Dreams can be interpreted in different ways, and so does nightmares. What could be a traveler’s worst nightmare? Well, it is not the lack of Internet connection per se so that you can upload photos on Facebook or Instagram. Instead, it is getting really sick while on a vacation on the other side of the world.
A disaster can strike anytime and anywhere; it knows no boundaries. What’s worse than experiencing a disaster while you’re away? Being the disaster itself! Have you ever experienced having the time of your life in Marrakesh and being forced to stop all the fun because of a scratchy throat, hideous cough or both? By the time you retire to your luxury suite you already have a fever. It’s not how you want to end your day, but what to do, right?
Getting sick while vacationing is very common. Such a phenomenon is called paradise syndrome or leisure sickness for some psychologists. A 2001 study concludes that 3.6% men and 2.7% women experience leisure sickness. Among the symptoms include the common cold, flu, nausea, headache, muscle pain, feeling depressed, and anxiety. The difference is any of these symptoms usually go away in a day or two into the vacation.
What’s not common is contracting serious illnesses such as German flu, extreme cold allergy, dengue fever, bird flu and chikungunya. These are typically caused by a viral infection that your antibodies are not able to recognize and combat. Put simply, these diseases are not normally caused by the change of environment, weather, and diet. Instead, there is a carrier involved.
Engage in Combat
- Strengthen the immune system. Take Vitamin C (2,000 milligrams) every day one week before your day of departure. Fruits that are rich in Vitamin C include oranges, kiwi, guava, and strawberry. Eat probiotics-rich foods as well such as yogurt, tempeh, kombucha tea, kefir, and kimchi.
- Pack some immune boosters. Bring with you a Vitamin C pack. If available, bring some essential oils such as oregano and frankincense since they have antibacterial and antiseptic properties. You can rub the oil on your body while taking a night shower before going to sleep. Bring a pack of Zinc lozenge as well. Take one at the first sign of illness.
- Bring core habits with you. Never try to alter your habits drastically. Ever. If you can’t live without coffee, you might as well bring some coffee packs with you. It’s not a good idea to go cold turkey just because you are in a different place. On the other hand, don’t amp up the coffee intake if you are not used to drinking lots of coffee. The same goes with if you’re a vegetarian. While beef could be the staple food of your destination, make sure you are eating fruits and veggies at least once a day.
- Wash your hands often. Sanitizing your hand is okay especially when you aren’t sure of the environment. Nonetheless, the benefits of sanitizing are nothing compared to the benefits of washing your hands. Wash your hands thoroughly whenever you get the chance. As a rule of thumb, you need to wash the hands for at least 30 seconds on running water.
Provided that you are in a new environment with different germs and bacteria, you should be extra careful. Most importantly, you have to prepare your body. You might think that your immune system, given the availability of vaccines, is strong enough to combat these new breeds of bacteria. You’re wrong. Avoid what you have to avoid otherwise you’d end up regretting or staying in a hospital. Could be both. It’s your call.
Harry Neal is a blogger and a professional writer. He is currently writing for Nuvali, giving some travel tips and guides, list of top destinations in the Philippines, and top restaurants in Nuvali.