When in Rome! - The Importance of Traveling with Health Care Documents

Jessica Schultheis

by Jessica Schultheis

Jessica Schultheis is a former attorney with My Pink Lawyer®, now an Assistant State Attorney in Pensacola, Florida. Jessica graduated from the University of Florida for both her undergraduate studies and law school.

My fiancé and I took our first big trip together over the holidays… to Italy!

I had never been out of the country, except for a short cruise to the Bahamas in law school, so I was beyond nervous and excited. The idea of a nine hour flight was daunting, and I definitely did not learn enough Italian before it was time to leave.

But my worries quickly disappeared, and the trip was nothing short of amazing! The long flight wasn’t as bad as I expected, and most of the Italians we met spoke at least a little English.

We spent the first half of the trip in Rome and the second week in Florence. Seeing all of the historical landmarks and Renaissance artwork like the Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Sistine Chapel, statue of David, and so many others, is something we will never forget.

And then there’s the food. I’ve never eaten so much delicious pasta, pizza, and gelato in my life!

We rang in the New Year in an area of Rome called Piazza Navona. It is one of Rome’s most famous squares, and it was very lively that night! The square is huge but still quaint, surrounded by restaurants and beautiful churches (basilicas). There is an enormous fountain in the middle of the piazza that was built in the 1600s!

After dinner, my fiancé and I split a bottle of champagne and listened to the band. The fireworks show started at midnight, and it was magical to celebrate the start of a new year in such a picturesque setting.

One of the best parts of the experience was being immersed in another culture and learning how people in other parts of the world live. Even something as simple as dinner was much different than how we usually eat here in the United States.

Dinner can be very extravagant in Italy, and none of the restaurants open before 7pm, which most people dining around 9pm. Dinner typically lasts at least two hours with several courses including an antipasti (appetizer), primi piatti (first course typically of pasta), secondi piatti (second course usually consisting of a meat and sides) and dolce (dessert).

Italians drink wine at almost every meal as well. They also usually have a shot of limoncello or amaretto after the meal for digestive purposes. It took a little adjusting to get used to the very slow pace of dining, but the incredible food (and wine!) was definitely worth it!

The trip has sparked in me a strong desire for more international travel. But as I’m getting older and about to get married, I realize there are other considerations and preparations that need to be made other than just deciding on the next country I want to visit.

Here at My Pink Lawyer, it is common for our clients to wisely decide to create (or update) their health care documents before a big trip. With every estate plan, our office will draft any necessary health care and medical documents that fit your needs, such as a Living Will and Designation of Health Care Surrogate.

It is important to be well prepared, and having a legal document that confirms our medical wishes and names who should be making our medical decisions if we are unable, is essential.

Thankfully, my fiancé and I had a safe and memorable trip. We cannot wait to plan our next adventure, which will likely be the honeymoon!

 To learn more about getting your own health care documents in place, you should attend one of our Women Empowered workshops this week: Tuesday, January 31st at 5:30pm or Saturday, February 4th at 9:00am. Flyer attached.

Women Empowered Flyer Jan 2017



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