What to Do When You’re Sick Overseas

In some ways, this has been the week from hell. I’ve been severely under the weather and rugged up in bed trying to shake a horrible flu. On a scale of 1-10, the feeling of being sick overseas (especially when you’re travelling solo) is a flat zero.

But that kinda attitude won’t get you anywhere. So here’s some helpful hints of what to do when you’re sick overseas…

What to Do When You’re Sick Overseas

Mind over Matter

No matter how sick you are, you are only going to feel as horrible as you let yourself feel. I fell ill in California and carried the flu with me to the other side of the country, to the point where I was bed ridden for a couple of days in New York City. It should go without saying that this is the last place on earth you want to be cramped up indoors and not outside exploring. But a negative attitude got me nowhere. So I embraced it. I signed up to Netflix ($8 a month, bingo!) and binge-watched Gilmore Girls in bed whilst ordering room service and sipping on hot tea whilst I munched macarons (I’m not sure how they helped in my recovery efforts but I’m voting that they did).

Take a Rest

No matter how much I wanted to go outside and explore NYC, I knew the only way I would get better would be to take a couple days off just to completely rest. Now I don’t mean just taking it easy, I mean complete and utter bed rest.

Seek Medical Help

This kinda comes in two forms: pharmacy and doctor. I knew that I was so sick that I needed to see a doctor, but being that I was in America I was completely turned off by the $450 doctors fee + price of medication. Luckily I have travel insurance so I was able to rely on that. I cannot stress enough how handy it is to have travel insurance – this wouldn’t be the first time I’ve put it to use!

Natural Remedies

Taking care of your body through natural remedies can be surprisingly effective. During my week of sickness I drank a tonne of natural orange juice, ate lots of fruit and veg, limited my intake of dairy (okay, I still at frozen yogurt), drank plenty of water and plenty of green tea with lemon, honey and ginger. That last one is a lifesaver!

Be Preventative

While this wouldn’t be the first time I have fallen ill overseas, it would be one of very few. I’m always as preventative as I can be to stop myself from falling ill – which stems from the little things like always washing your hands with soap and warm water to prevent spreading germs, eating healthy whilst on the road, and drinking plenty of water. Of course sometimes you just can’t help it and you’re gonna get sick. But in the last 16 months of travelling full time, I’ve only fallen in twice. Multi-vitamins are great if you can remember to take them daily, and vitamin C tablets also come in handy. My mum won’t let me go anywhere without Echinacea tablets which are a LIFESAVER when you get the first signs of a cold or flu coming.

Over to you! What are your tips and tricks for staying healthy on the road?


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