Everybody loves to be healthy. You have more energy, you look better, feel better and you recover from hangovers quicker. In short, there are no downsides to a healthy lifestyle. So why do so many of us lose our health when we go traveling. Is it really that difficult to stay in good health?
Speaking from experience, I would say yes and no. It’s obviously easier to stay in good health when you are at home: you know what you can eat, ingredients can be more readily available to you etc. You know who your doctor is, how much things should cost and feel safe talking to professionals about problems you may have. You don’t go out drinking 5 or 6 nights a week. However, that is no excuse to not be healthy when traveling. Have a look a few of the slightly more poignant aspects picked out below.
If you have any medical conditions, you must speak to your doctor before you leave to go traveling. The doctor can not stop you from traveling however, they will have sound advice for you on what to do in case of emergencies. More often than not, they will also have booklets or leaflets about traveling and health, vaccinations etc that can be invaluable in certain countries.
The other big must when it comes to doctors requires you to do some research. Have a look at where you are going, what is there and what kind of precautions you need to take. For instance, is it a malaria zone? Has there been a high risk of rabies lately? As your doctor if they would recommend any other vaccinations such as typhoid, Hepatitis A / B, Japanese Encephalitis etc.
It’s a pain in the ass I know. But there’s also a very good reason these companies are here. These are the companies that will fly you home if you break your leg or will get you medical assistance if you can’t afford it. They can be lifesavers. Just make sure you read the terms and conditions so that you do know what is going on.
When you are traveling, you will invariably find yourself with a beer in your hand at least a few times a week (at least if you’re anything like the travelers I’ve met). That’s not a problem at all. In fact, it’s great as it helps you meet people and you’ll have great fun. However, just remember to give your body a break every now and then and if you can, get on the vitamin tablets as you will feel so much better. There are two HUGE pieces of advice when it comes to drinking:
1. Do not stumble home in a city you do not know at 3am so drunk that you can not see straight when you have all your money and your passport in your pocket.
2. ALWAYS CARRY CONDOMS!! This applies to the ladies too, men can’t be held solely responsible for this one.
The biggest think you have to remember though is whilst you will have amazing fun doing lots of stupid, crazy things (and they are fun), remember that you can’t put a price on your head. So get out there, have the time of your life and just try to stay safe.