As I hang out in London mainlining a steady stream of cups of tea with honey, it occurs to me that perhaps I could share a story about being ill while travelling and general advice for dealing with illness while away.
I’ve mentioned this in the past: I’ve travelled a lot. Sometimes it’s been for long stretches of time (6 months, or 3 months a few times), and with the additional stress on your body, illnesses happen.
Between walking huge distances every day (I often carry a pedometer and walking 30,000 steps a day, 20km, is not unusual while exploring a new city), different and inconsistent meals, jetlag, as well as exposure to different viruses and bacteria, your body often takes a battering and succumbs to illness.
When you travel a lot, especially to a variety of different countries where each one has a different local currency, you end up accumulating a lot of coins and notes of various colors and values. It starts to look like play money.
In November last year I went to Austin, Texas, USA for a long weekend. It was a great experience as I’d never been to Texas before. The Texan reputation for hospitality was certainly lived up to as my host took me to the most important places for a visitor to see in Texas including:
– A Texan Barbeque restaurant,
– A drive through the countryside to see her horse,
– To a trailer which served some of the best Mexican cuisine I’ve ever had,
And yes, on one fabulous evening we went to a local bar – the Little Longhorn Saloon – which indulges in Chicken Shit Bingo games on Sunday afternoons.
It was a beautiful warm summer day in Nice, France and my friend and I wanted a coffee before wandering down to the beach for the afternoon. Considering how touristy Nice is, and how frequently I would be answered in English when ordering in French, we must have found the only cafe in Nice where no one spoke English.
Picture this: I was in China, in Kunming. I needed to send a package back to Australia.
Now, Beijing gets a lot of tourists, so your odds of finding someone who speaks English aren’t too bad. Kunming, however, has hardly ANY English speakers.
I was staying in a hotel, and had put a package together to send in a bag. So, I headed to a post office a few doors down. Pointing at the bag of stuff they understood that I wanted to send a package and sold me a box. Score, they were being really helpful. Then I started writing the address on top, including the Chinese for Australia. I was pretty proud of myself for learning that, and especially how to say it.