I recently got an email from a very bright young man. He works online and wants to relocate to Pattaya, Thailand where he can live the Single Man’s dream of making money online all day and banging tan Isaan ass all night. Sounds like a great plan!
The purpose of his email was to ask me about health insurance while living abroad. Prepare to hear my horrible advice… This was my response.
I’m thirty years old and I’m in excellent shape. I have no history of medical problems and I don’t take any medications. Therefore I have no medical insurance of any kind.
I’m young, work out several times a week and try to eat healthy. I take my multi vitamin daily along with extra vitamin c and zinc. I drink at least a gallon of water daily. I don’t do drugs and I’m not into MMA or extreme sports. Basically, I take care of myself and try not to do dumb shit.
Therefore I have no interest in paying some monthly fee for health insurance. Realistically, the worst things that could happen to me is I get run over by a truck in Vietnam or I contract HIV from some hooker in Thailand. In either of these scenarios I don’t see how insurance would help me. Either way I’m fucked so I’d rather save that money.
Here’s what I do for extra precaution… I keep some emergency cash in the bank just in case. When I broke a tooth I got it fixed the next day. It was cheap… But even if it wasn’t, I’d be able to take care of it quickly.
Also, I have several credit cards with zero balance. If there was some type of emergency I would just hand them the card and have them charge it. For example, if I got deathly ill and needed to stay in the hospital for a week or maybe I break my leg in a motorcycle accident. I would just slap those expenses on the Visa card and worry about paying it off later.
Prevent Getting Sick While Traveling
The most common issue you will have on the road is travelers diarrhea. I recommend you travel with some bismal pills in your bag. In the states this is called Pepto Bismal but goes by different names out here. The pills obviously pack easier then the bottle of liquid.
When you travel to a foreign tropical country it might be a shock to your system. It’s hot as fuck. The air quality is shit. The food is spicy or just different from what you’re used to. This could throw your body out of wack for a few days.
If you get the shits, just pop a bismal pill every hour and it should clear you up in a day or two at the most. I’ve only been really sick one day… Not sure what it was from but I was shitting and puking all day. Nothing that made me think I need a doctor visit… Just rest and relax for a few days.
Some people will say don’t eat the street food… Are you fuckin nuts? That’s one of the best things about living in Asia! I eat in the dirtiest alleys with roaches crawling around on the ground and soi dogs nipping at my elbows. Fuckin love that shit. Do what you feel comfortable with.
Take Care of Yourself
The few times I got a cold was when I was pushing my body too hard. When you get sick, it’s usually your bodies way of saying – slow the fuck down! Listen to your body and take it easy sometimes.
After binge drinking for twenty nights in Ko Samui I was on my death bed. Cold sweats, fever, shaking. I just laid in bed and drank Gatorade for three days. My fault and I deserved that shit.
Drink LOTS of water when you travel. Remember that coffee and booze dehydrates you. Also, it’s brutally hot here so you really need to take in a lot of water when you’re sweating your ass off.
It’s easy to be running around a new city and totally forget to eat and drink for a day. You get preoccupied by other things then it’s straight to the booze all night. This is a sure way to fuck up your holiday. Be sure to eat good, drink water and get some sleep.
When my buddy from the states came to visit me in Thailand it was exhausting. He wanted to see and do everything in one week. I think he slept four hours the entire week and he forced me to keep up with him. I was relieved when he finally left so I could get back to my slow relaxing schedule!
Vaccines Before Traveling
Another thing I will mention briefly is getting the recommended vaccines prior to traveling. I haven’t gotten any… But I just looked into getting a few of the more common ones such as the Hepatitis A/B shot and Typhoid. Certain viruses are easily preventable by a simple vaccine so it’s wise to take care of this before your trip. CDC.gov has a list of recommended vaccines for different destinations.
Now this isn’t exactly advice… Just my opinion on the matter. If I was 58 years old with a history of heart problems then obviously I would have a different plan of action. I’d probably stay in a country with decent medical care. I’d probably have insurance and live in a city close to a hospital. I’m not at that point now so I’m just praying for the best and stacking my money.