I have traveled enough to know that the body is a powerful being. It can fight off nearly anything our world throws at it. I have conquered quite a wide range of extreme environments and conditions that gave my body a run for its money. From Montesuma's revenge to the swine flu, I have had my fair share of sick nights while abroad.
In my early days of adventuring, I honestly did not travel with much in terms of wellness. But, on my fourth trip abroad I contracted the swine flu and after weeks of suffering, I returned home in quite a frail state. This experience taught me a lot of lessons, one of which is that health has to be the number one priority before, during, and after traveling.
Our bodies are used to our own environments, and traveling to other communities can be tricky as they have various bacteria and germs that our bodies might not have ever been exposed to. Plus, as I learned, certain regions of the world suffer from lack of health care access allowing contagious illnesses to spread like wild fire.
Surviving the swine flu completely rocked my world. I made loads of adjustments in my life afterward. I had been vegetarian for years prior to that experience and felt I was a healthy person, but since then, I have grown a lot in understanding the importance of boosting the immune system and keeping my body in a continuous healthy state.
I now have a travel wellness kit that I am never without. Aside from the typical bandaids and Neosporin type items, my kit is mainly filled with supplements, emergency medications, and probiotics. I am religious about taking my supplements every day abroad. And, while I have never had to use the strong emergency meds in my bag, I would never travel without them.
Why am I sharing all of this? Well, I spend a great deal of my time encouraging others to travel, and while beautiful photos can make a place seem without issue, the truth is that we all have to be vigilant and smart about traveling. Please carry with you everything you might need to keep your immune system boosted. Travel consciously aware of you own wellness. And, pack a health and wellness kit!
Here is a sneak peek into my own EMERGENCY travel wellness kit:
When I am home, I take supplements every morning and do what I can to avoid conventional medicine such as advil. When I am traveling, I attempt to do the same thing. I am not a health care professional, but I can speak to what has helped me while I am abroad.
01. Vitamin C - It is nearly impossible to overdose on vitamin C. I have read studies where patients were given IV drops of vitamin C to combat illnesses with great success. In my own life, I have found this to be the number one factor that works for me in keeping sickness at bay.
02. Probiotic Supplements - At home, I take probiotics in a liquid form. While abroad, I take the same thing, but in pill form. I swear by this stuff. Get a large dosage like 50 billion and stay on top of taking them every day.
03. Turmeric Supplement - I literally can't remember a time in my life when I didn't suffer from all things allergy and sinus related. I was born with a sinus infection actually so it has been something I can truly say that I have struggled with my entire life. And, oh boy, my sinuses are not big fans of drastic changes in environments. My daily dose for allergies is Turmeric pills. I swear by these from Gaia.
Conventional Medicine (as a last resort):
01. Benadryl - I always travel with allergy meds like Benadryl for emergencies. Traveling can expose you to various allergens that your body is not accustomed to and you can quickly find out that you are allergic to something you have never even heard of before. I was traveling in a rural part of California on my way to the Gentle Barn when I started breaking out in hives. I had to pull of the nearest CVS and purchase Benadryl. It worked to stop the allergic reaction to who knows what, but I did practically fall asleep on a goat later in the day.
02. Amoxicillin - I always travel with a strong anti-biotic like amoxicillin in the case of an infection onslaught. I am very much against anti-biotics. They do not treat the infection fully. Usually, symptoms die down, but in the process your immune system dies off as well. But, ever since contracting the swine flu, it is something I do not travel without. I have never had to take any amoxicillin while abroad, but I would have given anything back in India to have access to proper infection fighting medications.
03. Advil/Tylenol - With the swine flu, I was running fevers that I can't possibly put into words. It was the worst fevers that I have ever experienced. Anything like advil or tylenol would have gone a long way to reduce swelling and fever. Again, I am not a big user of conventional drugs, but you have to do what you have to do when abroad and I highly recommend bringing along something like this for those unexpected moments.