I had an unexpected win today when I learned that I can delay purchasing private health insurance for a while longer. In Australia if you don’t have private health insurance (specifically, hospital cover) on the first day of July following your 31st birthday, then when you do get insurance you will pay a premium called Lifetime Health Cover loading. If you don’t get insurance at all, then you will be hit with a high Medicare Levy Surcharge. To pay less money in the long term, it’s best to ensure you have private health cover by the aforementioned date. My issue with this system is that I am spending the majority of my life at the moment overseas, so if I got health insurance now, I wouldn’t be able to use it – I’d only be getting it to avoid LHC loading. Essentially, I’d be paying a lot of money (AU$550-900/year) for nothing. I retrieved some quotes online for the simplest hospital cover available. I then visited an HBF office in Belmont Forum and also called up HIF to clarify their offerings. It wasn’t until I spoke to HIF that I learned that I can put off getting private health insurance without any financial hardship. I confirmed this information on the Australian Government’s website about private health insurance. In my favour is the fact that I will be overseas on July 1st this year. I don’t have to get private health insurance until I am back in Australia for longer than one year. Having sorted this out, I got onto other tasks and managed to stay away from my computer for once.

In Nepal I bought a ‘water heater’ for AU$1.60. It is a bit of a dodgy device that runs 240 volts at 500 watts through a piece of metal. This piece of metal can be submerged in water, which gets heated pretty quickly (as you can imagine). I used it in Nepal to give myself a few hot water washes when I was sick of washing in torturously cold water. What I did today was exchange the electrical plug on the device with one that fits Australian power points. This means that when paired with my adaptor, I can use the water heater in any country I visit, not just in Nepal and related countries for which the original plug was designed. I bought the Australian plug from Jaycar Electronics and, with some advice from my dad, spent some time adapting it (cutting off the Earth prong, which I don’t need) and fitting it to the device.

I also prepared some material and strapping for my mum to sew. I could do it myself but I’m not going to stop my mum doing it when she says she is happy to. The material will be used to make a water bottle holder to replace the original one (which mum also sewed) that I threw in the bin in India, having well and truly worn itself out after two years of use. The strapping is to tie my sleeping mat to my front rack bag – I don’t have a piece of strapping long enough, so I need two bits sewn together.

I also created some photocopies of my new passport. I laminated a couple of these and will hide them in different parts of my luggage so that I have a hard copy of my passport at hand should I lose my original passport.

Luckily, I realised out of the blue that I haven’t got a visa for India yet. It is something that has slipped my mind. I had found out ages ago that I could apply for an e-visa online, so I didn’t think much about it since, instead paying more attention to getting my visas for China and Pakistan. I panicked a tiny bit when I realised I have left myself one week to get the visa, but a quick check online indicated the online visa application process can take just three days. The application process was smooth and I am now waiting to receive an email confirming that I have a visa for India.

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Distance ridden today 0km
Total distance ridden 17,908km