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Irene Panke Hopkins is a reluctant, but not unwilling, expat.

“Reluctant in that this was not my idea. It was my husband’s. Reluctant in that Panama is really far from Seattle where we live most of the year. Reluctant in that I don’t do well in the heat.”

“But not unwilling because as life picks up speed (my father was right, it goes faster as we get older) the time for adventures is now. So let’s go!”

Hopkins is a freelance writer who divides her time between Seattle and Isla Taboga, Panama.

Hopkins’ column, Musings from the Laundromat appears regularly in the Queen Anne/Magnolia News in Seattle as well as other Pacific Publishing publications. She wrote and edited the University of Washington’s Spanish and Portuguese Studies quarterly newsletter as well as an online newsletter for Balance Studio in Seattle.

Among her book-writing credits is her essay, The Seven Circles of Hormone Hell, published in the 2005 Seal Press anthology, I Wanna Be Sedated, 30 Writers on Parenting Teens.

She also co-edited an e-book, My Ticket to Paradise, Expat Snapshots of Isla Taboga, Panama, published by Changemaker Community in Panama. Her chapter in that book is called: Welcome to Paradise; No Ticket Required. Sales of this ebook benefit the diabetics on Isla Taboga, providing them with essential glucose monitors and supplies to successfully manage their disease.

Ms. Hopkins wrote and edited a newsletter for the Volunteer Services Department at University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle for many years.  She wrote copy for various brochures and marketing tools for the department and the medical center.

Other works have appeared in the Seattle Times, and various websites.

Blogs include this one: Panamama, An expat explores life on Isla Taboga Panama; and Daniel Dammit Hopkins which chronicles her husband’s near fatal accident in 2011.

Hopkins’ essay, Home Waters, about the decision to sell her home and move aboard a 42 foot sailboat, won first place in Real Simple magazine’s “Life Lessons Contest” and will appear in the April 2017 issue.

Hopkins is currently working on a memoir. Isn’t everyone?!  photo-on-4-24-13-at-10-47-pm-2

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5 Comments
  1. Gede Prama permalink

    Dear friend, Thank you very much, I was really happy to have been following your blog. I’m still a lot to figure out, and here I can only say that you are an awesome blogger, full Inspiring and hope you can inspire more readers. Thanks and greetings compassion from Gede Prama 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate your following my blog and I am following your beautiful blog as well. Have a wonderful day!

  2. Ian permalink

    What a cool blog!! As a frustrated sailor, I love hearing about your adventures cruising the NW as well as those hanging in Isle Taboga. I’ve been to Taboga two times now and looking forward to a 3rd later this month. Hopefully, I can do the hike up the hill. Saludos!

    • Hi Ian, Thanks for your comment. Maybe we will see you on Taboga sometime! Do you live in Panama? Also, please follow me! Would love to have you along for the ride.

      • Ian permalink

        Hi Irene. Perhaps some day I will live in Panama. My first visit there was a year ago when I attended an International Living conference to get the “big picture” of Panama to decide where I wanted to explore in detail. There were areas I knew about but really needed “boots on ground.” I’m currently living/working (?) in the San Francisco Bay area where I spend 6 months of the year (Mar-Oct) working Mark Set or managing regattas from remote control sail boats and Optis to the big rigs of the Rolex Big Boat Series. I do actually find some time to “cruise” my Ultimate 20 sport boat and work on the 1790s Brig Lady Washington. I will definitely follow you…and enjoy the ride.

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