Every year for the past 8 years, I have visited my grandparents in Panama.
How did they wind up in Panama? They lived in Florida for a while – until my grandfather’s beautiful fruit trees were killed by frost.
Wait, what? Frost in Florida!?
My grandparents decided to head further south, and they chose Panama for its more predictable climate.
This winter, my husband couldn't get the time off work, so I traveled solo with our two kids.
Here’s the thing I like to remind my family and friends – this yearly trip to Panama is not entirely a vacation.
As an artist I really love my work. My ideal vacation would involve spending time alone at a secluded cabin with my paints and thoughts, and maybe a guitar.
When I’m visiting my family in Panama, I’m not actually kicking back with cocktail at a resort! I’m hanging out with family doing normal family things like grocery shopping, running errands, cooking, and cleaning. We just get bonus of temporarily ditching winter.
So, traveling solo with the kids was good. They were troopers on the airplane, knowing the routine. And guess what? Being in Panama didn't eliminate the struggle of "what are we going to do to entertain the kids?" Because yes, even in paradise, all kids seem to want to do is binge on electronics. I did my best to drag them to a few beaches, markets and even managed a visit to a hot springs & spa. Somehow, they managed to enjoy themselves!
I optimistically brought watercolours, sketchbooks, acrylic paints, a travel easel and canvases. Over the course of two weeks, I managed to get about two hours of painting in. The rest of my supplies remained untouched for the duration of our trip. The good news is that I did manage to consume three hefty novels on the beach between sun-screening, serving snacks, building sand castles and taking photos.
Photography seemed to be my main creative outlet in Panama this year. I hope you enjoy my photos as much as I enjoyed taking them!
Below is a sampling of Maven Kina's incredible talent and some fun things you can buy on the kinaink Etsy store.
Prints of her paintings are available (sorry, most of the originals go fast), but if you ask nicely she might put you on the list for commissioned pieces.