Short guide for Travel Health Insurance

Short guide for Travel Health Insurance
Short guide for Travel Health Insurance

If you are heading abroad then don’t forget to arrange your travel health insurance before you go.

Whether you are simply going away on a short trip for a few days or planning an extended stay overseas, it is vital that you have a suitable travel health insurance plan tucked into your baggage just in case.

Nobody wants to be sick and, thankfully, most of us are reasonably fit and well and have enjoyed many holidays abroad without ever having a problem. But we probably all know people who have not been so lucky and also know that it is only a matter of time before we run into a problem ourselves.

Most countries today have reasonably good healthcare facilities and, indeed, many have facilities that are even better than we enjoy at home. But care is rarely free of charge and often comes at a very hefty price, for even relatively mild complaints.

For example, on a recent trip to the Far East I was unlucky enough to contract food poisoning after a lovely evening out at a local seafood restaurant. Now, fortunately, I recovered quite quickly but I did nonetheless need to be taken to the local hospital in the middle of the night by ambulance and spent that night and the following night in the hospital. The care I received was excellent but the bill was very high. It was at that point that I was very happy that I had taken the trouble to arrange travel health insurance before my departure for the trip.

In most cases the really stupid thing is that arranging cover couldn’t be easier, is not all that expensive and can give you considerable peace of mind. If you would life a free quotation then simply pop your zip code into the box above, indicate whether or not you are currently insured and how many people you are seeking cover for and click on the “I’m Ready To Continue” button.

San Diego – Would a City by Any Other Name be as Cool?

If you live in San Diego, there’s a good chance that you have no idea how the city (and county) was named. Well, San Diego was a real person, but not one who ever lived here.

Saint Didacus, painting courtesy San Diego Historical Society San Diego (born in 1400) was a Spanish peasant. He was named after St. James the Apostle the Greater, the Spanish patron saint. (Diego was a common alternate for Santiago or Saint James; In Latin, the name translated to Sanctus Didacus). Santiago joined the Franciscan order, and devoted his life to good works, prayer, and tending to the sick.

It is said that San Diego performed miracles. The most enduring tale about him is that he was caught sneaking some bread out to the poor. When his superior questioned him, asking what was under his cloak, he opened it and there were only flowers. Some considered this a miracle. It is also believed that after his death (in 1463 in Alcala, Spain), his relics cured Don Carlos, son of Philip II, of a grave illness.

San Diego was canonized (attaining sainthood) in 1588 by Pope Sixtus V, becoming Saint Diego (also known as St. Didacus).

When explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first saw our bay in 1542, he named it San Miguel, because the archangel’s feast day (September 29) was the first full day his party spent here.

Later, on November 11, 1602, explorer Sebastian Vizcaino renamed it San Diego de Alcala de Henares because his flagship (the San Diego) was in the bay on their patron saint’s feast day. He claimed that the reason that he renamed this land is that Cabrillo’s observations were so inaccurate that he could not find the lands Cabrillo named.

So would this be the same town if it were San Miguel? I don’t think so. Vizcaino may have had no right to rename our fair city, but I’m glad he did. Aren’t you?

Mia – finally arrived in Canada to her forever home.


I am sitting at the computer with a beautiful red-head at my feet. Mia arrived on Thursday night to her new home with me. I was a little nervous about receiving her as I had not met her “in person” so to speak. I was in contact with two of her three foster Mom’s who had cared for her over the past year and they told me everything they could about her, so I was pretty sure of my choice but still – a change in my lifestyle and also a change for Mia and Sadie, my cat.

The worry was all for nought as Mia is a beautiful dog, both inside and out with a sweet, open-hearted nature and loving disposition. She is always wagging her tail and has a smile on her face. I fell in love pretty quickly and now am so happy I didn’t let my worries stop me from adopting beautiful Mia. I should let you know that the Mia means Missing In Action as she is a rascal and in 2 days has wiggled out of her harness and leash. Luckily, the last time, my bossy voice stopped her in her tracks as I yelled ‘STOP’ as she merrily ran down the street. My worst nightmare come true. I have another harness that will be substituted as soon as I figure out how to get the contraption on her.

She follows me everywhere, even to the bathroom but I noticed today she sat apart from me downstairs in the living room as I was reading my emails on my Ipad. I think with time and security she will become independent as she does have a stubborn nature if you want her to do something that she doesn’t want to do.

Poor Sadie has had to make some adjustments to her new roommate but I think with time, she will become more accepting. Mia is very good with her and is curious and looks at her but doesn’t approach or chase her. I think Mia just wants to be friends and that includes a sniff but Sadie will “have none of that”. Today I noticed that Sadie has calmed down and came down to her room for her breakfast and litter box as long as Mia kept her distance. We all have to make some adjustments but I love having animals in my house. It makes a home so cosy.

Mia doesn’t bark, she is really quiet but if someone comes to the door, there is a warning bark and she looks at me as if to say – is it OK? I just renewed my security system but am thinking “what for” with Mia now guarding the entrances. As soon as I tell her “No Mia” she stops and realized the people are OK and wags her tail at her new friends.

There will be more coming on the addition to my home but for now, it feels perfect having a dog at my feet, a coffee at my side and a fireplace going in the room. I feel peaceful and happy!

