You’re out in the world, seeing amazing things and experiencing different cultures for the first time. It’s a wonderful time in life when you are consumed by traveling and visiting the world. We sometimes forget that despite the fact that our planet is so small, it’s actually an incredibly large place to be. So many different countries, languages, cuisines, fashion styles, hairstyles, slang, accents, and music; it’s easy to get lost. And that’s just what can happen sometimes. Even in this modern world with brilliant technology you still have a chance to get lost. What would you do in such a circumstance? Well, the best thing you can do is to make sure you can contact home. Maybe you’re out in the middle of a village or exploring in the Australian outback. Perhaps you were stopped by border patrol because you accidentally crossed over into another country by mistake. Anything could happen and while you’re abroad in a foreign country you need to be ready to take on different challenges to get home safe or continue on with your plans to travel.
When traveling the world, it’s vital that you have packed your medications. If you have breathing issues you would take your asthma medication or treatments with you such as an inhaler, if you have diabetes you would take insulin and for skin conditions, you would take with you any kind of moisturizing cream, steroid cream or ointment you use. However, traveling is full of surprises and not all of them are welcome. You might run out of medication or perhaps you lose it. Losing it could be down to the fact that you forget to take it with you when you took it out at a stop. Or it might be because it was stolen or because your suitcase or backpack went missing at an airport. The reasons are countless.
Whatever the case, you need to contact home and get someone to collect your medication and use an international delivery service. Before you leave for any long term travel, you need to tell your doctor that you are leaving, so he or she knows the situation. That way they won’t be startled by someone randomly trying to get medicine for you. The delivery service should be one that is able to give you the most options regarding cities, towns, and villages. Don’t always go for the cheapest company, go with a tried and tested company for such an urgent matter.
God forbid that you are ever in an accident critical to your wellbeing, but sometimes it does happen. Motorcycle accidents are common in East Asia and this is often because the roads are not great. There is often no regard for obeying the rules, there are cars and bikes whizzing by each other, not staying in lanes, not signaling and pretty much loving the chaos they are in. This is something that happens in many different nations so you’ve got to be careful where you are riding around and driving. If you are involved in an accident and badly hurt, you might need to help the doctors and surgeons by assisting them with your medical records.
Again you would have to contact home or get the embassy of your nation to contact your doctor or hospital. It’s better to do the latter as they will have priority communication at home. An embassy can get off the phone with you and be on the phone directly to the relevant healthcare professionals you have back home within minutes. They have an international right of way when it comes to these things. So if you need to help doctors with anything this is a way to do it.
You never know what is going on in your social circle while you’re away. It could be that during your gap year you have a close friend who decides to marry. You might also have the unfortunate news that one of your friends or relatives have died. Just because you’re abroad, doesn’t mean you can’t call. It’s a good idea to know what kind of services you have for international calling from your mobile phone. Many of them no longer use hard cards which have a call time that has been predetermined. You can use the services that allow you to add to regularly and also give you deals. Mobile networks also offer sim cards that are for international calls. Mr. Misadventures and I always take an unlocked phone and then buy a sim card locally. Many companies might also give you packages that have been designed for international texts and calls. Face timing is also something that is offered by different companies. Or apps like WhatsApp. Search carefully for the kind of brand or service that suits you so if and when you do need to contact home to wish someone good luck on their new marriage or perhaps share your condolences with the deceased family members, you can make your presence felt.
Lost or Stolen Passport
One of the simplest ways to get stuck abroad is by having your passport expire while on foreign soil. Technically, the country can’t let you leave because your passport is not valid anymore. Even though you are recognized as a legal citizen of your nation, you cannot travel back to it because you are essentially an ‘unknown’. What this means is that you are a potential flight risk. It might sound harsh to someone who is in this pickle, but you wouldn’t want to board a flight with someone who didn’t technically have a valid passport. In the modern world of advanced terrorism, this is simply not going to fly. Therefore you need to contact your nation’s embassy as soon as you can. They will issue you some kind of emergency travel document. However, this won’t be done via email or it isn’t recommended at least. If they use a secure connection, you can send them an online fax with a scan or even a picture of your passport and other relevant legal documents. It’s a safe way to exchange your vital information with a government. When I worked at the American Embassy in Madrid this happened all the time! Mainly for stolen passports, but it is the same situation.
If you have booked an entire year off and you want to travel the world as much as you can, the last thing you want is for your trip to be cut short. However, airlines have a funny way of losing things. Suitcases go missing even though they were loaded onto the plane you boarded and somehow they can be transported somewhere else. It might take the airline days, weeks or sometimes even months to locate your luggage. If you don’t want your trip to be canceled with you heading back early, you need to contact home for some new luggage. Cover the basics by asking for normal clothes that you can wear wherever you want to. Try not to make the suitcase too heavy as you will again be using international delivery services to get the luggage to your location. The companies will charge you by the hundreds of grams, so somebody will need to foot the bill initially for you and it could be hundreds of dollars.
Traveling the world, you should be prepared for just about anything. It’s an amazing thing to do but if you really want to do it, you can find a way. Not even a family wedding can stop you, so using international calling services is definitely something you should get sorted ahead of your flight. Using an online fax service you can communicate with businesses and government institutions since you’re using a secured connection. Precious documents and identification photos won’t be lost or hacked using this type of service. Travel insurance is another thing that may bring travel peace of mind, so consider that as well. No matter what, have a communications plan and know the various methods available to you so that when something happens, you are already prepared.
How about you? Do you have additional communication tips to add? Or a travel situation in which you came across one of the scenarios listed above? Do share!
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