For me, its the worst. The worst thing to have to deal with when travelling. Because you are normally out of any real comforting surroundings, the hysteria of not knowing what you have or what could have done this to you, and just having to deal with it make it an all uncomfortable experience and something I dread, but realise its inevitable. It isn’t the same as sat on the sofa at home watch Jeremy Kyle with a bowl of Chicken Soup. You are in a foreign place, already tired and out of the comfort zones you have ever known. Facilities or supplies may not be as good or available and you are alone. Backpackers may travel with each other, but most will get on with their own thing, they won’t care for you on hand and foot like family or your girlfriend might. Thats the respect backpackers have, we mostly all get along, but everyone respects each others wishes, and lets people to get on with their own thing.
Don;t get me wrong, your body is pushed to its limit. Lack of general fitness or exercise work apart the vast amounts of travelling, the unusual and variety diet, the new smells, heat, constant movement etc all couple to pushing your body to its max. Plus alcohol doesn’t help. They all factor in your body not being its strongest. Whether its food poisoning, local flu, being run down or even something more serious like Dengue Fever or Malaria, backpacking makes you more prone to obtaining these. Because of this, I pre-caution ever so much now. . Everything from strong antibiotics, to throat soother liquids, to doxycline, to headache tablets, to sleeping tablets. Now in South America. I have Dengue Fever Tablets used in Venezuela, Sleeping Tablets, Anti inflammatory, Flu Tablets, Throat Sweets, Lemsips, Creams for Mosquito bites, rashes, grazes. I’m like a walking medical store. God knows how I haven’t been stopped by anyone to ask what was what. INfact, I’ve even had to buy a separate mini bag that fits into my hand luggage, just for the meds I have.
I have realised though, alot of the time, its tiredness. I had a feeling in Asia, I could never figure out what it was. It was a feeling of illness coming on, a weird sensation that made me feel down and not up for anything. Since South America that has came back, and it is tiredness. A quick nap of 30 minutes of less helps erase the bodies over-doings, given the fact you haven’t slept enough or your excursions have been too much for you that day.
Here are 5 pointers to help you get through it:
Be prepared. As a I mentioned, take meds with you. I don’t recommend taking antibiotics or tablets all the time when sometimes unecnesscary as it can be bad for your organs specially rhe liver, but make sure you have some meds prepared.
If you are in the stage where could be sick, prevent that by not eating anything much. I know it sounds a bit extreme, but for me, nibbling on light choloate whilst drinking fluids help me. Don’t eat meat or any meals, the more you have in your stomach the more chance you could be vomiting soon.
If you haven’t already booked a private room to recover do so. Get some privacy. If not, build a fort from your bunk bed by attaching sheets and clothes around it to give you some space.
Sleep. Seriously the body needs to re-coperate. Put your ipod on or just sleep. Don’t feel guilty. It’s one of the best ways. Cold Turkey helps the quickest.
Keep an eye on your activities. If you are hungry, thats a good sign but be careful. If you going to the toilet all the time, well it isnt over yet!