BY WENDY HUNG
When I was in the Cayman Islands last month, my friend Brad asked why I never get sick from all the traveling? I had to think for a minute. He was right, I can count the two times that I was sick on trips. The first time was in India, after eating lunch at a restaurant filled with flies. And another time was in Sri Lanka, from dehydration.
All the other years that I’ve been going back and forth, here and there, I’ve managed to stay pretty healthy. I had to think for a moment on how I do it. Brad asked if I took vitamins, and I shook my head. In fact, I drink a lot more alcohol than usual, not exactly healthy. After a few minutes, I finally compiled a list for him. An easy 5-step process which I’ll share with all of you! My favorite one is #5, which most people tend to ignore.
Hope you all find this helpful. Stay healthy in 2014!
1. H2O, and lots of it!
It’s a pain having to find bathrooms all the time when you’re on the road, but in my opinion, this is THE best prevention from getting sick. Water cleanses your system. If you ever consume anything your body isn’t used to, water washes it all out. Keeping yourself constantly hydrated is a fantastic way to maintaining energy. Always keep a water bottle with you, don’t be too stingey on spending more bucks for water at the airport. Continue to down those bottles, liter after liter!
2. Don’t lose your sleep.
We all want to have fun and get hammered on vacay. But make sure to squeeze in a sufficient amount of snooze fest. It’s imperative to let your body rest after a day of traveling, partying or even flying! I’m a huge advocate for getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. It allows you to stay vibrant and feeling refreshed throughout your trip. Fatigue can be a huge contamination to your health! Even after a night out, make sure to follow with a chill night. If you think this sounds boring, you’ll be thankful when someone else is getting sick and not you!
3. Street food caution.
Grabbing a bite from a street vendor is experimental, and most of the time, it’s the best way to get in with the locals. But try not to do it every night. After all, not all of us have bodies made like Andrew Zimmern’s. Especially in certain cities in India or Southeast Asia, it’s smarter to be ultra careful when it comes to venturing in street foods. My rule of thumb is, if I’m in a country where I can’t drink water straight from the faucet, then I’ll restrain from eating foods sold by street vendors. It’s okay to try once in a while, just be careful. Unfortunately, gastrointestinal infections aren’t so fun.
4. Sock it!
I have a habit of keeping an extra pair of socks in my bag on long flights. My body tends to get cold, and I’d hate to put myself in any danger of catching a cold. Socks and scarfs have become my security blankets. Everyone’s body is different, if you get hot easier then make sure to prepare accordingly.
5. Listen to your body.
This is the most important personal rule. Your body tells you so much, all you have to do is to follow it. Sleep when you feel tired. Hydrate yourself when your body is demanding so. Eat when you’re hungry. Dress warm when you feel cold. So simple, but you won’t believe how many people ignore these internal signs. So make sure to follow the messages your body is delivering, then you’re guaranteed to be a healthy and happy traveler!