Page 13

Travelling With High Blood Pressure


Travelling With High Blood Pressure The biggest reason for my trip to Phuket and Tiger Muay Thai is to relax, rejuvenate my health and kick myself back in to the shape I used to be. At the moment I am suffering from High Blood Pressure which hopefully will sort itself with eating healthily and regular exercise.

Travel Insurance For High Blood Pressure

Having High Blood Pressure counts as a pre-existing medical condition, something a lot of insurance companies are not fond of covering. This is compounded by the complexity of getting insurance for extended trips of world travel with no set itinerary.

Most travel insurance companies I spoke to point blank refused to cover anyone with any pre-existing condition, for anything, so after a lot of searching and a lot of refusals Out Backer Insurance recommended me their sister company Cover For You which essentially offers the same world travel insurance but also accommodates people with pre-existing medical conditions!

Through them I was able to get travel insurance cover despite the High Blood Pressure. For those interested having High Blood Pressure increased the cost of the insurance by £200, which is a lot, but it is good to know that I am now covered for the next 12 months.

Portable High Blood Pressure Monitor

Whilst I’m travelling I want to gauge my health and fitness, and whilst scales, a stop watch and ‘the iron’ will be plentiful in the gyms I will be visiting, I don’t want to keep making trips to hospitals or doctors surgeries to keep track of my blood pressure, so I’ve decided to take a blood pressure monitor with me!

QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

There are loads of battery powered, portable monitors on Amazon but I wanted one which was really compact as I don’t want it to take up half my bag. The smallest one available is the QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor which measures 6.9 x 3.8 x 14 cm and weighs all of 308g. It works over Bluetooth and is controlled by, and syncs with, your phone or tablet allowing it to be such a small size as it doesn’t have controls or a screen itself.

QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor IOS App

Mine arrived today and I did some tests for accuracy and it is exactly in line with the readings I’ve been getting from my Doctor so I am more than impressed with its performance. It is also incredibly simple to use! As you can see my blood pressure is super high!

Functionally the IOS application I am using to control it with my iPhone is excellent, it can take the average of 3 readings and produce the output as a graph over time and even email the results to your Doctor. It will be really easy to see how the life style change affects my blood pressure as I progress.

First Item Sold


First Item Sold I’ve been working on several product niches, following Anton’s Drop Ship Lifestyle system for a few months now, along side all my other projects, and this week I got my first sale so I’m very excited for the future.

Drop Ship Lifestyle has a very vibrant community, both online with their members only forums and in Chiang Mai, Thailand where Anton is based at the moment, and watching everyone else getting results has been extremely motivational for me. However there is nothing like actually getting results yourself and it’s very reassuring to know that the Drop Ship Lifestyle system really does work.

I’m still going to be very busy for the next few weeks whilst I’m preparing to move to Thailand in September as I’m still working my 9-5 until I fly out, but then it’s all systems go and I’ll be able to commit some real time and energy in to the project and start crushing it!

Downsizing And Travelling Light With A Kindle


Travelling Light With A Kindle I love reading but reading for myself is something that only happens nowadays if I go on holiday. There’s far too much work related material to read instead.

One of the things I want to do is read more, and for myself. There are at least a dozen books going dusty that I haven’t read yet and many more that I need to catch up on!

Travelling Light

When I travelled around Europe in 2004 I made a lot of mistakes that I’ve since learned from. Including carrying a half dozen guide books of Europe with me.

I made a similar mistake on the 2012 Mongol Rally when we took the Lonely Planet guide for pretty much every country we went through with us. We had a car so weight wasn’t an issue, but all those paperback books ended up damp and left in Ulan Bator.


I moved flat in October 2011 and did it backwards. Moving in and unpacked completely before going through everything I owned to decide if I needed it or not! As part of that downsizing I sold all my CDs and DVDs and donated most of my books to either my parents or the British Heart Foundation. (The BHF later informed me they’d raised £100 due to the sale of the books!) I only kept my vinyl any any of my books that either I hadn’t read or were full of beautiful pictures.

Downsizing And Travelling Light

I’m now looking for obvious ways to both downsize and travel light and replacing all my books with a form of E-reader is a no brainer.

Ebooks can be well under 1MB in size and with the advances of flash memory you can store millions of them in something smaller than a paperback novel.

I do already have an iPad and an iPhone which have many Ebook related apps but for several reasons they are unsuitable.

I took an iPad with me for the Mongol Rally and whatever anyone says it’s not a replacement for a laptop. As I have a laptop the iPad only gets used for my photography portfolio so extra features would go unused. iPads are also quite expensive and I will worry about losing or damaging it.

An iPhone can do everything under the sun but this means it has a short battery life. If I use it as a phone, camera, MP3 player and Ebook reader it will last half a day tops. Also if I lose it I then I lose more than just the ability to place phone calls.

Kindle Paperwhite

I know a few people with Ebook readers so before I made any decisions could trial a few in person. I got to play with both dedicated E-readers like the Nook and Kindle range as well as some Android tablets.

Whilst lacking all the features of a full tablet, the dedicated Ebook readers were a lot more suitable for reading books. Featuring a longer battery life, screens that were easier on the eyes and a more rugged build their cheaper price felt like a bonus.

The Kindle Paperwhite, pictured above along side the books it will be replacing seemed to be the best device for me. As you can see it’s a much smaller and lighter option.

The 6″ screen is more comfortable to read from than a phone and more portable than a full size tablet. The entire thing can fit in either the rear or front pocket of all the trousers I wear.

