Friday, March 29, 2013

On general health and well-being during long-term travel.

This post is for our various Moms, biological and pseudo.

First and foremost: insurance.  We're generally healthy people, as evidenced by our ability to run half marathons and walk upright the next day, and by our avoidance of the widespread plague this year.  Our biggest complaints are usually not contagious (headaches and occasional migraines, toothaches) or they are simply due to the fact that we are getting older (yeah... we're still coming to terms with this).

We've both traveled a fair amount and never had issues.  But we still obviously need some guarantee of health insurance on the road. After much research and consultation with friends, World Nomads seems to be the way to go.  They cover medical emergencies as well as some material losses (for example, cameras breaking or being stolen).  We've never really needed insurance and we're hoping this will continue to be true for the foreseeable future.

And on general well-being...  We've gotten lots of tips on how to avoid and/or deal with stomach ailments and parasites (by far the most common risk we will face).  Common sense is the simplest approach, but when that fails, pharmacies overseas tend to be more liberal with antibiotics and other remedies.  We've also talked to various people about recommended vaccinations... which we're still debating.  And inevitably the oh-so-disgusting prospect of bed bugs and how to avoid them eventually comes up too ("um, here's a solution - let's NOT STAY THERE?").  We'll happily share any advice on these topics as we run into them.

Food might be an issue though - last summer Jen was diagnosed with potato and gluten intolerance, plus a myriad of things that come along with those two foods.  Almost every day we think about how this will impact us on the road.  Budget dictates that we will try to cook our own food whenever possible and we have quite an arsenal of cheap and delicious recipes on hand, but the language barrier!  How to say "I can't eat wheat" in Polish, Thai, Slavic, Turkish?  One day recently, Jen joked that "there must be an app for that!"

Glory hallelujah. THERE IS AN APP FOR THAT.   Haven't found one for potatoes yet, or one that applies to gluten and potatoes, but we'll keep looking. 

And despite his love of bacon (which we all know is its own food group), Patrick is otherwise pescetarian/vegetarian.  We doubt he will have too much trouble on the road but ample protein consumption is definitely something else we'll have to contend with. 

So overall, we're not really worried. And you shouldn't be either, Moms.

Clean underwear, on the other hand...?  Definitely a concern!

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