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Taking Chances & Unconventional Lifestyles

bigmaude

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Street Food Connoisseur
 
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Joined: January 2nd, 2007
Location: long beach, ca

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Tags: unconventional lifestyles
  • Added on: July 30th, 2011
Couldn't decide if this topic should go in "Still Going" or "Living Abroad" but I'll stick it here and leave it up to our capable moderators. I'm wondering if anyone here has ever or is currently living on a commune, collective, farm, kibbutz, etc. I'm not looking for anything spiritual but rather a group of like-minded people sharing work, food, ideas, resources, whatever. I'm looking for a simple, cheap, and healthy life in another country. I'm also wondering if anyone has taken the chance of not having any health insurance and relied on the medical services in other countries. Basically, I just want to chuck it all and take my chances. Any thoughts? Good idea or really really bad idea?! Oh, by the way, I'm 51 and not getting any younger...

busman7

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Began Gap Year Trip Six Years Ago
 
Posts: 2026
Joined: January 12th, 2008
Location: El Salvador

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  • Added on: August 5th, 2011
As it's been a week & no one has responded I'll throw my 2 pesos in the health care part of the question, no experience on the group living part.

Being from the country to your north with the much touted free health care, you get what you pay for is my experience with that system, anyway mine will run out in 3 weeks as I refuse to be a good citizen & return every 6 months as the civil servant dictators demand, I will be completely without insurance.

From talking with other expats in CA & from personal experience in El Salvador, where I have chosen to live, the cost/benefit ratio doesn't make insurance worthwhile. Should I have a major medical problem, given my bad experience with doctors, I will take my chances with no treatment. I have lived a good life & have no wish to finish it as a vegetable.

I am presently in Cambodia & didn't purchase travel insurance this trip, have a DNR in my will & carry a card stating such in my wallet.

Others may/probably will disagree but that's my opinion :!:
"Being normal? Ugh. I can't imagine how awful that must be" unknown

bigmaude

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Joined: January 2nd, 2007
Location: long beach, ca

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  • Added on: August 11th, 2011
busman7 wrote:From talking with other expats in CA & from personal experience in El Salvador, where I have chosen to live, the cost/benefit ratio doesn't make insurance worthwhile. Should I have a major medical problem, given my bad experience with doctors, I will take my chances with no treatment. I have lived a good life & have no wish to finish it as a vegetable.


I think I'm with you on this. Have you used the medical system in El Salvador? DNR?

busman7

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Began Gap Year Trip Six Years Ago
 
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Joined: January 12th, 2008
Location: El Salvador

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  • Added on: August 12th, 2011
When I moved my 90 yr old mother down to El Salvador last Nov she was being given insulin injections, something that was new since I last visited her nursing home & which they hadn't bothered to inform me. She was also on 12 different medications at a cost of $150 per month over what the government insurance covered.

I had the local doctor come out to give her a checkup, 6 mi from town cost $20, after checking her blood sugar level he said the injections were not necessary. Over the next month of weekly visits, price reduced to $15, & a new diet her meds were reduced to 3 daily, 1 for sugar, 1 vitamin + 1 relaxant given before bedtime, cost $40 monthly & she was back as close to her normal self (as her dementia would allow) not the doped up zombie she had been in the $4,000/per month Canadian nursing home.

She did pass on, peacefully with the doctor present, who respected her DNR, the end of January, however the local doctor gave her back a semblance of normal life that she had been deprived of in Canada.
"Being normal? Ugh. I can't imagine how awful that must be" unknown

dogfooter

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Joined: August 18th, 2011

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  • Added on: August 18th, 2011
no experience with the lack medical insurance/el salvador healthcare but its definitelysomething I'm going to keep in mind for a long time. but i do know a bit about group living.

I don't know where you're living/hoping to live but I have been living in communities in North America and the UK on and off since 2007. they weren't quite all live-off-the-land-communes, but they were close enough: a rural off-grid community of students living cabins partially supported by my college in Ohio (the Denison University Homestead), and an urban commune in Vancouver. I have also been involved with a project squatting land and growing vegetables near the Heathrow Air port in London. its been fantastic. I'm 24 and I am currently renting a room while studying in London but I hope to live in a community in a few years once I have gotten the job/made enough money to look respectable for my parents part over with. i am part of a Europe-wide network called Reclaim the Fields, not a group of communes per se, but young independent farmers, many of whom are in the process of/already part of setting up communes. Was recently at a gathering in Bristol and heard about at least 3 different communities in Wales and England looking for people to move in.

If you are in North America there is a great guide called the Communities Directory which is a listing of many communes/ecovillages in the US, many allow you to visit. In the UK there is one called Diggers and Dreamers, smaller and online. I would say visit as many as possible and stay in each for a few weeks to a few months first, and decide what kind of place/vibe suits you. If you are talking about going 'abroad' abroad, where no one speaks English, I know of some communities in India and Thailand, and there are a lot in the South of Spain and France. There is also a great documentary about communities around the world called Pathways Through Utopias. all the best!

