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.

Three Years of Sickness and Travel By the Numbers

1. Bronchitis in Punta Arenas.

Continue reading on legalnomads

Comments by other travellers

There are no posts. Why not be the first to have your say?

Post a comment

I want to
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?

About this author

  • Jodi Ettenberg

    Born in Montreal, Canada, Jodi Ettenberg is a former new media and technology lawyer who quit her job after 5+ years of working…

Also by this author

Latest travel blog posts