When travelling countries with poor hygiene conditions, getting sick can sometimes be inevitable. Even watching what you eat (no salads) or drink (no tap water) can’t prevent you from getting food poisoning or other parasitic conditions. Remember it makes sense that if you grow up in an environment where there are not many bugs , once you come across more bugs you may sick vs locals growing up in cultures that are less hygienic and developing resistance against these bugs.
The main lesson I found was to not let getting sick ruin my trip or image of the country I visited. Listen to your body, get adequate rest and stay positive. If you visit a country with a negative mindset after hearing horror travel stories then chances are you probably will get sick and have a bad experience. If you do get sick, deal with it the best way you can until you are better and move on. I’ve spent days and weeks with food poisoning or dysentery where I couldn’t walk or eat. Not only did I not let it ruin my experiences I also went back to those countries again and again and had more amazing experiences. I believe through my positive attitude and taking care most of the time, anything I had was never that major or demobilizing nor did it totally ruin any of my trips.
Some good tips to prevent getting sick while travelling
- Boost your system before you with go with probiotics, eating healthy and strengthening your immune system
- If you can’t drink the tap water then don’t eat food washed in tap water – salads, unpeelable fruit
- Don’t brush your teeth with tap water, use bottled water (I got a gum infection doing this once in Egypt)
- Look for restaurants that wash vegetables in iodine or with bottled water
- Avoid ice unless at a tourist hotel and you know bottled water has been used to make the ice
- Keep taking probiotics while travelling
- Avoid getting too drunk that you lose food discernment
- Wait a week before eating food from street vendors
- If the restaurant doesn’t look clean, don’t eat there!
- If the street vendor doesn’t look clean, don’t eat there
- Consider going vegetarian
Good tips to get better once you have gotten sick
- Drink water and flush it out
- Don’t take medication initially, let your body naturally flush everything out
- Work out how you got sick and don’t repeat it
- If it’s bad and persists then see a doctor
- Eat plain foods such as rice when you can eventually eat
- Avoid dairy and heavy foods
- Take more probiotics
Remember if you do get sick, get better, move on and be careful next time. Keep a positive mindset that you are healthy and well and enjoy the amazing experience of travel. Remember what you think you attract so why think about being sick? Focus on your desire to experience new cultures, have uplifting experiences with others, give back and becoming the best person you can.