The device itself is rugged, I won’t think twice about throwing it in to my bag and the matt finish suggests scratching wont be an issue.

The Kindle store uses DRM to prevent piracy which is always a worry as it limits where you can source books from. Amazon is HUGE though and the majority of the books on my unread list are available from there so that is less of an issue. There’s 2GB of space which is enough to store 2000 books, more than I imagine I will read in the next 20 years!

The standout bonus is Amazon provide free world wide 3g on the Kindle and a basic web browser. For travelling this is amazing and something I will treat as an added safety net. As long as I have the Kindle I should be able to E-mail or Facebook an SOS message!

12 Weeks in Thailand: The Good Life on the Cheap

12 Weeks in Thailand: The Good Life on the Cheap12 Weeks in Thailand: The Good Life on the Cheap by Johnny F.D. Fighter-Divemaster
Published by Lulu Com on 2013
Buy on Amazon.comBuy on

In Thailand Johnny becomes a certified Divemaster and starts a career traveling the world teaching people how to scuba dive. From a dream to reality in less than 12 Weeks during his second trip to the islands. After diving with countless Sea Turtles, Whale Sharks, and Manta Rays, he later finds out his true passion really is the sport of Muay Thai. He's currently spending another 12 weeks in the northern mountains of Thailand training for his fifth professional fight.

In this book you will find out how cheap you can live out in Thailand and how you can convince your boss to let you come for 12 weeks or more. Find out where the best place in Thailand to learn to scuba dive is, and where the best fight camp to train Muay Thai and MMA is. Live vicariously through the author or use the book to take your first steps into an adventure of your own.

Time really is precious, don't waste another year stuck at a job you aren't passionate about, throwing away thousands of dollars in rent when you could use that money to live like a King in Thailand. It seriously is the Good Life on the Cheap. Read the book and it will inspire you to find your own passions and more importantly to go after them.

I’d been toying with the idea of escaping my 9-5 for a while and came up with 2 different ideas. The first was to go to the Mana Retreat in New Zealand, volunteer and live for free whilst meditating and doing yoga.

The second idea was a Thai fight camp.

Googling lead me to JohnnyFD and this book, 12 Weeks in Thailand: The Good Life on the Cheap, a sort of motivational biography about how Johnny visited Thailand on holiday and then decided to move there training in Muay Thai and becoming a scuba instructor.

The book is well laid out and offers lots of advice on how to live in Thailand, the realities of both fight camps and scuba diving and lots of tips and tricks to help you make the most of your time whilst you are out here as well as places to visit and things to bring with you.

There aren’t many concise resources out there for someone considering moving to Thailand so this is a must read for anyone toying with the idea. I know I read it cover to cover 5 times before I booked my tickets, and whilst it didn’t inspire me to go to Thailand (that seed was already firmly planted) it did motivate me to make the decision and see what happens.

An informative, enjoyable read that I’d recommend to anyone considering going to Thailand, let alone moving there.


The Trip Is Booked!


Thailand Today I took action and booked flights out to Phuket, Thailand and made arrangements for my first week out there.

Most People In Life Don’t Show Up

Technically I started making arrangements last year, when I handed in my notice at work, only to ask for it back and change role.

I also booked a trip to Turkey over Christmas which I didn’t go on as I wasn’t feeling it.

One of the issues I’ve always had with the world is that anyone can pay for things. Turning up, putting your neck on the line and actually doing something takes courage.

So far all I’ve done is the paying for things, that’s the easy part. I was hoping to hand my notice in on the 1st May but now I think it might be 1st June.. this is the hard part.

The Flight

I booked a return flight with British Airways from London Heathrow to Phuket, Thailand on 1st September. It was cheaper to buy a return ticket than a single. I rang up British Airways to confirm this and they made the excuse that it’s because it would mean the seat wasn’t sold. I think the real reason is so they can overbook the flight knowing that some people won’t turn up.

The return part of the ticket is 30th November, meaning I will have been in Thailand for 90 days, but hopefully I won’t need to use that.

The Accommodation

I intend to spend my first 3 months in Thailand training at Tiger Muay Thai. Regarded as a bit of a McDojo, Tiger Muay Thai offers some fantastic packages and will arrange everything for you. Which for me, now, is perfect, so I will reserve judgement.

Rather than book an entire 3 month package with Tiger Muay Thai I’ve only booked the first week. I am hoping when I am there things might be a little cheaper and I can save some money if I use some common sense.

Signature Phuket Resort

For the first week I will be staying at the Signature Phuket resort. A beautiful boutique resort and restaurant 150m from Tiger Muay Thai.

The Training

Tiger Muay Thai offer group and private martial arts, yoga and strength and conditioning classes. For the first week I’ve booked an all-inclusive package that lets me do everything. Whilst I would love to do yoga, weight lifting and Muay Thai daily, from experience I will not be able to train for 9 hours a day. Again after the 1st week I should have a better handle on what I can cope with to make a more informed choice for the rest of my time there.

Tiger Muay Thai

Pursuing An Alternative Career

Part of the trip is to develop new skills unrelated to IT so I have more career options. Ive enrolled in 2 online courses, one on travel journalism and another on travel photography. Writing has never been my strong point but I do love photography and this is the perfect opportunity to develop those skills.

My more hopeful goal is to train and certify as a PADI dive master and potentially make money taking people out to scuba dive. I’ve never done it before but it’s always been on my list as I love water and there are so many great things to see. It also opens up other avenues such as underwater welding.