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Moving around the world is exciting, there’s no doubt about it – there is a definite freedom to waking up one morning and deciding to try another country. A different culture, possibly a new language, and lots of varied food to sample, it all makes the idea of living that nomad life seem pretty thrilling. However, this change in lifestyle needs to be considered alongside the challenges it presents – and these include some pretty fundamental obstacles.
Not least of the issues that you’ll encounter when you turn part of your life over to travelling is the question of health. Moving from country to country is exciting for sure, but it is worth bearing in mind that when you go from one place to another, you are trading the relative certainty of where you are for the unfamiliarity of where you go. If you’re used to the healthcare and other health-related aspects of one country, bear in mind that you might be going somewhere that has very different approaches.
Traveling within Europe is an interesting example of how things can change suddenly; while France and Germany are neighboring countries with a lot in common, they also diverge in subtle ways when it comes to everyday details – which includes healthcare. The French system is extremely prompt and efficient, while the German one tends to be more bureaucratic. If you need treatment in a hurry, you’ll get it in either country, of course … but it’s worth researching what you’ll be letting yourself in for if you move across the Franco-German border.
Major health scares are fairly rare, even if we have seen with the recent Coronavirus outbreak just how quickly they can develop. With different countries having different approaches in how they address these issues, it is important to know ahead of time what might await you if you move across borders. Depending on the border, you could be moving from a country with a relatively laissez-faire approach to quarantining to one that is being much more proactive about things. Keep yourself up to date with news reports from the place you plan to visit – because you may need to be prepared for what awaits you when you cross a border.
Most of us remember a period when, as kids, we would be called in for vaccinations for various conditions, particularly before travelling. As adults, we are in control of this process ourselves, but it is worth noting that some vaccines may offer lifetime immunisation, while others provide it for a long-term, but finite period. All in all, it is essential to know what you need to be immunised for and when you need to have had the vaccination. This is vital.
Conditions such as meningitis can do serious harm and even leave you with hearing loss, needing to consider this site. Other conditions can be even more dangerous, so make sure your immunisations are up to date before travelling, especially to countries which may not have such widespread vaccination programmes.
Travelling is thrilling, but remember your responsibilities to others and yourself – just keeping up to date can ensure you’re ready for whatever awaits you.