(Above are my two sons, at this time 11 and 8, last summer, and right behind is my Dad)
I was born in Panama, and my kids have been able to go back every vacation for a few weeks. They stay with my parents, in the countryside, where my parents live. The little town is called El Barrero and my parents have lived there for over 10 years now. There is a much bigger town right next to it, its call Penonome and many family members live, and it is also about 25 minutes from about three different beaches. My kids love going back every summer and feel the freedom that only small towns in the countryside can give you.
I know times change and their time in El Barrero and Penonome, will not be as it was for me when I was a child and would go there every vacation I had, but in regards to the feeling that nature, freedom, fresh air, and relaxation can give you is pretty close. They always come back to us more humbled, less demanding, more appreciative, less connected to the electronics that they left behind and more connected to just be present and relax. They come back having discovered new foods that they like, remembering moments they spent with my family, telling stories of hiking trips, horse riding in the mountains, beach walks in the sunset and eating dinners outside with my parents.
I fear sometimes that there will be a moment in which they will choose to stay here and not to go back to Panama, maybe because of friends or girlfriends, summer school, or sports activities, but at least I know that they will always treasure their time surrounded by the memories I made while growing up. They had the chance of running wild…