Sunday, 21 September 2014

In case of emergency in America...

In just over a month I'm off to America to a summit with the ONECampaign in Washington D.C to hear from some inspirational speakers about many of the advancements and success stories that have been seen in recent years in Sub-Saharan Africa and of course I'll also hear of the challenges that this amazing continent still faces.

I know from my trip to Ethiopia in 2012 that things are really changing. I went out there with an outdated opinion that I would be going to a baron land with no hope and what I found was a beautiful land full of people with massive hearts and immense generosity.  Then as for the progress that has been made in regards to schooling, healthcare, sanitation, agriculture and transportation I was literally in awe of their entrepreneurial spirit and determination to change things for the better.

Some of the amazing women I hope to see again when I am in Washington D.C

Of course I'm super excited about my trip and the summit will be the pinnacle but I don't deny that travelling to America is also a little daunting. I think it is trepidation of what us unknown, I keep hearing stories from acquaintances and also in the news about how hard it is to gain entry into America nowadays, their security is really tight. Of course I have absolutely nothing to hide but that won't stop me worrying that customs will want to rummage through my case and throw about my undies!

I'm not normally a panic merchant but I think it is good to think through all eventualities when taking a big trip abroad, this thinking process allows me to work through and alleviate my fears and know that I'm covered for whatever might happen. Of course I have my trusty credit cards to use in an emergency and that could be anything from being starving hungry at the airport if the plane food is terrible on the 10 hour trip over or a real emergency like being stranded in a big city and having no idea where I am.

I think I'm less worried in general as I've got older, when I remember back to the first abroad holidays I took as a teenager I never took any cards with me in case they were stolen, I used to take travellers cheques and now it wouldn't even occur to me to do that. Then as I got a little older and more confident I did take my credit card when I travelled abroad but I would have it separate to my handbag, so that if my bag was stolen I could still use my credit card and sort out whatever I need to.

Nowadays I use an over the body bag and keep it close and pray it won't get stolen, for if it does then everything will be gone but thankfully I have a husband at home who will be ready to help me and with modern technology as it is now things can be solved so much quicker than they could twenty years back.

Luckily this post has made me remember I need to arrange travel insurance and of course get some currency but I won't bother with too much as I'll use my credit card mostly. I do then need to call my bank and advise them I'll be abroad so they know it is me when they start to see random purchases in US dollars. As I'm not a frequent traveller I don't want to get a temporary stop on my card whilst I'm abroad as that would end up being very inconvenient.

In all, I feel really good about this trip and I'm on countdown for a bit of time alone to reflect and ponder the future. I find when I go away it gives me a chance to miss my husband and children and then when I come back I'm so grateful for what I have. Let's just pray I have no emergencies whilst I am away.


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