Health is one of those things I hear people who don’t travel much internationally voice concerns about. You know the story. “Oh, don’t people get Malaria there? Doesn’t the water make you sick there? Is the food safe there?” And so on. Those of us who do travel, however, always seem to gather up some valuable lessons for ourselves, either by learning from others or, unfortunately, by our own direct and sometimes excruciating experiences. Having traveled to a few developing countries, I have fortunately been spared the experience of contracting any major illnesses while on my journey. Part of this luck I’ve experienced has been facilitated by taking simple but specific precautions while in certain countries.
For me, some ways to stay healthy while traveling (but not limited to) are as follows:
- Boiling water or using bottled water
- No ice in drinks
- No slushy ice drinks
- Carrying hand sanitizer
- Insect repellent
- Long pants and shirts even sometimes in warm temperatures but where Malaria carrying mossies (Aussie for Mosquito)may be present
- Wide brimmed hats and sometimes head netting
- Avoiding all meats in certain places
- Taking it very light on the alcohol consumption
- Taking additional supplements including Garlic and vitamin C
But here’s the thing. If you want to acclimate you have to introduce things slowly; the spicy foods, the meats (if that’s your thing), the water, and so forth. Trust your instincts here as your body is always speaking to you about what works and what doesn’t. Just don’t push it too hard, too fast and it will adapt. I use bottled water at first to brush my teeth but after a few days I’ll use the tap but make sure not to swallow. I’m not saying I’m going to go guzzling local water in India any time soon, but I am saying that once you get your system a bit more acclimated you can handle the occasional ice cube that may end up in your drink. The same goes with the food. Unless your system is pretty tough, the spicy foods can wreak havoc upon a sensitive system, so stick with things that are simple. Rice and veggies are pretty much always a safe bet. You can almost always find some kind of simple fare to get your system prepared for the GOOD stuff.
I found a great article here from other nomads talking about their international travel tips for staying healthy. Check it out to learn more about how to keep healthy while getting your travel on!
As always please share this with others and add your own travel health experiences to the comments area. It will go a long way in helping others stay fit on their adventures. In the words of Dr. Steve Brule, “To your health”.
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