Maybe you've been reading a while. Maybe you've occasionally dropped me a line, or never said anything at all.
Maybe you read my Dik-Dik book. Maybe you know that I think travel is almost entirely safe.
EXCEPT for one thing. The number one cause of traveler's woes in unindustrialized countries is automobile accidents.
I was just reading an account of a lovely performer who is stuck in a hospital in India, gravely ill, and unable to pay for medical evacuation to the States. And I remember how early on in Alison Wright's book, how she was in a Thailand hospital and it was insanely expensive to airlift her back home.
Remember when the truck I was riding on in Ethiopia tipped over and I walked out of it? If I hadn't, a great big helicopter would have eventually taken me to the airport, and a big plane would have taken me to the US or Europe because I have always had medical evacuation insurance.
Forget trip cancellation insurance. That's almost entirely useless. I don't care if you take a phone, lose your passport, wear hot-pants to the Pyramids, or go sleeveless during Ramadan. But I care about this.
And you should too. Don't get on a damn airplane or ship without it. You can even buy an annual policy that only covers med-evac. If you can afford a ticket, you can afford a little bit of caution. This isn't like health or auto insurance in the US, which is a frustrating compulsory racket which forces us to pay repeatedly through the nose. This is actually cheap and useful.
Buy. Medical. Evacuation. Insurance. When you travel outside of the US and Europe. I buy mine here. I don't care where you buy yours so long as you buy it.
You'll never need it.
But if you do, boy, will you need it.