The air was thick with heat and humidity in Georgetown. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. And me, well I sat either shivering or sweating beneath the air conditioner listening to people getting ready to explore Georgetown, there was a knock on the door. ‘Come and have some soup’.
There is nothing fun about being sick when you are traveling, and this was week one of our big adventure. While I was feeling sorry for myself as Andy ventured out, a few things about being sick occurred to me, but more about that later.
You will find this information in this article
In 2017 we sold our house, went house sitting full time and left New Zealand to travel. As always before leaving New Zealand, and more so this time, there was plenty of catching up with friends and family, so we were running on empty when we got on that plane in Wellington. To be frank, it was a matter of time until one of us succumbed to the dreaded lurgy.
Georgetown was an ideal travel destination for us. We love South East Asia having visited several times, but never to Malaysia. It is a UNESCO World Heritage City and is teeming with Street Art – so plenty of things to satisfy this museum geek. Georgetown is also at the crossroads of several vibrant cuisines – Malay, Chinese and Indian – so Andy the Chef would be well occupied. Georgetown was our quintessential destination.
We landed in Penang after three flights and a six-hour layover in Hong Kong, and it was steaming hot. Not warm or hot. Steaming hot. The kind of hot that makes my hair pouffe up into a frizzy mess, or where I break out in a sweat as soon as I step outside. This is the type of weather best approached by sitting in a pool and drinking a cocktail I thought.
Three days in and it hit. I knew I was in trouble when we were at a wonderful night market surrounded by the incredible smells of freshly cooked food, the buzz of traffic and loads of people having a great time – and I wasn’t into eating anything. (Always a sure sign that something is not right – I love my tucker). By the time I went to bed I was sweating buckets, had a hacking cough and demanding the air conditioning be turned up high.
Because it was so hot and muggy the absolute worst place to be was outside. So inside I sat listening to everyone enjoy their holiday. Boo for me.
By day two I was at peak frustration about not being able to get out and explore this wonderful place we had come to. And then there was the knock on the door – Come and have some soup. Andy had been to the local market and discovered a fragrant and tasty duck and broth. It was the best thing ever. And then a plate of tropical fruit was placed in front of me from the kind staff at the Hotel. This epitomised our stay in Penang. Kind, thoughtful people and food that was out of this world.
Yes, it sucks being crook when travelling. There is no retreating to your favourite corner or bed, getting your ‘go to’ sick food and hiding in comfort. But you do what you gotta do and make the best of it. We have each been sick since then and have learnt a few things along the way. Here are the four things to remember when you do get sick when traveling.
There are a couple of things you can do to minimise your risk of getting sick while you are travelling. I am not a medical or health professional, but these are the things we do when travelling to avoid getting sick or be as prepared as possible. Yes, I realise the irony of that sentence given the topic of this article.
Have you been sick on holiday? Any tips or tricks to share?