Do you miss your former home? Here are a couple of ways to stay in touch

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Adapting to our new home can be a challenge.

Once we settle in and develop our daily routines, we often find, and you may too, that there are a few basic things from home that we miss.  This is not unusual, nor a thing to feel bad about.  We have our own personal background, and we are accustomed to having things available.  My wife and I have come to depend on several items than make our new home a little less foreign and a lot easier to adapt to.

Home Entertainment Systems

The Kodi enabled Android smart TV player. is a set top box that is connected by HDMI cable to any flat screen TV.   It arrives with a streaming TV interface named Kodi which helps you acces

Can not adpt
Wow I really miss ESPN in English

s many streaming services such as USTVNow and Sling TV.  You can set up a free USTVNow account and watch ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC free of charge anywhere in the world with internet download speeds of 2Mbps or greater. If hanging on to part of your culture in your new home is important this is the best thing available.  You can read our review of the set top box here.

Help for the Asking

The Amazon Echo family of products are trend setters in voice controlled home entertainment, information and home automation that continually evolve as new cloud services are enabled.

As a quick overview the Echo is only 9.3 inches tall and 3.3 inches in diameter.  Amazon manages to pack a 2.5 inch reflex woofer, a 2 inch tweeter and a 7 microphone array as well as wifi and bluetooth connectivity in this small tower.  In practical terms this design means the Echo can hear you from many feet away, respond to your commands or questions connect to the internet and play music with surprisingly good fidelity while occupying very little space where you choose to put it.
I know many of you are thinking something with that much power sounds cool but it must be hard to set up and use, and you would be wrong if you are thinking that.  Setup is simple comprising only 3 steps.  First take it out of the box, attach the power cord and plug it in.  Second, download the free Alexa smartphone app for IOS, Android or Fire OS from the Appstore, Google play or Amazon depending on which phone you own.  Third, use your Alexa smartphone app to connect to the internet. Enjoy!
To use the Echo you use the wakeup word Alexa.  Upon hearing it being called a pretty blue light around the top  of the Echo lights up to signify it is waiting for your command.   The Echo does many activities but for organization I will group them into the following categories.


  • Entertainment
  • Organization
  • Information
  • Assistance

Echo is not a high end stereo system but the sound quality is surprisingly good.  To read more about the Echo family of products and how they assist you in the areas listed above read our full review here.

Year round access to seasonal foods

There is another area that requires a North American to adapt to life in the tropics and it is produce, fruits and vegetables, are not available year round.  They are seasonal, when they are harvested they are everywhere, 4 months later they cannot be found.

If you are a foodie like my wife and I you will find this troubling like we did.  Well we did, but we no longer do because we purchased a food preservation system that vacuum seals fresh fruits and vegetables for long term storage.  Viola we now have fresh lemons year round.  To read our review of an excellent product we love click here.


If you have any suggestions, ideas and or questions please leave a comment below.

6 thoughts on “Do you miss your former home? Here are a couple of ways to stay in touch”

  1. My nephew is currently going to medical school at Ross School of Medicine in Dominica.

    He was so excited to get away from home and have a cool experience in the tropics for a few year. Well, he got there and pretty much missed everything about home. Especially the food. I also was also in a foreign country for a couple years at his age, and I must say food was probably one of the hardest adjustments.

    Thanks for your review of these items that can make you feel more at home. I’ll be sure to share them with my nephew.

    1. Interesting that food is a challenge, for us it is a joy to discover new foods as long as they aren’t strange animal body parts.

  2. Great tips for your home away from home! Using the Internet is a great way to stay in touch and to stay involved. Have you found it difficult to find good Internet service in the tropics? One that is high speed and reliable? I’m wondering if you’ve had better experience with any particular provider?

    1. Internet service on cable  is good where we line in Panama, and blazingly fast fiber optic in Panama City

  3. You never really give it any thought to the things you may not have available when you move to a tropical part of the world. I would have thought that vegetables and fruits grow all the time in tropical places. Good idea to purchase a preservation system.
    It is good to know about internet access as well. We tend to take many of the things we have for granted so it is good to know what we should be thinking about if we are going to move to some other part of the world where these things are not readily available.
    Thanks for the great information.

    1. Hi Maureen,  We have decent internet service 30Mbps in a rural part of Panama with up to 60Mbps from our local cable company.  Telephone companies also offer service, but t much slower speeds.  As a site dedicated to assisting people make the move we summarized most of the our advice on the preparation page.

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