We are retired people who love to travel. Our student days when we hitch-hiked through Europe with Frommers "Europe on $5 a Day" have long since gone. But we have discovered that there are other innovative ways of seeing the world on a limited budget which can be as interesting and rewarding. In this blog we want to share our experience and invite others to share their ideas for affordable travel.
I had a heart attack while hiking in the foothills of the Pyrenees in France. The picture above was taken in Turkey, but it could have happened there too. If you are going to have a heart attack anyway, France is probably the best place in the world to have one! French medicine is equal to none, thanks to a highly developed socialized system. The ambulance, with an MD on board, had to come from a distance of 45 minutes and was there in about 20 minutes. For the next 5 days I had the attention of top specialists at the clinic in Bayonne and, upon departing, was given a huge file containing the print-outs and photographs of all the tests that had been performed on me during the stay. The total bill came to $15,000 would you believe? In the US , and without insurance in Canada, I probably would have had to remortgage my home to pay the bill! But even that modest bill of $15,000 would have put some strain on my retirement pension, had it not been for the fact that I had travel insurance and had made sure that all my disclosures to the insurance company had been up to date and accurate. I cannot overstate this point: do not leave anything to chance and make sure that any changes in the prescription of drugs from your physician have been stated when you apply for insurance. Even a reduction of a dosage must be stated and indicated as a change in medication.