I receive emails almost every day asking me if I’ve gotten sick during my years of travel. The same question is whispered to me in person, too. I’ll be at a dinner or out for drinks and someone will introduce me as a long-term traveler and travel writer, to the confusion of the lawyers and careerists present. Inevitably, I get cornered later by at least one or two people furtively asking ”so did you ever, you know, get sick?” Oh yes, many times.
I understand why people would ask. Sickness and travel were a big preoccupation before I left. What if I was completely isolated and no one knew and then I died a horrible death in the middle of nowhere? What if I couldn’t speak the language and then managed to find myself at a doctor, unable to to tell them what’s wrong and then (all together now…) died a horrible death in the middle of nowhere? For what it’s worth, reading How to Shit Around the World and bringing a Point It Dictionary went a long way into making sure the “dying a horrible death in the middle of nowhere” didn’t happen.
That said, I was most lonely when I was sick. Time slows down; foggy with fever and fatigue it feels like a lifetime before you get better again. And since this is a question I get so often, I thought I’d share the fairly ridiculous laundry list of ailments and sicknesses from my travels.
1. Bronchitis in Punta Arenas.
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Born in Montreal, Canada, Jodi Ettenberg is a former new media and technology lawyer who quit her job after 5+ years of working…
I ate one of the best soups of my life in Mui Ne.
Here are some of my favourite photos, 38 of them in all.
The issue merits revisiting now, given the media portrayals and subsequent discussions about a female traveler who was recently murdered in Turkey.
I was mesmerized by the icebergs in Antarctica- each unique like a snowflake.
Sure – they smell…badly – but I found the odor pretty easy to overlook in light of their general adorableness.
First rule of ‘Kayak Club’ in Antarctica is that you are not late to kayak club meetings. The second rule of kayak club is that you ARE NOT late to kayak club meetings.
I had made up my mind, I wasn’t going to do it. Nope. Not doing it.