Sometimes Emergencies Happen

27.September 2013

Our Journey

In our travels, we have been lucky. We have not experienced any emergencies, medical, security or financial. That is not a reason to assume these things can’t happen. Sometimes it isn’t even a natural disaster or dangerous activity involved. One of the worst experiences is to have a foreign ATM swallow your card and not give you any cash in return. Yes, this has happened to us and to a few friends as well. The surprising fact is that it seems to happen at respected banks in western countries. For us, we contacted the bank and an employee met us the following day at the ATM to retrieve the card. For others, it was on the way out of town on the weekend and they couldn’t wait around for the next business day, goodbye card. This is when you need the folks back home to arrange an international money transfer to help until you get things sorted out with the bank back home.

Photo Credit: gruntzooki

Somethings are less of an emergency but may be more of an inconvenience, like very low daily ATM withdrawal limits when all I need is a months rent and deposit to secure the perfect apartment. Needing four days to milk the stingy money cow can be a large pain and then someone else rents the perfect apartment under your nose. This is a good time to use a money transfer service from home, particularly if it is possible to arrange everything online or over Skype. Quick, easy and no longer feeling like you are a supplicant at the alter needing to return day after day to receive some limited absolution.

Photo Credit: vmabney

For the true catastrophes, we carry insurance, both emergency medical and a separate electronics coverage. The medical is a no-brainer, small things are almost always manageable, but true emergencies like requiring surgery, will break anyone’s bank. A very small amount to pay up front gives that piece of mind. As for the electronics, that is our long term bank account. Without them we don’t have income so there is no luxury of waiting until next year or doing without for awhile.

Photo Credit: wZa HK

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