Cold Calgary and first thoughts about the Artist’s Way


It is wicked cold in Calgary right now. We always get short spells like this in early winter. I swear the coldest month of the year is November/December and right now it is -28C with a wind chill. That means that I am stuck in the house with my poor pets who are getting bored. Mia and I missed our early morning walk, we attempted to but had to turn back because it was just too cold for her tootsies. She did her business and then we came home.

I am continuing to work on the Artist’s Way and have been pretty good with keeping up with writing my morning pages but the other exercises I find a little more difficult. We are suppose to think of the three people in our lives who created barriers for our artistic endeavours. Really I couldn’t come up with one, my family was always supportive when we were kids. I remember I wanted to play the guitar and I got one for Christmas and it last a few months and then sat in my closet. I think my biggest barrier is myself and my tendency towards laziness when finishing a project. Not in my work life but definitely in my hobby life. I have knitting sitting unfinished, patterns on my sewing machine, a bag of my drawing attempts. I like to try different things and then I move on. Hum, not a good trait for developing an artistic skill. So I wrote about that in my journals. I may have more answers as to “why” down the path.

One of the other exercises I am suppose to do is think of five creative art lifestyles I would like to have pursued in my life. I can’t think of five but I can think of one. I sort of play the violin and I would always daydream of playing in Loreena McKennitt’s band. I think she is the coolest person I don’t know. She is such an artist and also surrounds her self with quality artists and lives the most interesting life. Many people are not aware that she is Canadian and in fact has a big farm and recording studio in the Ottawa valley. She is extremely popular in Europe and usually does a summer tour in European venue. I would love to see her perform at the Acropolis or Alhambra. One of these days I will follow her to a show. Last year she performed in Istanbul. I have seen her live three times and I could see her live again. I love both her cellist and violinist.

Travel Inspires the Literary

March has been a trying month for writing. It’s also been inspired. Such is the conundrum formed by moving to a foreign country and commencing a full-time job within the same week.

Along with an overabundance of unclaimed time that I never can quite enjoy while staying in the US, gone are the days of uninspired writing. While staying in Ohio and Tempe over winter (in the northern hemisphere) it was all I could do to get out a professional blog post, let alone one for my own blog. It was all I could do to write a journalistic article for my Hong Kong publisher. And heaven forbid I actually complete composing and/or editing any literary work. Everything sort of blends together. Little passion or inspiration comes long for the taking.

Peru, conversely, fuels my literary side. During my six-months in Lima last year, I started or advanced almost half a dozen literary essays and memoir pieces. Since the day of departure from the US on Thursday, 1 March, I’ve begun and completed composing two essays, a Q&A with a newly publisher writer, two professional blog posts, advanced editing of a third essay, and (as of this writing) am on my ninth ATW blog post for March. (All without reliable Internet connectivity for two weeks.) In addition I’ve sent out three submissions. Let’s hope that doesn’t turn into more, as I’m particularly wanting this Q&A to be accepted by the journal last submitted to. (Admittedly here lies a bit of humblebraggadocio.)

Considering my new full-time job started on 5 March, it’s surprising that I’ve accomplished even what writing I have. My free hours have plummeted since days in the US like Wiley Coyote down a canyon wall. There is no more self-pitying time than when the literary spark hits an obstacle like time commitments. The experience has me rolling my eyes less frequently over the number of I’m-too-busy-to-write posts available online. Rolling eyes has turned to empathizing.

Anyway, here’s an update about a piece cooking up in my literary kitchen, a CNF piece limited to 750 words.

This may be one of the most difficult pieces I’ve ever written. Then again, I could say that about anything I’m working on because each gives me courage to dig further and further into myself. They also give me ability to distance myself further and further away from the subject matter, in turn letting the piece become literature.

Lessons: To have the courage to stay in nonfiction rather than chickening out and pretending it’s fiction, which lends authors the ability to vent and to lie. The tight envelope of 750 words imposed by the publication that inspired this piece rather constricts. It also helps to write single moments poignantly, like time-lapse videos of water drops or insect action.

This length urges writers to choose content and verbiage wisely, perhaps more poetically, to use more skillful double entendres. “Keep it tight and honest,” Hemingway might have said.

As my first third-person piece, I’m elucidated to distance myself from the subject matter– a confounding, emotional one– to tell a story, not merely to dwell on me (as I’m doing ever so lengthily here).

Status: Composed all but complete; major editing required before submitting before the publication’s deadline.

As March closes, and this I-perspective blog post, thanks are in order. The flame of inspiration illuminates my days. Balance has not evaded me; I’m able to slow down when the flame becomes a torchthrower. My new job usurps more time and energy than expected yet has resulted in better planning and daily structuring, more productivity in literary output and quality, and clarity in other aspects of life.

By Nichole L. Reber

About Nichole L. Reber

Nichole L. Reber writes about the built environment, the writing business or lack of it, and tales from her usually highly mistake-strewn globetrotting experiences. She has, however, also covered topics as funky and diverse as international business, art, nipple Nazis, state politics, sports psychology, engineering, alternative energy, and the education system. When she’s lucky enough to trick an editor into paying her for writing, she gets published in books, blogs, and magazines around the world such as the Los Angeles Times, Florida Design, Big Builder, and Perspective.