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The worst thing? Not being able to travel due to health issues. Believe me!
You might have noticed that I didn’t write anything for more than two weeks. No, it was not due to wonderful travels and discoveries. It was because of a health crisis (back pains, still no idea of the source0. Actually, I should still be only in bed – I am following my treatment, but I am also trying to work, even if just a little.
What being ill taught me – travel related
Have a back-up plan
True, I didn’t have any trip planned, but if that would have been the case, it would have been impossible for me to go on it. Back pains, forced to live in bed for more than two weeks, sensitive to any more/sensation… you get the idea.
So, as a tip, the idea is to have a back-up solution: if on the road, a possibility to stay longer in a place.
Have back-up money
Yes, I know, it’s often easier to say this than to do it. But I cannot emphasize on how much you should have some “back-up money”. In Romania, we have a saying which states: “money for black days”. Yes, money to use in emergency situations, if you’d like. When you cannot work. When unexpected payments are required – accommodation, treatment, doctor’s fees… you get the idea. And yes, believe me, my treatment was not cheap (and I still have some investigations to make…).
You should also take in consideration the fact that being ill means you might not be able to work for a while (in my case that implies a month) which also means a drop in the income.
Have someone who could help you with work
We all need money to travel. And we all try to find the best ways to make some money – working, doing what we are good at. We often have long term collaborations – actually we count on such collaborations (or at least I do) – that provide us with constant work.
But this also implies deadlines. And a two-three weeks unplanned break is definitely not something that will help you get your work done.
Sure, there are some ways. You may try to write something on your phone or tablet (I was not allowed to use a computer, had to stay on one side, I was all alone – only with my 4 years old son – so not able to move my laptop and its support etc.). But sometimes this may be impossible.
In moments like these, you can either “call in sick” – hoping that the people you work with can help give you some more time – or you can ask someone to help you.
Now, the people you work with might want to give you more time, but sometimes they cannot do that (have deadlines of their own). So… like a line from a funny old movie says, “Who are you gonna call?”.
No, not the GhostBusters.
It has to be someone real, someone who could help.
Some travelers use a VA (virtual assistant) – and many have close friends, even in the same field. So, you may want to consider asking a friend to help you with your tasks.
Yes, having such a person is part of a back-up plan (that back-up plan you think you never need until you actually do).
Have friends who can help
Every health issue is different and it also depends on how you travel. If you travel as a couple, it is easier – there is someone else with you, always there to help – taking care of you, help you with work, etc.
But if you travel solo – and even live solo – then that’s a completely different issue. And it is in moments like these, tough ones, that we all realize that we need other people in our lives.
If I had my crisis while on the road, solo, I would have needed someone to do the groceries, to buy meds and so on. I had a neighbor and friend do these things for me, at home and my young son to do what was needed around the house. Yes, I am very proud of him – he did an excellent job and I am sure he’ll be a wonderful man when he grows up.
Yes, with my husband away – in another country – with his job… I was alone. Not a great situation, believe me.
Have some ready-to-be-published blog posts in drafts
As I said in the beginning, it’s been a more than two weeks break here. Not good in terms of traffic, of course, and not good in general. So yes, this is something I learned the hard way, but I am sharing it with you hoping it will help you in your activity.
Actually, having some completed drafts isn’t a bad idea in general. Such ready-to-be-published posts can help you when you don’t have time or inspiration to write something.
And yes, I’ve made a list of blog posts ideas to write and have as drafts – and, in time, alternate them.
Like I said, I had only my phone – and huge pains, so no mood to work or do anything. But if I could have just log-in on my blog and just hit publish… well, that would have been a great idea.
That and software that TRULY works which you can dictate and it writes what you say. But I don’t know of any great such tools yet (if you have any tools to recommend, please feel free!)
Know where you can call in order to get health care
It is last on the list, but definitely not least from the importance point of view. Especially when we travel – and have health insurances at different companies – we should know the emergency number to call to find out what it is covered and what not.
Also, it goes without saying that you should know the emergency number for the ambulance – if required – (it’s 112 in Europe) or the number from the private health care provider (a private insurance, if you have). The latter usually have an emergency line you can use.
Yes, no one wants to have health issues, but sometimes it happens. And it’s better to be prepared. As I said, these are tips from a recent experience, one that I wish I didn’t have, but, since it did happen, I decided to share my thoughts and tips. I hope they can help you – though I also hope you will never need them. And yes, I didn’t excel in all these aspects while I was sick, so the lessons are for me as well:) We can always learn something new!
Have you been through a similar experience? Do you have other tips to share?