Day: January 5, 2010
Healthy travel: good luck or good management?
Within one week I will know if I have contracted dengue fever. (I wrote this on a Malaysian island)
Despite knowledge, despite repellent, and despite being cautious, the dengue-carrying, daytime-biting mosquito has bitten me: in an area of Asia where an epidemic is rife.
So why is an article on healthy travelling starting on such a negative note? Merely to confirm what T.S. Elliot said ‘Between the idea and the reality falls the shadows.’ No matter how well prepared we are, travel can throw us a curved ball.
I do not expect to fall ill during the next week: in fact when travelling I never expect to have health or any other problems. A positive mental attitude is my first line of defence. This attitude, plus good luck, plus common sense has seen me travelling in some thirty-five countries with rarely any health concerns. Even in third world countries I seldom have an upset stomach or fast trips to toilets.
I can’t tell you any worst-ever tales as my ‘worst’ are very mild: a heavy cold in the Netherlands, a sore back after sleeping on bus from Cairo to Tel Aviv, a painful neck in London, and the very occasional loose bowel-motion.What are the basic ‘rules’ of happy, healthy travelling? They range from pre-travel checks and vaccinations through to health insurance and sensible precautions. Post-travel problems and check-ups are also part of travel-care and, most important of all, remember that travel self-care covers sexual, physical, emotional and spiritual areas.
The healthier and fitter you are before the journey starts the better. No matter how fit you are, pre-trip walking will benefit you. Whether climbing mountains, visiting cathedrals and art galleries, scuba diving or canoeing – you will need physical and mental strength. Continue reading “Kiwitravelwriter & healthy travel: good luck or good management?”