Here’s a challenge: try packing for an 8 month trip where you will live in an intensely tropical climate, then a mountainous Mediterranean climate, and you need to bring professional clothing, plus adventure gear, and fit all of this into a backpack and a gym bag, that each weigh less than 40 pounds. It’s exactly as difficult as it sounds.

Blazer and Backpack


The last item I packed was a blazer, and as I carefully folded it into the top of my increasingly dirty and threadbare orange backpacking pack, I realized that action was the perfect metaphor for my upcoming trip – putting a blazer into a backpack.

I undertook this packing puzzle last week in preparation for living one month in Panama City and then (at least) six months in Santiago, Chile. My business partner Kyle and I were accepted into a startup accelerator (aka incubator) program in Santiago, Chile called StartupChile. In essence, it is a six month program where we, along with a few dozen other startups, receive money to put towards the business, mentorship from Chilean entrepreneurs and investors, and work out of a co-working space with the other startups. At the end, they select around 15 of the startup teams to pitch to angel investors, so we will basically be competing for attention/proving that we’re worthy of pitching. It’s a fantastic opportunity for Keteka and an exciting one for Kyle and I, as we get to live and work in Santiago – a city to which neither of us have been.

We arrive the second week of November, so I will be blogging more about StartupChile then. For now, I’m living in Panama City (again).

Parque Andres Bello

 Raining on the park; the view from our balcony

Before we heard about our acceptance to StartupChile, I had decided Panama was a more logical place to live than Washington DC, since most of our featured tour operators are in Panama and none are in DC. Luckily for me, a good friend of mine, Ben, lives in Panama City and works at the Peace Corps office. He had a two bedroom place with an extra room available and comically low rent, so I made an indefinite reservation.

So I’m in Panama, sweating about 18/24 hours each day and eating a lot of rice. I’m pretty psyched about it.

With this post, I’m reactivating Jack’s Blog for at least the next 8 months to chronicle my time in Panama and Keteka’s experience in Chile. It will be an adventure that requires both a blazer and a backpack, hiking boots and Cole Haans, and I’m glad to have you with me.

apartment in cangrejo

My “office” in Panama City – note the fan pointed directly at my chair