A comprehensive travel insurance for world nomads policy will give you peace of mind and essential protection while you venture abroad.
Depending on where you’re going, for how long and how adventurous you plan to be during your vacation. It would be best to have a policy to cover all your choices.
SafetyWing offers many options to world travellers up to the age of sixty-nine, with policies for travel and nomad medical insurance and a remote company policy.
These are my stories! Not to put you off travelling but to be warned! As careful as you are, there will be unforeseen incidents.
Our 18-Month Around-the-World Trip
As I reflect on our worldwide trip, several incidents were on the edge of being nasty where insurance cover would have been a saviour.
My episodes started soon after landing in Malaysia. Where I twice tripped and face-planted. The one-time falling chin-first into a chair in a restaurant as I gazed upwards at the ornate ceiling. And the second time while running where I landed on a bridge railing. Fortunately, I have a solid jaw, so both incidents only made me look like I had been in the ring with Mike Tyson!
These accidents were a warning. And I realised how fast all good can turn quite bad!
Simple incidents like tripping when distracted by an unusual sight, or being in an unfamiliar environment, can have unpleasant outcomes.
On another occasion in Petaling Jaya in Malaysia, our travel friend, Roger, had his nose grazed by a descending parking boom as he gazed around at the unfamiliar sights.
My wife, Carol, had her share of incidents. Her incidents started with spraining her ankle in China and later followed this by falling off a hired bicycle while crossing a narrow bridge in Luang Prabang in Laos. This bicycle fall resulted in a lacerated arm from the old rusty bridge. Her injuries responded well to my go-to treatment of Merthiolate (which requires a few minutes of excruciating pain to guarantee the killing of all infection!) and some local dressings. The only irrecoverable loss here was the bicycle lock, which catapulted out of the basket into the river below as she fell.
A Stress-Filled Visa Incident
After leaving Malaysia, our flight to San Francisco involved a changeover in Shanghai. Being China, this is not an effortless process. Although only a change in terminals, it required a transit visa.
This changeover also involved a bizarre and stress-filled incident with my ESTA visa which you can read about here.
This event could have had the most severe financial consequences.
While in San Francisco, the family of our son’s fiancé, who we were meeting for the first time, hosted us. They invited us to an extended family dinner on Christmas Eve for their Christmas celebrations.
Before dinner, we were standing in the kitchen having a pre-dinner drink. Without warning, I started feeling uncomfortably hot. My last thought before falling unconscious into my son’s arms was, “I must go and sit down”.
My next conscious moment was waking up lying in the passage. Looking up at the faces of concerned people as they asked me questions to confirm I was lucid and knew where I was.
In short, the Marin County fire department then arrived. After doing an ECG and other tests, they advised me to go to the ER. But this was Christmas Eve, and the food smelt delicious. And by this time, and after a few glasses of water, I felt weak but ready to eat. Before the doctor left, I signed the voluntary waiver and was back to normal over the next few days.
Yet, at age 69, the medical consequences could have been far more serious.
Cuba and Central and South America
By now, you might be thinking that our trip was jinxed as other incidents followed.
After leaving the US, we went to Cuba, where Roger and I caught a debilitating stomach bug. I’m not a “drama queen”, but at one stage thought that dying would be a relief from how bad I was feeling. It did not last long; after three days of starvation and a diet of Coke and water, the bug was gone as fast as it arrived.
From Cuba, we took a flight to San Jose in Costa Rica. The incident with this flight showed the real value of travel insurance. Cuba Air lost Carol’s suitcase, which was a significant loss for her. By this time, we were minimalist nomads with all our possessions in one suitcase and one backpack each.
Her suitcase had gone to Caracas in Venezuela!
With only twice weekly flights and customer communication so poor that only a few companies could match! After many calls, we finally established that there would be a two-week delay in getting her bag. With this unexpected delay came rescheduled travel plans and the rushed buying of replacement necessities paid for by our travel insurance for world nomads.
My Mobile Phone!
Despite all our previous mishaps, my most stressful moment came when unnoticed, my mobile phone fell onto the floor in a cable car in Medellin, Colombia. This happened as I was distracted taking pictures with my camera.
You can read more about this stressful story here, which like our other incidents, also had a happy conclusion.
Sandboarding in Huacachina
Our final mishap happened when sandboarding one of the giant dunes in Huacachina in Peru. As the day trip progressed, we tackled higher and higher and steeper and steeper dunes. One by one, people started dropping out until only five of us were left.
Going first on the final mother of all dunes (as I had for all the previous ones!), my ride was exhilarating but edgy. As I looked back up, I was a little concerned for Carol, who would go next.
She was fine as she started going down but soon lost control, veered off and was finally flung off the board at speed. As she lay prone face down in the sand, I ran towards her and saw her slowly look up as I got closer.
Fortunately, she was not too injured, apart from scrapes, bruises, and a slightly twisted shoulder. However, her spill was dramatic enough to discourage any of the remaining three from taking on the dune!
Travel Insurance World Nomad Conclusion
After reading my stories it should be clear why you should never take on the risk of travelling without adequate SafetyWing travel insurance. As for all its joys, travelling also has its fair share of challenges.
Adequate insurance will take away the concern of a crippling financial disaster.
Never travel without it!