Whether it’s something we openly discuss or keep to ourselves, many of us have experienced different forms of sickness while travelling. We don’t have to get into the details, but I think we can all agree on the misery it entails.
Two situations pop into my mind when I think of the topic, and I’d imagine that the memories stand out vividly for you as well. Between catching norovirus while at a conference in Victoria, BC, and experiencing the rite of passage that is ingesting something disagreeable in Thailand, I’ve come to know a few of the comforts that can go a long way when you’re out of commission.
5 tips for when you’re sick on the road
5. If you can, get your own private space
This is a lot easier in Southeast Asia than in North America, but splurging for your own private room and bathroom are probably the biggest comforts you can have at this point. It’s not the most budget-friendly option, but it will be worth every penny in the thick of things.
4. Eat small bites of something plain
You might feel hungry without anything in your stomach, or the thought of eating might make you feel ten times worse. Eating something might make you feel slightly better, but best to proceed with caution. You don’t want something with a strong taste (seriously, you’ll regret it when it comes back up). Something like bread works for me, just take it easy and stick to small bites every few minutes. Don’t force it.
3. Drink something sweet
When you’re getting sick frequently, water tastes pretty gross. But, you’ve got to stay hydrated somehow. The standard mom remedy (well, at least around these parts) is drinking flat ginger ale. Pour it in a glass and stir it for a few seconds. It actually goes down pretty easy. Don’t feel guilty about it, you deserve a little comfort and lenience at this time.
2. Clean yourself up
Get a shower, brush your hair, do whatever it takes to feel clean and normal. I got sick with norovirus at the beginning of a gala event. My hair was loaded with hairspray and after a night of vomiting every 10 minutes, it was a tangled mass that felt insurmountable with a brush. When your stomach is still in pain and you have to get ready to catch a plane, it’s a terrible thing to have to spend so much time with a brush. Oh, how I’d wished I’d found the strength to deal with it sooner.
1. Skype home
Almost everyone has someone in their life that they can shamelessly whine to about being miserable. Whether that’s a family member or friend, it’s nice to have someone baby you–even from a distance. If you don’t have wifi (or reliable wifi), this might not be an option, but you can still take some time to draft some emails to those people. It’s nice to remind yourself about the support system you have when in such a vulnerable state.
Bonus: Remember that it will all pass
It might take some time to really recover, but eventually this will all be a story you tell when you talk about your travels. It sucks to miss out on a couple of days in a new place, but sometimes that’s just life–it can get much worse!
What makes you feel more human when you get sick during your travels? Anything to add to the above? Let me know!