Coping With the Misadventures of Traveling
Exploring the temples in Southeast Asia. Sailing the Mediterranean. Eating tapas al fresco in Spain. This is the glamorous side of traveling; nothing but beauty, adventure, and positive experiences and free of unfortunate events. If you happen to have a trip that is solely full of positive moments and free of mishaps, you are one of the lucky ones. Yet, there are some unglamorous disadvantages to travel.
As a wanderer, it’s a matter of time before you run into a not so idle situation regarding your health. An unbearable sunburn from that 8-hour boat trip. An unwelcome tapeworm from that delicious yet sketchy looking local street food. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and are completely unavoidable; this is just the reality of traveling.
So far, I have experienced quite a few traveling misadventures, yet the worst-case scenarios have all occurred on a plane. While cruising a thousand feet in the air I have battled both food poisoning and an anxiety attack. This, I wish upon no one.
Although unpleasant, I survived to tell the story…making for one hell of a traveling tale. These tales are far and few between, but can happen to anyone. You never expect that little mosquito bite to turn into dengue fever or that tuna sashimi to be your worst nightmare. However, it’s important to always be prepared for the worst and listen to your body.
I really hope you don’t find yourself in a dire health situation but if you do, here are some natural ways to cope with your traveling misadventures.
Food poisoning in itself is absolutely horrific, but adding traveling to the scenario and it can be hell. I obtained the dreaded “Bali belly” 2 hours before I was supposed to go on a 36 hour traveling excursion back to the states. There was no riding it out in a hotel room; I had to battle through it on the plane. It was a tough lesson to learn but I will now always bring activated charcoal tablets on any trip. It’s an all-natural and quick remedy to cure any stomach issue including the stomach flu or food poisoning, as it soaks up all the bad toxins and bacteria in the gut. So if you find yourself with a violent case of unhappy belly, pop 2 tablets every few hours and stay hydrated! Oh, and if the food looks or smells sketchy, it probably is…
As the plane is about to take off to your favorite destination, your mind should be peace, filled with visions of palm trees and coconuts. This is typically the mindset I have, as I am about to take off. Cool, calm, and collected. Well, this last trip my body thought otherwise. As the plane was about to take off, I had a full-blown anxiety attack. This is a person’s worst nightmare, as you can’t get up to move or get fresh air. You are literally stuck.
Anxiety attacks are not a common occurrence for me. I actually didn’t start getting them until this year. However, with Hong Kong late nights, stress from multiple sources, and an imbalance to my nervous system due to some things in my diet, the attacks started to pop up. Not being an anxious person, it was kind of perplexing. Yet, I am pretty in tune with my body and was able to get in under control in a natural way.
With anxiety attacks you tend to breathe erratically with small and shallow breaths. The best way to begin the process of calming down is through deep breathes in your and out your mouth. It takes the focus away from the attack, helping to lower blood pressure and bring mental clarity. Another helpful breath technique is alternative nostril breathing, alternating between left and right nostril as you inhale and exhale.
The mind is a powerful thing. When the attack started to come on it took all the willpower to gain mental control and overcome the anxious feeling. I often use neuro-linguistic programing (NLP) to change negative thinking or debilitating memories. I use a technique called content reframe. It’s the process of visualizing yourself in a more positive light, changing the current event. Basically, I visualized myself in an open field completely calm, peaceful and in control. This technique not only helps when you are feeling out of control but a great way to change negative behaviors or closed minded thinking.
Simply lay back and try to relax as much as possible until the attack passes. Close your eyes, sip some water, and focus your energy away from the attack.
The last thing you want on vacation is a killer migraine brought on from being dehydrated. I’ve been there. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the day and forget to care of your own needs like drinking plenty of water. So do yourself a favor and drink plenty of water as well as coconut water. It’s packed full of replenishing electrolytes and minerals to help nourish a thirsty body.
These are the worst! So you went hiking through the jungle and forgot to apply mosquito repellent? It happens. Go find the nearest banana and rub the pulpy part of the peel directly on the bite to reduce itchiness. A lemon works too!
These are just a few of the many travel mishaps that can happen. Have any interesting events or tips that you have learned from your traveling misadventures?