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March 30, 2010


Kyle Crum

This is why I admire anyone who can move around the globe with kids. Besides some of the logistical reasons, there are some lessons to teach kids that wouldn't happen at home.

Maybe you could just explain that if truffles are involved, then you should wear shoes :)

Great writing!


i get many emails everyday..and yours is one of the few which gets my attention...so good to immerse into your experiences and thoughts and feelings...a real good distraction from my world...miles and miles away from the Bocas lifestyle..

thnx for helping me dream

ps. shoes? who needs em? like Lila i feel more at home without them...the rest of the world will just have to follow suit or get used to us barefoot 'hobos'...truflle or no truffle


It's interesting how culture shock can heighten your experiences. When we left Bocas I was really ready to leave and move back to "civilization". However, when we returned to the US I definitely missed the lifestyle of rolling out of bed onto the beach and going SCUBA diving anytime. The general feeling of being free to explore without a safety net can be exhilarating. Especially when compared to being trapped in a shopping mall. Both experiences have led me to a better understanding of what I need around me in my daily life to be happy, productive and mindful of my surroundings. Thank you, Leigh, for reminding me...


Lord, Kyle, if truffle eating must involve shoes, that pretty much ruins my entire social life.

Btw, I'm still laughing from the Really? KFC on your page. Cannot get it out of my head.


My family and I have spent the last 8 months traveling around Europe. I recently went back to Los Angeles for two weeks. I'm used to not knowing what, or how, in a foreign country, but having that feeling at 'home' was strange. I'm back in Europe now with the family, and we'll spend 6 more months in South America before we head back. It's amazing how the kids adjust. Your post got me thinking about what it will be like when we go home to stay.


lovely blog, as always
I dont believe it was the lack of shoes but the sense you might loose Lila in the crowd, perhaps that someone might take her, that gave you the disquiet. I always love the feel of her little hand in mine as she holds me tightly- perhaps she feels the same as you do in the crowds.

Leigh Shulman

Thank you, Boon, for such a great compliment. As someone who also gets too much e-mail every day, I know there are very few that capture my attention. I'm very flattered to send one that does yours.

As for shoes, I've tried to say, yeah, it doesn't matter if you wear shoes. But unfortunately, sometimes it just does.

Oddly, I was never much for the mall when I lived near them and had easy access. Now that I'm far away, I find it fun to go when we visit.

Leigh Shulman

It's funny how I always find it more difficult going home than I do being in a new place. Maybe because we expect to feel difference when we go somewhere we've never been. But home is supposed to feel comfortable.

When and where will you be in South America? Will there perhaps be a chance for us to meet?

Leigh Shulman

Thanks, Mom. (And I'm glad you were able to comment)

Of course the crowd makes me more nervous than an open beach. But ultimately, in this case, it really was about the shoes. Lila truly didn't see a need for them.

I also like the feeling of her cute little hand in mine.

Leigh Shulman

But for whatever reason, it was really difficult to be productive in Bocas. I wrote a bit there, but didn't really do that much overall.

Beach begets beach, I suppose.


Leigh: what a lovely post, and what rich experiences you've had...enjoy the chapters to come.

Leigh Shulman

Thanks, Claiborne. And nice one on the "rich" experiences. Just the kind of choc I like!

I'm glad you've been part of it, too. Be that pizza in the park with the kids or when I happened to be in town and came to your Halloween party. Or perhaps you'll make it down our way sometime too.


Terrific writing. totally captures being caught between here and there, wherever they may be.

Doesn't La Loma rock? Love that place.

Happy travels

Meisha Lawson

Leigh, I heard your story read aloud at TBEX last weekend. Your story of Bocas is amazing! I visited the area two years ago and was so enthralled that I stayed there for my entire Panama trip with the exception of a shot trip to Boquette, which was quickly diverted back to Bocas. Your description of arriving in ATL is exactly how I felt and continue to feel after each trip abroad. I love the way your writing brings the reader into your emotion and experiences. Beautiful story. I can't wait to read more of your work.

Leigh Shulman

Thanks, Meisha. I'm so glad you liked it. no better way to compliment a writer, and I look forward to see you back here too. I wish I could have been there for TBEX, but being part of the keynote has made me feel at least a bit that I was there. Esp when I have the chance to meet new people like you.

Sounds like we may have been in Bocas around the same time. We left May 2008. What about you?

Leigh Shulman

Thanks, Conner. I felt similarly about your TBEX keynote. You absolutely capture a moment and experience.

Yes, La Loma is quite amazing. We were there right before they had their baby, so we only met Henry.

Beautiful place.


Stephanie - The Travel Chica

The type of question that usually prompts the frustrating, "because I said so." Because there is no other answer.

Leigh Shulman

Yep. I think I used the "Please, just do it. I'll explain later" instead.

Like you said, it is frustrating. I hated hearing "because I said so" as a kid. I still hate it.

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