Rex Jory and his wife Liz, find peace of mind in travelling with COTA Insurance.
“If my ancient body was a temple, it would lie, forgotten and decaying, in the jungles of Cambodia. In three score years and 15 I have given it a terrible pounding – stress, sleep deprivation, over-eating and drinking and physical maltreatment.
In turn, my body has protested. I’ve had a heart attack, a battle with prostate cancer, a run-in with poly myalgia rheumatica and, of course, the natural issues with arthritis and hearing loss. Some temple.
Through all this I have never taken a backward step or relinquished my love of travel. As a young man, I travelled the world both for pleasure and with my work. These days, in retirement, I travel purely for pleasure.
But increasingly, insurance has become an issue. Traditional insurance providers politely send me away. Your temple, they suggest, may not last the journey without assistance. And any form of international travel assistance, including health issues, can be expensive.
A few years ago, I discovered COTA. Under the protective umbrella of COTA’s travel insurance scheme I have been to such diverse places as the United States, Canada, Russia, China, Korea, India, Japan, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Morocco, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Scandinavia and Europe including extensive cruises in the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas.
There are two quite separate lessons here. The first is that COTA understand my issues and does its best, sometimes with minimal additional payments, to find me travel insurance. I leave Australia with peace of mind, although I’ve been fortunate the temple has remained sturdy and upright and we have suffered no mishaps with cancellations or lost luggage.
The second is that none of us are too old or battered to have a go. My wife, Liz and I are about to go to Japan (for the sixth time) to take a six -day hike around a remote peninsula dotted with fishing villages. We will stay in traditional ryokans or Japanese inns, sleep on the floor, eat from low tables, eat local food which can be challenging, and walk up to 20 kms a day.
We’ve done similar hikes before, sometimes reaching the snow-line and trudging through knee-deep snow drifts or walking in drenching rain. Occasionally we’ve had to contend with pathways above precipitice drops or swing in the breeze on suspension bridges.
On our next trip, there are bound to be challenges but it is not always age or your level of fitness which matter as much as a positive mental approach. If you want to do something, and believe you can, then you might be surprised what you can achieve.
In Jordan, we walked a couple of kilometres to see the amazing lost city of Petra, in Egypt we scrambled down tunnels to see the tombs of the Egyptian kings and in South Africa we clambered into four-wheel drives at dawn and dusk to get almost touching distance from the wild animals.
Last year, in India, we put up with the discomforts of the Fabulous Marigold Hotel and slept in a two-star chalet – complete with lizards and spiders – so that we could see three tigers hunting gazelle at dawn.
We once stayed for month in an upstairs apartment in Venice. Every day we saw something different in that haunting city.
These, and many more, are adventures we would never have experienced if we thought we were too old or perhaps too frail. And, of course, if COTA had not been prepared to underwrite our travel insurance.
You can also arrange to travel with COTA Holidays which offers discount holidays to all sorts of the amazing destinations, for COTA members with the needs of older travellers in mind.
Our bucket list never seems to diminish. South America, including the Machu Picchu ruins and the Iguazu waterfalls, are tantalising and a rented house in England, perhaps in Bath, are possible.
The secret is, never say you are too old or frail to give it a go. The key question is simple: why not?
And if you decide to give overseas travel a go, whether it is your first trip or your 21st, your first port of call should be COTA. You might be surprised what they can do.”
At COTA, we believe you’re never too old to travel. We have no age limits for single trip travel policies and as a not-for-profit insurance agency, all of our profits go back to the community. To get a quote on your next trip, call us on 1300 1300 50 or fill out our online form for an instant quote.