Posted on March 30, 2012
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By: John Gobbels
It’s that time of year again where we see more motorcycles on the road and more people planning and taking scenic long distance journeys on them.
For years Medjet has provided a special program specifically tailored for its members who ride. The Medjet Motorcycle Protection Program was developed for riders by riders and provides peace of mind if you travel while enjoying the open road.
Each year I receive many questions about the program so I figured it was time to just review some of the important features of this special membership option. The program is available as an upgrade to any of our membership programs at an additional cost of only $35. Having this upgrade will ensure safe transfer of your motorcycle back to the shop or dealership of choice in the unfortunate event of an accident or illness during your travels.
And, you don’t have to have a motorcycle accident to receive the benefits. Unfortunately, some members become ill or injured while on their journey just like traveling on a cruise ship or international vacation. So what happens to your bike if you have to be medically transferred home and your bike is thousands of miles away? With the Medjet Motorcycle Protection Program, if you are injured or ill and cannot complete your journey, Medjet will arrange transfer of your bike back to your shop or dealership of choice even if your illness or injury is not related to a motorcycle crash or accident.
Another misconception is that if I have a crash and the bike is not drivable, but I’m not injured I can’t get my bike home. Wrong again! If you sustain a crash and are not injured but your bike is not drivable, Medjet will arrange transfer of your bike back to your shop or dealership of choice for repair.
This special program is available for riders in the United States, Canada and Mexico and can be added to any of our programs including Short Term Memberships for only $35. Don’t forget to have a way to get you AND your bike back home… Pack the Medjet card in your saddle bag and don’t leave home without us.
Sometimes it seems that a country has suddenly come of age for sophisticated travel. On the basis of my recent trip, I would say that such a moment has arrived for Chile. In places as diverse as the Atacama Desert and the subantarctic steppes of Patagonia, I found resorts that were not only exceptionally comfortable, but also offered solicitous service and fine cuisine (and in one instance, breathtaking contemporary design). Sign up to receive my complimentary newsletter to get the inside scoop, including newly recommended hideaways in Napa and Paris!
By Roy Berger: MedjetAssist President/CEO
From the outside looking in most people would say the Medjet business model is all about doing transports. Over the past 14 years, from the inside looking out, we can comfortably tell you what we are selling is peace of mind. Of course our members buy Medjet with the feeling that at some point during their travels, they may be vulnerable to illness or injury. The perfect scenario is you never have to make that distress call. However, we have been at this long enough to be statistically sound and know just how many distress calls we will receive in a given year and how many of those calls will actually wind up in a medical transfer. And while the model works for both of us, you will be incredibly surprised at the number of member calls we actually receive in any given month.
As much money as we want to put into advertising and marketing our product, there is one-time-tested-and-true way to convince people to enroll in the Medjet program: testimonials from our members who have been lucky enough (or unlucky enough depending on your view) to actually have used our transfer services. They become our best sales force. Over and over and over one more time they are consistently raving about the service, treatment and most importantly, the value they received for their membership dollar. They look smart with their foresight to have become members and in the process reveal Medjet as a program that a traveler cannot and should not be without.
Over the last six weeks we have had three transports in particular that have not only resulted in rave reviews and hearty recommendations but the transported, once successfully recovered and back on their feet, have actually seen the bigger picture. A light seemed to go off. All three transports are members on personal memberships. All three are also business leaders.
The common mantra seemed to ask, “Why don’t we have this protection in place for our employees who travel?” Well, now they do. The big picture became very clear during their particular distress incident when they saw both the logistical obstacles and high cost of a repatriation. Frankly, these members realized this could happen in their business arena and were not prepared.
Most of you reading this most likely have never called us for help and that’s good. I think we both would be satisfied if it stayed that way. However, the bottom line is we know from experience it won’t stay that way and it’s best to be ahead of a potential problem. For those who are still in the workplace, think about your professional world for a minute and give some thought to providing the extra benefit of a Medjet membership to your staff. It not only works as financial protection for the company, but it’s an extra perk your employee has probably never thought of and would be tickled to receive. Remember, the Medjet membership is in play whenever you are traveling over 150 miles from home – for business or pleasure! Our corporate/group plans begin with as few as three members and go up to the thousands. If you want to learn more, drop an e-mail to Medjet Director of Sales, Phil Traywick at PTraywick@medjet.com and we’ll get right back to you.
By enrolling in Medjet, our savvy members have taken a pre-emptive strike when it comes to being stranded with a medical condition away from home, family and personal physicians. Is the same protection in place for your staff? Don’t wait and find out the hard and expensive way. Give us a shout and let’s see if we can work a program that makes sense for us all!
Posted on March 24, 2012
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Guest contributor Brad Toland is an international educational tour guide, lawyer, and teacher. He travels regularly throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
If you want to gain insights into a different culture’s, well, culture, there are a variety of ways to go about the process. For some people, it involves trips to museums while traveling in a new city. Others read ferociously about their destinations. While some brave souls simply choose to wander the streets of their temporary neighborhood blindly taking in the sites, smells, and experiences that can provide a gritty, textual awareness.
