Who knew travelling was so dangerous? No, I’m not talking about the possibility of getting raped, robbed or lost. I’m talking about getting sick.
Sure, I’m being overly cautious here, maybe. Or am I? Am I even prepared for four months of endless things that could go wrong? But on the other hand, people do this all the time with less preparation, and nothing happens to them. Only time will tell if my body can keep up with South East Asia.
The reason I am currently freaking out, is that with five days left until depature, I had my final run to the Pharmacy today to pick up Malaria pills. 15 goddamn boxes. This is what my medicine bag looked like when I got home:
Jeez, Christine Louise. I need all 15 packages, but I neither can nor should bring them all like this. I stuffed three packages – with manuals – with all the pills I had, and suddenly I could fit it all in my bag and still read about the proper use and side effects.
Let’s talk a bit more about what to bring for a long trip far away from home. First things first, if living in Greece for months at a time taught me anything, it’s that vitamins are a good idea. No, a great idea. Flying, staying in less than stellar hostels, and not eating healty and balanced enough can all contribute to feeling a bit sick. While Asia is known for its healty food, there’s still no harm in bringing some for the days where you binge on bread and Coke all day (also known as Hangover Day). I also packed some vitamin C, because I’ve seen so many people do that when they didn’t feel too well.
If it does happen that I catch a cold, which is common after traveling on airplanes or sleeping with the air-con on, I have a nasal spray and painkillers ready. It is generally a great idea to bring disinfectant for whatever you’d need it for.
Birth control and condoms. Even if you don’t plan to sleep around, you never know when you meet that hot surfer dude with the accent to die for. Seriously. Better to be safe than sorry. Also, those lucky ladies that are on birth control can skip their period one month, if they are going swimming or meeting the man of their dreams that one week they are supposed to be crying and eating brownies in a fetal position.
Anything to prevent or fight diarrhea, really. It’s impossible to travel when your butt is constantly leaking.
Pills and mosquito spray to prevent malaria. All of this is a must if you are traveling to certain areas, and you need to be very serious about using this at the right hour. Unfortunately, a lot of malaria pills have side effects, like causing yeast infections, so bring something for that.
No matter where you’re travelling and for how long, I cannot stress how important it is to know about the precautions you have to take to prevent your trip from being about that one time you went to Italy and pooped non-stop, or when you were in the hospital in Laos because a dog bit you. I don’t know, just do your research about the area, get the neccesary shots and prescriptions, and know who to call if it all goes wrong.