn tells a funny story about her first NYE in Panama back in 2014. At the time, Peg and her partner April were living in the town of Las Tablas (also the main stage for Carnaval in Panama)…

“After a day at the beach and a nice dinner, we wandered into the main town square a few minutes before midnight, parked ourselves on a park bench and waited for a countdown.

“Where did I think I was? Times Square? The countdown never came. But just before midnight, a couple of elaborate floats drifted into view blaring salsa music and bearing lovely young ladies in skimpy outfits waving enthusiastically and swinging their hips to the beat.

“Before we even had a chance to admire their skill and rhythm, men on both sides of us were lighting bricks of firecrackers the size of bread loaves and tossing them to the ground all around us. Others had rockets, lighting them as fast as they could. Within minutes, the square looked like something out of a firefight from the film ‘Apocalypse Now.’

“And this went on for an hour…”

Not all celebrations in Panama are this extreme. Maybe one year, I’ll go check out New Year’s Eve Las Tablas-style. But for this year, I’m taking things a little easier…

My boyfriend Arnaud and I will join a group of 20 French friends at a house we’ve rented in Playa Venao—one of our favorite escapes on Panama’s Pacific coast. Entertainment here is good old-fashioned swimming, surfing, and music from the local bars… with some fireworks thrown in for good measure.

Playa Venao is a place that’s growing in popularity with tourists—especially the surfing crowd—but still doesn’t get overrun with visitors… even around the holidays.

It’s among the top areas we’ll introduce you to at our upcoming Live and Invest in Panama Conference, Feb. 20–22, 2019, in Panama City.

If you’re planning on joining us for this event… but haven’t gotten around to booking your seat yet… today is your day…

For Day 4 of our Live and Invest Overseas 12 Days Of Christmas Event, we’re offering a complimentary VIP Package to the next 5 attendees to sign up.

Our original VIP seats for Panama sold out weeks ago. So this is your very last chance to come check out all that Panama has to offer… and do so with full VIP privileges.

Valentine Fouché

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