For me, though, if you really want to get at what makes the heart of a culture beat, you have to go to something that isn’t actually seen or experienced. Instead, you have to do a bit of investigating, and discover a basic element of how people are raised. Quite simply, you have to read their folklore and their fairy tales. American fairytales aren’t all that original. The vast majority are actually stories that have come to us from other nations, other cultures. Many of these revolve around princesses in trouble, who are saved by a dashing prince. These stories and the recent phenomena of “princess mania” have begun to come under fire by parents who (possibly rightly so?) believe that they reinforce traditional ideas of female dependence upon men. These stories, and the response by many of today’s parents, I think, speak volumes about the evolution of the American experience and character. The ideas that are adopted from stories can be seen in other cultures, too.
Fairy tales can reflect cultural ideals, and can be both a snap shot of where a culture is at the moment and where it came from. For example, also from America, the folklore stories of the giant, Paul Bunyan, relay the notions of American exceptionalism. In Germany, it is common to see statues of horrific trolls, meant to be the symbol of the creature said by parents to be living under the bridge. These stories served the parents’ need to keep children from getting too close to the water’s edge, and perhaps tells the foreigner how far the parents, and the culture would go, to keep the children safe. In the Netherlands, Christmas tales of Sinter Claes and Zarte Piet (or Santa Claus and his slave, yup, his slave) speaks volumes about traditional Dutch views on race. This is especially disturbing to the American that happens to be in the Netherlands in the weeks before Christmas. The sight of adults running around in full black face in the 21st Century is both challenging and insightful. However, it was in China, while at a museum in Badaling, at the Great Wall that I learned a most unique, a very Chinese folktale. It’s a story that is both romantic, and awful, and seems to serve a purpose in the culture to teach people from a very early age that love is important, but that one should be content with whatever life hands you. The story, as it was relayed to me via a translator, a terrible 1970’s movie, and an equally disastrous laser light show is as follows:
Once upon a time, a beautiful peasant girl married an equally handsome farmer’s son. They were very much in love, and sang longingly in each other’s general direction daily (or at least they did in the film). Anyway, one day the order came from the emperor that all able bodied men must go to work, building the Great Wall, and in a great fit of crying, the young couple separated. Weeks passed, and the weeks turned into months, and the young girl decided that she simply must see her husband (again, she sang this, so she may have been simply singing to the rice patties, and then decided to leave, but it’s more romantic to think she went after him -without subtitles, I can’t be certain.) She traveled to the construction site, and asked about her husband. She was told that she had just missed him, and that he was working at the next tower down the wall. So the poor dear walked along the wall to the next tower, and again, was told that he had moved further along. This happened over and over again, each time she was told to walk on to find her beloved, and each time she did. After months of this, she came to the end of the Wall, having walked nearly its entirety. The wall ends abruptly on a cliff overlooking the sea. Realizing that her husband must have died somewhere far, far behind her and that her epic journey was all for naught, she threw herself over the edge of the cliff to her death in the waves below. THE END.
Can you imagine Disney trying to turn that tale into a cartoon? Can you even consider that psychological damage that would occur and the years of therapy that would result should a western parent tell this story to a child just before bedtime? Yet in China, this tale, and many variations of it, are common. It is difficult to determine from such stories, what the Chinese culture stresses, and what exactly it places an importance on. Maybe it’s a way to discourage people from asking too many questions, from seeking out happiness by moving too far from outside your realm of experiences. Maybe it’s simply a sad story in the vein of Romeo and Juliet. Happiness, sadness, romantic longing, epic adventure, and tragedy, are all threads woven into the story, and perhaps, reflect the world of rural China, yesterday and today.
What’s it like to travel around-the-world on the A380 — the world’s largest commercial aircraft? Here are Johnny Jet’s trip reports from his recent trip:
Singapore Airlines A380 is now serving New York’s JFK Airport, and I was on the inaugural flight, which departed JFK, January 16th at 8:10 p.m. Singapore Airlines was the first carrier to operate the A380 when Airbus delivered it to them in October 2007. But it took them four years to bring it to the United States of America when they replaced their 747 Singapore-Tokyo-Los Angeles service last July. Now they just made the same replacement but this time on their Singapore-Frankfurt-New York route, making The Big Apple the tenth destination in Singapore Airlines’ network to receive the world’s largest commercial aircraft.
The daily A380 flight is the fifth A380 to serve the New York market (after Emirates, Air France, Lufthansa and Korean). What makes this plane so special is that it’s the first to have double suites – a private cabin equipped with a double bed for two passengers. I didn’t get to sit in the suites (it costs $28,000 round-trip for two) but I did get a quick preview. The 12 suites (two doubles) looked plush but I was more than content with my special invitation to try out their award-winning business class. In fact, I sat in one of those dreamlike seats all the way around the world. My itinerary was New York-Frankfurt-Singapore-Tokyo-Los Angeles and after I landed I was one of the first commercial passengers to go around the world on an A380 – how exciting is that? Here’s how each segment went:
Johnny Jet travels around 150,000 miles and visits over 20 countries each year. He and his website JohnnyJet.com have been featured over 2,000 times in major publications, including USA Today, Time, Fortune and The New York Times, and he has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, NBC, PBS and recently hosted “Hot Spots 2012” on the Travel Channel. JohnnyJet.com has been named “one of the top best money-saving web sites for travel” by Budget Travel Magazine, while the L.A. Times calls it “one of the top 10 essential travel resources on the internet.” Sign up today for Johnny Jet’s free weekly travel newsletter at JohnnyJet.com and follow him live on Twitter.keep looking »