Long-term travel sounds like a dream while you’re sitting at home contemplating quitting your 9-5 and backpacking through southeast Asia or working in Europe. But it can be easy to get wrapped up in a life of travel and ignore your health.
In almost 8 years of travel and living overseas, I’ve had food poisoning, broken bones, an ovarian cyst, root canals, an abscess in my tooth (before one of the root canals), and more. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe and healthy while you’re on the road:
Get enough sleep
Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people who can “burn the candle at both ends” as my mother says. If I choose to go out two nights in a row, I’m guaranteed to start coming down with a cold the next day. And if I don’t rest and continue to explore a new city from dawn to dusk and party all night, I’m guaranteed a lovely coldsore to go along with that cold.
Even if your immune system isn’t quite as precious as mine, getting enough sleep is critical for your health. When you’re on holiday, you can easily catch up on sleep when you’re home. But when you’re travelling long-term, you can get so wrapped up in making it to the next place that you forget to prioritise your sleep. Turn down the clubbing occasionally, get a private hostel room or hotel room if you can’t sleep with snoring, and take it easy.
One of the best parts of travel? Eating all the delicious food. From curries in Thailand to pasta in Italy, food is arguably one of the biggest reasons to travel. Unfortunately, all that eating can catch up to you. If you’re like most people, you’ll probably start off in a “YOLO” mentality and indulge in everything you see until you notice you can no longer fit your jeans. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t try new foods and enjoy yourself, but make sure you’re not eating carb-heavy foods at every meal, tone down the alcohol, drink enough water, and eat your veggies.
Take your vitamins
Thanks to that slack immune system, I’m forced to take vitamins to keep myself healthy. These include iron, L-Lysine, vitamin C, zinc, and more. Check out The Independent Pharmacy online before you leave and stock up on anything you think you may need. Of course, you should also try and get most of your vitamins from food, which means a nice variety of fruit and vegetables every day.