After 5 weeks of living out of a suitcase traveling the vast wilderness that is South East Asia, I can certainly say that I caught the travel bug. Not the bad kind.. the travel bug that has made me so eager to continue to explore the world.
Thanks to a combination of Naturopath Felicity’s, fantastic tips and my freakishly strong cast iron constitution I was not sick throughout my travels. Aside from the first leg of the trip, from Wellington to Sydney, where a combination of stuffy cabin air, anxiety and horrendous aeroplane food (thanks very much Qantas) caused me to power hurl as the ambassador of the Philippines rubbed my back. Safe to say I removed it from my system for a much more pleasant second and longer leg of the trip.
Mother dearest was kind enough to gift me $20 aus which I used to purchase some anti nausea pills and nurofen at Sydney airport. I ended up distributing these pills throughout the tour group as they dropped like flies with bad stomachs. The anti-nausea pills initially make you drowsy, however everyone I extended the pills to said their sickness diminished within a couple of hours. They worked a treat! I 100% recommend to any travellers to take ibuprofen and anti-nausea pills in your backpack everywhere you go including on the plane.
Thailand Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. They all had their fair shear of delicious cuisines, some of my favorites include traditional Phad Thai, Cambodia’s fish amok curry, Vietnam’s chicken noodle soup, Malaysia’s Teh See special and Singapore’s coffee chicken. Some of the best food I have eaten in my life and so cheap too. With the good food however came the bad. Hygiene is a big concern when selecting your eating destination in Southeast Asia. There are surplus quirky side street stalls (scorpions, tarantulas, snakes and grubs available on request) and restaurants galore; often the most unassuming ones were the best, but knowing which ones are good can be difficult without a tour guide or reliable local.
My brother became sick after consuming a pork bun from a small stall in a small town sold by a small lady with a small baby in Vietnam. Bad move bro! The meat was totally unidentifiable and tubular, looked a bit like a brain. There were a couple of bad currys, some suspicious seafood dishes and questionable salads eaten throughout the tour, thankfully I was able to avoid them all. Call it street smarts/intuition/luck. Let’s go with luck.
Cambodia was definitely one of my favorite places. The people were so vibrant, friendly, and happy although many of them had very little. Another perk was the cheap beer.. $7 for a 3L beer tower in Sihanoukville (an amping coastal party town in Cambodia). Safe to say there were a couple of rowdy nights. The best hangover cure for me (each to their own) was a swim in the sea.
Our tour guide Charin Silphisuth from G Adventures was the greatest tour guide (seriously request him! He’s that good!). Not only is he incredibly knowledgeable about so many cultures, he is the most humble, conscientious, selfless, kind hearted person I think I have ever met. He made us feel safe in an unknown world and introduced us to different cultures, cuisines, religions and some of the most amazing local people with incredible stories. I think he played a big role in my positive well being overseas, just knowing that we would be safe in the Bronx of Asia, reduced my stress levels immensely (a dominant traveler feeling). I am not a stressy person and tend to just go with the flow; but being overseas you really have to have your wits about you. Do your research, be prepared, come see for Felicity for some great tips and tricks to stay healthy overseas and you are bound to have a blast.
Travelling is the most exhilarating and freeing thing you can do. If you can, go explore go adventure, travel, be free and have no fear.