Tips for Staying Alive & Healthy While You Travel // Frame Ambition
Hello from Nairobi, friends!
I’m back in the city after a month and a half away including 2 weeks at Mfangano Island - brace yourselves for the vlogs; Instagram posts and highlights have already gotten out of hand!
I finally wrapped up and uploaded my ‘5 Stages of a 5 Day Juice Cleanse’ video, my little experiment to see if going on a detox of fresh fruit and veg juices would be useful to prepare my digestive and immune systems before a big trip (or for recovery afterwards). Scroll down to watch the video!
It got me thinking though about all the other aspects of health and safety that we can all be prepared for every time we set out, be it for 2 days or 20, in the next town or across the world.
As the old adage goes, it’s all fun and games until you notice your trousers aren’t zipping up quite the same or worse, you’re down with some stomach bug that won’t let you further than 5 metres from a toilet. Sh*t happens ;)
Being around Lake Victoria for example (where I’ve been for the past month almost) poses the tiny threat of contracting malaria from mosquito bites, so I had to stock up on insect repellent and malaria prevention meds. Shout-out to this anti-malaria pill I only had to take 3x in one day to be protected for a month. Woohoo!
Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years.
Food & Drink
This can get tricky especially because trying different food and drinks is so vital in exploring new places. It’s easy to over-indulge or forget to eat meals period in all the excitement.
I try to:
- Stay hydrated, investing in a filter bottle like this one can be a lifesaver
- Get at least a little fresh fruit or vegetables in there every few days
- Go to street food carts and restaurants with many people eating at them; it’s a sign of both good food and good hygiene (!)
Check out the 5-day juice cleanse vlog here and order cleanses, juices, salads, pastries and more here from Absolute Juice, Nairobi.
Exercise & Physical Activity
Of course, another thing that can get thrown out the window easily. It doesn’t have to though!
A couple of hacks to stay fit/active:
Personally I love walking in my daily life and in a new place I make it part of my exploring.
You can always stay at a hotel that has a gym if that’s your vibe, I always use it at least half the time I’m somewhere with one
Apps: Nike+ for running (tracks distance and time for you among other features), Nike Training (set workouts you can download)
Yoga: If I have the space I try really hard to start my day with at least 7 sun salutations. Where I have WiFi I do a session by Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube (adore her)
Vitamins, supplements, etc
Not going to lie, I haven’t taken supplements with me on a trip and only occasionally remember to take my calcium/magnesium ones at home. But I do hear of many people who take vitamin boosters, charcoal pills and the likes to prevent catching colds, etc and to regulate their bodies faster with the new bacteria they’re about to encounter. Seems legit.
A few vitamin boosts you may want to consider:
Vitamin B to bump up your energy and immune system.
Vitamin C to avoid viral infections including the ever-annoying cold and flu
Probiotics for gut health, especially helpful while you eat new foods and expose your stomach to new bacteria.
Essential Oils have plenty of uses but my favourites are tea tree oil - antiseptic so great for cuts, pimples etc on skin - and eucalyptus oil to clear my sinuses or relieve insect bites.
One constant thing I cling to is a slice of lemon in hot water before I consume anything else in the morning. Vitamin C up and good for your gut.
Personally I’ve only used Momentum while I lived in South Africa (covered worldwide travel and was sufficient to apply for Europe and US visas) and Cigna once i moved back to Kenya.
There are lots of reputable companies to choose from depending on where you live, where you’re traveling to and what you want your insurance to cover i.e. Insurance for health but also electronics, luggage, flight delays/cancellations etc.
Some reputable insurance providers:
And there you go, all the ways I’ve avoided illness, death and the likes while traveling. At the end of the day though, I feel like there’s no need to overthink it if you do a few simple things and take some general precautions. You’ll probably be fine :)
Drop all your tips in the comments and share this around to someone who might need it!
Find me and keep in touch here:
Pssst! Check these posts out too:
Hiking Guide: Ngong Hills, Nairobi
The Essential Guide to Avoiding Problems While Traveling
Hiking Guide: Lion’s Head, Cape Town