It’s starting to dawn on me that this is for real…

On Tuesday I had my last day of work, so I am now officially unemployed.

Today I got vaccinated with four inoculations against yellow fever, Hep A + Hep B, Meningococcus A-C-W-Y, and Typhoid fever, and an ingested vaccine against cholera and ETEC, and I bougt prophylaxis for malaria. Vaccination makes an effective diet for your travel account. This ordeal set me back NOK 2790,- (EUR 337,-)

Speaking of dieting travel accounts, I also went to my insurance company today, to extend my travel insurance from the normal three months to a year. I almost fell off my chair when the lady, rather apologetically I thought, told me that this would cost me the rather large sum of NOK 20870,-!!! (EUR 2520,-)
I laughed, picked up my things, told her that it was ridiculous and left. I assumed beforehand that 12 months of travel insurance would amount to about four times 3 months of travel insurance. Silly me…
Well, when I got home, just now, I quickly googled backpacker insurance, and the very first hit there was a company called Gouda (!) that sells travel insurance through Their price for a world-wide 12 months continuous travel insurance ended up at NOK 11515,- (EUR 1390,-).  This is still expensive of course, but at almost half the price of Gjensidige it is the cheapest I’ve been able to find so far. I’ll have to compare their terms, but I suspect I’ll end up with the Gouda insurance, if I don’t get any offers that can beat their price.

For visas to Russia, Mongolia, China and Nepal, I have been in contact with the people at I sent them an email on Aug 18 to see whether they could help me. On Aug 20 they answered positively, so I figured I was all set. On Sept 8 I replied that I was interested in their services for visas to the aforementioned four countries. By Sept 19 I had still not heard from them, so I called and asked how things were going. The guy (Helge) was very sorry that he hadn’t had time to process my request, but promised to get right on it, and suggested I sent a new email so I’d get on the top of his inbox. I then forwarded the message I’d sent 11 days earlier, and waited for a reply. A week later (Sept 26) I had not had any response, so I called again. Helge was in Moscow at a conference, but I was told to resend the email, and he’d get back to me on Monday. (this was a Friday) So I re-re-sent the email, and got an immediate reply from Helge:

Am in Moscow right now, will be back in the office on Monday. Have just gone through the Transsiberian/Transmongolian with our partner, so I can give you some good feedback on Monday. Sorry this took so long. Helge.

That was on Friday a week ago. I called them on Wednesday, since I hadn’t gotten any feedback yet. Helge apologized again, and said I’d get a quote before the day was over. I called him again this morning, Oct 3, and he seemed confused as to why I hadn’t gotten the quote on Wednesday afternoon, and promised to look into it immediately. This is actually on the verge of me having to postpone departure because of these guys, so if I don’t have a quote from them by the end of the weekend, when the travel agencies open, I’ll have to find someone else…

Right now, I’m off to take my PADI Rescue Diver theoretical course and exam, the practical excercises are tomorrow.

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