I speak from experience.
I have great experiences, I really do. From losing my passport on the Chopta Chandrashila Trek in the Himalayas to being ‘ haunted’ in India, from twisting my ankle during a three-month backpacking trip to catching a disease I could barely pronounce in Delhi, I’ve dealt with a number of situations that made me question my relationship with budget traveling.
Am I too unlucky or just way too clumsy?
Whichever the case, my experience has taught me that I am not one to forgo insurance.
It might work for others, but definitely not me.
Truth be told, before I started traveling extensively, I never thought I needed to buy travel insurance. I mean, why spend all that money when I can just take some extra caution? But thank god I did not follow my instinct.
Here are some of my favorite experiences:
5. That one time in Budapest when I rolled down the Gellert Hill and sprained my ankle so bad that I limped around Europe for a month with a 35L backpack 💀⠀
4. The # of food poisonings I had. Delhi belly was by far the worst, but a bad Mexican taco was a close second. Have you tried holding everything in on a flight? It doesn’t work. I met death 🤦🏻♀️⠀
3. When a tram ran over my bike in Tulum and completely squashed my front tire. It was inches away from my foot, thank god I still have my foot.⠀
2. When our motorcycle hit a curb and flipped over while we were heading down the Himalayas. It was a narrow route so going max 30km/hr, but we were thrown off the thing, a few feet away from oncoming traffic. Anyways the bike wouldn’t start afterward and we had to roll it down the mountain in the middle of the night, fun times 😑⠀
Really, travel insurance is worth it.
1. After fracturing my skull on a night out, I live to tell the tale:
I lived in Paris for 4 months while doing an exchange at Sciences Po.
Honestly, where I was, didn’t even count as Paris. My apartment was in the suburban Boulogne-Billancourt, an hour away from the Parisian core.
Just days before a Eurotrip, my friends decided to celebrate our graduation with a night out in town. After squeezing into a packed bar, we did the usual-grabbed a drink, criticized the music a bit, and grooved with the crowd.
But the night didn’t go as smoothly as I planned,
Be it the wet washroom floor or the pushing and shoving of excited girls or my clumsiness or all of the above, one minute, I was standing steadily by the basin and the next, I was g-gone.
I woke to my friends staring worriedly at my limp body and thought that the dizziness I felt will only be a temporary setback that’d have no impact on my upcoming trip.
How wrong I was.
After heading to the hospital the next day, what I assumed was a day’s work at the emergency room ended up being 4 days of scans and medication.
The medical team told me that this was no little bump. Apparently, I cracked my skull. If it worsens, I’d have to undergo surgery.
I never thought being strapped to a bed could be so mentally and emotionally draining. Besides the moaning of other patients that lay in beds around me, I kept on picturing the worst-the what ifs. Since I thought it’d be a small checkup, I didn’t bother telling anyone where I was (I lost my phone within a month in Paris, so I didn’t have any form of communication with me at this time).
Thankfully, a staff lent me his cell to dial my roommate, who gave an update to my family and friends back home.
And thankfully, a few days later, the doctors told me that all is clear. Aside from periodic headaches and dizziness, I was practically brand new.
AND THANKFULLY, I had travel insurance.
Because the $7000 hospital bill would have been a real hard pill to swallow, pun intended 🙂