My most stressful holiday

As part of my FIRE strategy, I try to keep my expenditure relatively modest. However, this year I’ve got a big holiday coming up. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for quite some time but never pulled the trigger. It’s OK to treat yourself every now and then. #SelfCare

I’m due to go on holiday to Thailand but as you can tell by the title of this post, things aren’t exactly going my way.

For starters, I needed to get various vaccinations done before leaving the UK. That was annoying as I booked an appointment with my GP, but should’ve really booked a nurse. For some reason, GPs are incapable of operating a syringe it seems. Therefore, I had to return to the GP surgery on another day and take time out of my working day. To make things even worse, I wasn’t seen until 20 minutes past my appointment – this makes me wonder why we even have appointments if these aren’t being followed. I can’t imagine a client coming to my office for a meeting and then not getting any updates or apologies/explanations why they can’t see whoever they arrived to meet. I believe poor service is just the way the public sector operates these days. They clearly have no incentive to improve because where else would people go for “free” healthcare. It’s not really free as we all chip in with our taxes… I wish it was possible for me to opt-out of the NHS and put that money to use in a more productive way.

I hadn’t had any vaccinations in more than 10 years and felt like a stray dog picked up from the rain outdoors when I was talking to the nurse. I got three jabs for 5 diseases and a resulting sore shoulder for a couple of days. Apparently I need to return again in 6 months for another Hepatitis A dose to get immunity for something like 25 years or so…

Not long after my GP visit, we had the Ukrainian plane crash near Tehran. It wasn’t just a crash – the Iranian army shot it down after the Americans murdered some kind of Iranian general who nobody had ever heard about. Guess who’s flying over Iran soon?

My trip to Thailand is with Qatar Airways, who fly to Doha, Qatar and then I need to make a connecting flight to Bangkok, Thailand. Apparently it is not possible for Qatar Airways to avoid the Iran/Iraq airspace, unlike other carriers, due to political differences between Qatar’s neighbours. Many other carriers would simply fly over Saudi Arabia.

My worried brain started a mini-panic and looked into my cancellation rights and stuff but I didn’t find anything useful. Luckily, over the next following days, things seem to have normalised in that part of the world. All that stress for nothing.

And now, the big issue with Asia is the coronavirus situation (pandemic?), which is giving me a headache. The latest news was that Thailand had 19 confirmed infections of this new virus. No doubt that this will increase in the coming days and weeks. Should I travel and risk contracting a deadly disease (it seems it mostly kills only old and frail people) or call the whole thing off and have a staycation instead? Why can’t this be easy? Aren’t holidays supposed to be relaxing?

I really hope that everything sorts itself out and that I can go enjoy my trip but so far it’s been nothing but a source of concern. I want to read something positive about the situation for a change and am tired of the sensational clickbait articles.

In other news, it’s Brexit day and a few minutes past 11 PM in London, which is when we “left” the EU and our transition period started. Let’s see how all this plays out.

I expect to spend a bit of my cash reserves on my holiday, but it’s manageable and only a one-off event. It will be OK and I will be soon back to normal with my monthly contributions to my portfolio.

Good night!