FOREWORD: Travel is synonymous with people—people you meet, people you leave, people you learn from, people who teach you how not to be, “good” people, “bad” people, people who inspire both pleasant and why-can’t-I-get-rid-you memories. Travel, in my experience, tends more toward the pleasant atmosphere of a cocktail party in which the attendees seem to be carefully screened at the door to provide exactly the company/knowledge/inspiration needed at certain moments.
Enter Bobby. A few days ago he made a Paypal donation to Team MB&S. Below is our correspondence along with some of his travel photos which I hope inspire you to see the world as much as they have inspired me.
yo man. i like what you’re doing. my friend bridget told me about your travels. i’m always down to help a fellow nomad. this [money] is for your personal stash….to do something cool with, maybe something you wouldn’t have done without it. this money is to be used for selfish fun only! anyway, keep on keepin’ on. also, some of my travel photos here. be free
Your message arrived at the perfect moment. Five minutes earlier I spent as much money in a click renewing the necessary (?) evil of travel insurance than I will spend all month. For an hour I went back and forth between imagined consequences of biking without coverage and the amount of fun the same money could purchase. I almost didn’t buy into the idea that every move should be protected, every plan with a back-up plan, but then remembered the long stretch of highway outside Belo Horizonte where twice I was blown off the white line by semi-trucks that honked only after their shadow engulfed me, without even a car in the opposite lane squeezing them into my life force. And I thought about my family too that would have to pay for an expensive hospital stay after my savings were drained to repair a broken leg, etc, etc. The point, and not to move this happy mail into hypothetical grey zones: thank you for the donation. You reversed my frown. That same night I met up with friends for dinner and they were just as grateful as I when I mentioned the donation.
But don’t think this money will be spent on something as boring as insurance. No. That was my very responsible, prudent decision that has nothing to do with why you gave me the money. I’ll be in Rio de Janiero soon and already have an insider’s list of nightlife spots, a natural climbing rock wall with views over Ipanema beach, and weekend get-aways in the area better taken with people met, off the bike in full social mode. (I’ll take lots of photos). Before your donation I may have been more fiscally-sound about these things, but you only live once—the underlying theme of my scatterbrained blog—and now I have some cash to play with.
With your permission I’d like to highlight your photos on my site. They’re amazing and might inspire people to visit the countries you’ve framed so well. If interested, maybe you could reply with your Top Five attached?
Bridget is dating one of my best friends, which means eventually you and I may meet in the same social circles. Until then, take care and thanks again for your help. It’s very much appreciated.
ahh yes, I was just struggling with this one recently. I’ve been traveling on and off (mostly on) for 5 years now and I never had insurance. I was traveling with a friend in Thailand and he got mugged, knocked out, and had to be evacuated to a nearby island with medical facilities. Cats scans etc…that could have easily happened to me too. Luckily he had insurance, and even the doctors said that his insurance company was super speedy in dealing with his case. He had travel insurance from 7 corners . Now I use this company when I travel too.
Ask me a year ago and I’d have a different answer, but yeah you should get travel insurance…..my opinion anyway…(even if you have to use the donation I gave you! Ha).
Yeah man, do whatever you want with the photos…..you can take them right off my page, or use the link or whatever. I sent you an email with some of my favorites.
Hope to swap some stories with you someday…..i haven’t really done a big, SA trip yet, so when I do….i’ll definitely be in touch. Have fun…..