Asia Between Steps Going...Gone!

The Challenge of Getting Sick Abroad

No one wants to think about it. But it can happen. It does happen.

Some years back, I was on a trip to Bangkok and just as I was getting to know the city and it’s people. The unwelcome reality happened: I got food poisoning.

There I was vomiting and then taking numerous trips to the restroom. Not a happy scene at all.

This was the last thing I imagined I would be doing while being in the City of Angels. And the simple thing of finding a doctor in your own home country suddenly becomes a complicated task in a land which does not share your common language.

While I’m sweating cold and vomiting, I kept thinking of things I should have not done. And the things I should have done.

The things I should have done? That would have included learning the local language for words or phrases like sick and find a doctor. Instead, what I had in my Thai vocabulary list only included greetings, finding directions, asking costs or amounts to be paid. Why in the world did I ever forget something so basic like health or medical emergency?

But difficult experiences like that can stretch you, teach you the hard way. Travelling is great but preparation is also important. And it helps to read up and get to know the place including useful local vocabulary before you embark on that trip of a lifetime.

And one more major thing I learned? It pays to get a good travel insurance. Hey, sometimes we think it’s not that important or necessary even (unless needed for visa requirements). But it does matter to have one.

That is why I would recommend getting a travel insurance. And while I’m at it, make sure to consider SafetyWing. Their travel medical insurance can cover people from all over the world, while outside their home country. And it can also be ideal for all digital nomads who can’t rely on their home country insurance while abroad. Before you say getting one is complicated or too pricey, check out their handy price calculator.

It took me 48 hours, by the way, to recover after finally finding a doctor. Getting sick abroad does cost you not just money but time. But thankfully, I still had some days more to enjoy the trip and a lifetime to carry the lessons and the joy of that trip with me.

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