We sometimes feel that some people look at experienced travelers a bit differently. We are not sure if that is the case, but being on the road often gives you a mark, as being immune to travel troubles. Lots of people are just surprised when we say we had problems with travel scams or even with diarrhea.
We are guessing that we are the one to blame for. Our social media accounts are full of photos with smiling faces, cool adventures and appealing shots. But guess what, everything has two sides, and also our travels do.
We were looking for a photo of us being all run down, and we actually could not find a truly bad one, as being sick, sad or exhausted cause also lack of energy for photography. But, as two normal beings, we had diarrhea numerous times, got scammed as well, and we were also bad at bargaining. All our travel tips come actually from our own mistakes we did on our travels.
Sometimes experiences in travel are the ones bringing new mistakes, especially if you visited a certain place before. When being too relaxed, many stupid things can happen. You are resting, but local people, involved in travel scams, are not.
Diarrhea is the most common trouble of travelers. If you are like us, trying everything that is marked as food, does not help to avoid this trouble either. Our travel tips on food have actually become all from our own experiences, but guess what… in most cases we are not obeying them really well. We eat salad, we drink soft drinks with ice and we don’t disinfect our hands. Eating from street vendors, we don’t even wash hands. Being all fancy in front of locals, can build a wall between us fast and instead of relax chatting, they treat you with contempt. You can really be sorry if that happens as most of interesting conversations happen while street eating – at least to us.
But to our surprise we have never really had severe diarrhea problems. Drinking medicine charcoal is not taken into account, as we do drink this sometimes, just to avoid any further troubles.
When Simon and I were not together yet, I did lot of traveling by myself or with my friends. I still remember two long days in Amman, Jordan’s capital.
We were traveling from Syria, making a stop in Amman just to find a place to stay and continue the exploration by taxi to the Death Sea. Before reaching the accommodation on our way back, I thought I will die. My stomach had gone crazy and if my friend’s would not told me to go and that they will make the payment, I would not make it to the toilet.
I ended up being in the toilet almost all the afternoon and night. I was constantly running from my mattress (we slept on the rooftop) to the toilet, but after a while I did not force myself even coming back. Being exhausted from diarrhea I just lay in the middle of the toilet’s floor. The cold and filthy tiles felt comfortable and I have not even asked myself what all the dirt I am lying on is from.
When I finally came back to myself, my two friends were asking the owner of the place for some more toilet paper. When the owner found out how bad my condition is, he immediately gave us a private room at no extra cost. He said that being so sick, I should not be staying at the rooftop. The toilet was still far away, but just having our own room felt much more comfortable.
He ordered my friends to buy me plain yoghurt and asked me to drink lots of water. I did everything he said and then the action truly began.
Luckily the diarrhea was becoming milder and not so frequent towards the morning. It looked like his advice did help after all. I felt exhausted the next day and still wasn’t completely myself, so we have decided we need to make a new travel plan. We were planning to be in Jordan for one more week and I did not want to ruin the whole exploration for my friends too. We decided to wait another 24 hours and if I was not better yet, they would continue their journey and I will just join them later on, when I get my energy back.
I did not move far from the toilet in the next 24 hours, except when visiting a pharmacy. I bought some strong Arabic medicine against diarrhea and just to be sure they will help, I took two instead of one. And woohoo… The pills did an amazing job and stopped my diarrhea completely. Resting and drinking lots of water gave me new energy to continue the journey together with my two friends. I was still careful what to eat for a day or two, but that was it.
When being home I was thinking about this diarrhea problem for a while. Why did I get it? I ate and drank the same as my two friends and they were completely fine… Than it did hit me – it was not for the food, it was for the Death Sea. I could not resist trying this high concentrated salty water and I guess I was just too enthusiastic and did try too much. Lesson learned!
If you are asking yourself why the heck I am revealing my diarrhea story, let me tell you why. No-one, not even an experienced traveler, is not immune to troubles on the road. It does not really matter if you are traveling for the very first time or for the hundred of times, unpleasant surprises can occur before you know it. But even though, that should not be a reason to stay home. When feeling bad, exhausted and sick, you will might feel sorry for not being home, resting in your own comfortable bed, but as soon as the troubles are over, you will realized that this is just another adventure, another experience and another travel story to tell.
Last but not least – don’t be panic before even leaving home and before something goes wrong – lots of troubles come out only from our worried heads.