Last year I set out on an extended vacation. I’m talking about seven countries over five months. While I’m a fly by the seat of her pants kind of girl, this trip necessitated some planning. I had to get certain vaccines, find natural but effective bug spray, pack the right kind of clothes, etc. My mother also made sure I brought a veritable pharmacy along with me.
I’m sure many of you have over-bearing moms. I don’t. However, my mom still made sure I had it all: bandages, Neosporin, ibuprofen, Imodium, laxatives, and multivitamins, among other things. I’m surprised she didn’t ask me to take a medical course beforehand so I could diagnose myself in case I caught a rare jungle virus.
Joking aside, there are a lot of health hazards innate to traveling, so I am glad that my mom ensured my good health by (excessively) preparing me.
During my travels, I had the pleasure of visiting Cambodia. I found the country had a vibrant, though sometimes bleak, history that was downright fascinating. I equally enjoyed the people I met there — nearly ever Cambodian I interacted with was incredibly friendly and welcoming
My first night there my friend Gerard and I had dinner at a famous Siem Reap restaurant. The concierge at our hotel gave it an A+ review and told us that David Beckham had dined there as well. Who would pass up a Beckham approved restaurant?
The next day we started with an early morning tour of the Angkor Wat temple complex (pictured above and below). Drenched in sweat, we toured one temple after the next. Beautiful as it was, we were about ready to pass out from the heat when Gerard and I agreed that it was time to head back to our hotel for a break.
Barely a minute after getting to our hotel, Gerard told me that he didn’t feel well… I won’t give you all the gory details but it seems that Gerard’s beef from the night before was a little too rare. I distinctly remember telling him that I could still hear the cow moo-ing when he was digging into his meal.
Fear not readers, my personal pharmacy finally came to the rescue! I gladly handed over my Imodium capsules and told Gerard to take the night off site-seeing, while I promptly went to the nearest fruit stand and gorged myself on jackfruit.
What this post comes down to is that you need to be careful when traveling, especially when visiting third-world or developing countries with lower sanitation standards. Similar to Gerard (but worse), I got a stomach virus in the Galapagos two years ago and let’s just say it puts a damper on the vacation.
When it comes to tap water, ice cubes, and meat preparation, I must quote the infamous Mad Eye Moody: constant vigilance!