Food Poisoning Story

food poisoning story

Welcome to Ben’s Chronicles

Hello! I’m Ben from EINSURANCE. Trust me, I know there are plenty of things we’d both probably rather be doing than discussing insurance. But although insurance gets a bad rap, it does have its benefits; especially when you find the right coverage and carrier.

Unfortunately, throughout my life I have had a knack for being at the wrong place, at the right time. Given my gravitational pull toward bad luck, I wanted to share a few of my life experiences with you in hopes that my bad luck could benefit you. So, bear with me over the upcoming weeks, because I’ll be sharing little nuggets I’ve learned through navigating the insurance world. If my mishaps and theories don’t directly help answer any of your insurance related questions, I promise they’ll make you laugh, albeit at my expense…

If you would like me to discuss a specific topic, feel free to email me at

Today our topic is:

Food Poisoning Story – Was it the Sushi?

I have a fairly large extended family, which makes for rather eventful family reunions. We’ve gathered at least once a year as a family for as long as I can remember. Typically, these festive events take place in my family’s hometown of Chicago, or its adopted town, Atlanta. Each year its similar to pulling teeth trying to get everyone organized, and each year, that duty falls upon yours truly. In the past five or so years, the family reunion has been held at a resort, typically in Mexico. This streamlined the process given the resort essentially took care of the catering, service and housing for everyone, for the duration of the reunion. The hardest part was simply getting members of the family to purchase their tickets on time.

Family Reunion Time!

Given the responsibility of organizing everyone typically falls on me, I often choose the same, dependable resort in Mexico. The food and service are great, and the rooms are modern. Couple this with the natural beauty of Mexico, and you receive a great experience for what you pay to stay at the resort. I typically place a great amount of value on consistency, hence, me choosing the same resort each year. However, my family does not share this trait. They in fact would rather infuse variety into the trip through taking the risk of choosing to stay at a different resort each year. These members of the family feel the risk of experiencing something significantly better than our normal resort is worth it. Rest assure, they enjoy themselves each year we go to our ‘go to’ resort but would rather ‘shoot for something better.’

Change is Good???

This year, I obliged the group and chose a resort that was only months old. It had just been purchased by new investors and was being rebranded as an upscale family resort. The entire family felt it was the deal of a lifetime. Given the resort hadn’t quite made a name for itself, the prevailing thought was that we could take advantage of favorable pricing and exquisite service and food before the resort adjusted its pricing to accurately reflect its value.

The first few days at the resort were amazing. The beaches were literally mowed for seaweed for hours each morning. The water was a perfect shade of blue and completely transparent. The staff were attentive and seemed to be in a good mood and happy all the time. And, the entire family was able to attend. The days flew by, filled laughter, dancing and a lot of eating. In fact, by the last day, I’m sure had gained an extra ten pounds. I’m typically a ‘safe’ eater. You won’t see me stray from items I have tried and are good too often. This time however, I probably got a bit too comfortable. Each restaurant, each dish for the duration of the trip was simply phenomenal. So much so, the last day of the trip I opted to test out a few dishes outside of my ‘comfort’ zone. One was duck, the other, sushi.

Did Someone Say Food Poisoning?

At the time of the meals, nothing seemed awry. In fact, I went on to play in the pool with the family, attend a few shows and pack. However, that night; the night before we were scheduled to board a flight and return home, I felt the most debilitating pain I had ever felt in my life. A pain coming from my stomach that would make anyone simply want to curl into a ball and yell for hours. I didn’t make it to the morning before we had to have a doctor come by. Unfortunately, this is when the reality of being in a in a foreign country hit home. Although we traveled to Mexico often, no one in our family spoke Spanish. As a result, I was stuck in the middle of the night trying to communicate with a poor doctor who had been called away from his family, to try and help some sick tourist.

The conversation between my family and the doctor was lengthy and from what we could gather, included the doctor suggesting to give me a few shots, and take me to the hospital. Shots! A hospital? I wasn’t thrilled about either. Thankfully, my ‘worry wart’ wife makes me purchase supplemental travel insurance whenever we travel internationally. Otherwise, the decision to take the doctor’s advice would have been even harder. Trying to figure out if I would even be covered for treatment in my state of mind at the time, probably would have sent me over the edge. Ultimately, given the language barrier and unfamiliarity with the healthcare system in Mexico, I opted to wait it out and fly home without formal treatment. Thankfully, my wife had a few antibiotic peels and painkillers that made the flight process manageable.

Home Sweet Home!

Nine hours from consulting with the doctor in our resort room, I was back home. I wasn’t 100% recovering from food poisoning, but I was significantly better than I was earlier that day. Although I’m fairly confident I contracted food poisoning from our family’s new resort choice, I didn’t blame them; I blamed myself. Had I stayed within my ‘safe zone’ regarding food choice, I would have been fine, and ended the vacation with an exclamation point. Unfortunately, because of this food poisoning experience, I’ll probably never be returning to this particular resort.

It doesn’t take much for a perfect vacation to take a quick turn for the worse; especially when traveling internationally. One way you can mitigate this potential downside is to have adequate insurance. Make sure you either know how your current insurance will respond should you run into bad luck while abroad, or purchase travel insurance. Trust me, once the time comes that you actually need it, you’ll be beyond happy. Besides, it could also save a trip from being a total disaster to a memorable one!

About Dale Williams

Dale Q. Williams, MBA, is a well-respected financial executive whose experience spans from insurance to investment banking. Dale has first hand underwriting experience through working for one of the largest U.S. based insurance carriers, and advisory experience from working for several bulge-bracket and middle-market investment banks. Dale also received his MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business, with concentrations in finance and accounting.