LisaLu

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Joined: September 28th, 2009
Location: Wisconsin, USA

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  • Added on: August 18th, 2011
dogfooter,

I just read your recent post on communal living. My wife and I have always been very interested in the prospect of someday living off the grid. We are currently working in the capitalist system trying to earn enough money to travel the world in search of a new home, not in America. If all goes well we are about a year from reaching our goals. I tried to find Pathways Through Utopia on Netflix and Amazon.com, but was unable to find it. I was wondering how you were able to see it and if you where we could rent/purchase it. Thanks for your time and good luck with all your endeavors.

Corey and Lisa
Our Blog: http://wallagrams.wordpress.com/
"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most"
-anonymous-

dogfooter

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Joined: August 18th, 2011

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  • Added on: August 19th, 2011
hi, as i remember, it was a French film with English subtitles... the actual French title is 'les sentiers de l'utopie'..its both a book and a film...

here is the blog for it http://lessentiersdelutopie.wordpress.com/

TravellerSami

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Lost in Place
 
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Joined: August 19th, 2011

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  • Added on: August 19th, 2011
bigmaude wrote: I'm also wondering if anyone has taken the chance of not having any health insurance and relied on the medical services in other countries. .


Please don´t do this without checking how much these services may be. I made that mistake once, and it cost me so much, I had nothing left to enjoy my stay and had a miserable time. It really isn´t worth it for the saving on insurance. Having said that, if there is a free medical service in the country you are visiting, then you may be lucky.

backlasher

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Joined: April 12th, 2007

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  • Added on: August 20th, 2011
Busman7
Your mother was lucky to have a son like you. Before I retired, I worked for a Hospice and I've seen the difference in nursing homes vs home care. It sounds like you had a good Doctor too.
"There's more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done."
Circle of Life - The Lion King

busman7

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Began Gap Year Trip Six Years Ago
 
Posts: 2026
Joined: January 12th, 2008
Location: El Salvador

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  • Added on: August 20th, 2011
backlasher wrote:Busman7
Your mother was lucky to have a son like you. Before I retired, I worked for a Hospice and I've seen the difference in nursing homes vs home care. It sounds like you had a good Doctor too.


Thanks

The doctor is an amazing man, intelligent, caring & compassionate, who works in cramped office in a free clinic. Never saw the likes of him in Canada, he even took the time out of his busy schedule to attend the burial. 8-)
"Being normal? Ugh. I can't imagine how awful that must be" unknown

bigmaude

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Guidebook Dependent
 
Posts: 18
Joined: August 23rd, 2011
Location: Long Beach, CA

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  • Added on: August 24th, 2011
You're a good son, Busman7. Sounds like your mom lived her last days much more peacefully and
comfortably.

Thanks, dogfooter, for the valuable information. I will check it out.

LisaLu, I'm exactly where you're at. Keep me posted on your progress and good luck!

Jeanie99

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Joined: December 19th, 2007

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  • Added on: September 6th, 2011
I would never consider travelling without health insurance. If you are taken ill and need taking back home by air ambulance or in need of specialist care in the country you are in this could amount to thousands it is just not worth the risk.

busman7

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Began Gap Year Trip Six Years Ago
 
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Joined: January 12th, 2008
Location: El Salvador

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  • Added on: September 7th, 2011
Jeanie99 wrote:I would never consider travelling without health insurance. If you are taken ill and need taking back home by air ambulance or in need of specialist care in the country you are in this could amount to thousands it is just not worth the risk.


From my experience with Canadian doctors, I consider returning to Canada to be an unacceptable risk! Should I need an expensive procedure, I shall just pass as I have lived a good life & if it's time to end, so be it! :|
"Being normal? Ugh. I can't imagine how awful that must be" unknown

Mama-to-many

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Location: New Zealand

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  • Added on: September 7th, 2011
It's important to understand your OWN circumstances. As young marrieds with no dependents and no possessions save our backpacks we travelled for a couple of years without insurance. Once we had kids, we got insurance - not fair to go and die and leave them uncared for! A friend even insisted he would be on the first available plane to be with the kids and bring them home if anything happened to both of us while we were away.
I guess it's about how big a risk you want to take.
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halfnine

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Joined: December 5th, 2005

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  • Added on: September 7th, 2011
busman7 wrote:From my experience with Canadian doctors, I consider returning to Canada to be an unacceptable risk! Should I need an expensive procedure, I shall just pass as I have lived a good life & if it's time to end, so be it! :|


You don't have to go back to your home country. On that note, I'd highly recommend emergency evacuation insurance to anyone so that one can get life saving treatment since it may not be available everywhere you travel. However, maintaining a comprehensive health insurance package is most likely not necessary as most health issues can be resolved on the road, etc.

Mama-to-many:
Once we had kids, we got insurance - not fair to go and die and leave them uncared for!


I'd argue that is more of a reason for life insurance than health insurance which is of course an issue whether one travels or not.


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