Why Travel Insurance Is The One Thing You Shouldn't Forget To Pack
Before we left on our South American adventure Jordan, suggested we get travel health insurance.
My first thought was “what an unnecessary expense” followed closely by my second thought “we shouldn’t get it because it’s bad luck to prepare for something to go wrong.”
In hindsight, both those thoughts are laughable and pretty dumb.
The universe is funny that way, constantly making us question every single thing we think we know.
Oh, I am so very happy I decided to get health insurance because when I needed it, it was amazingly helpful.
I traveled down the Amazon river on a four day chaotic, colorful, wonderful boat ride. ( For full story click here)
We slept in hammocks on an exposed boat with no wifi and endless views of the Amazon river and jungle.
After day two I experienced extreme fatigue and pain throughout my entire body.
My first assumption was that my body was upset with me for sleeping in a hammock on a moving boat with the roar of a ship engine blasting all night.
After talking through the symptoms with Jordan we decided it could be dengue fever.
I sluggishly made it through the next couple days, hoping the symptoms would subside and vowing to never sleep in a hammock again.
After the trip down the Amazon docked in Iquitos, Peru I went straight to my hostel and slept for 12 hours.
After waking up I knew SOMETHING WAS WRONG.
We had plans to go on a jungle expedition where we would get to track nocturnal animals, learn from indigenous Peruana (Peruvian) people and stay in a village built on a flooded river bed.
I would have to miss it, but there was no way I was letting the girls miss out on such an epic experience.
After they left I went for a walk around Iquitos, I bought a tamale and headed back to my hostel, where in dramatic fashion I completely collapsed in the entrance of the hostel and sobbed.
The hostel manager picked me up, called for emergency transport and I was taken to a nearby medical center.
Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I was in and out of medical centers and on bed rest.
The doctor concluded that I had both dengue fever and something you get from ingesting animal urine.
But according to the doctor, neither were all that abnormal, they were painful, and possibly fatal if worsened, but pretty normal in this neck of the woods.
Dengue fever ( or commonly known as broken bone fever) is transmitted from a mosquito bite and is characterized by a high fever, severe pain in the muscles, bones, and joints, pain behind the eyes, severe headaches, nausea and vomiting, and a rash.
The silver lining in this horrible experience was I lost a couple pounds and my travel insurance took care of EVERYTHING.
After a short explanation about my condition, my insurance completely covered my medical needs which included countless tests, two prescriptions, as well as transport to the hospital four times.
Thankfully, I had good books and music to listen to during my time at the hospital.
I also had good company, the woman I shared a room with had a mosquito lay eggs inside her arm when they hatched it was extremely painful and disgusting.
CRAZY, I KNOW.
You never know, you could be on vacation and your suitcase gets stolen or you fall off a mountain and break your leg.
Or in my case, get bitten by a dengue-infected mosquito.
The cost of travel insurance is worth the benefit of having mental and physical security.
P.S. always wear mosquito repellent!