Category Archives: Health

Health is Wealth

End of Inca Trail 1999 – Photo by Lisandro

I’ve had traveler’s diarrhea on at least a handful of occasions that I can remember in the last 16-and-a-half years.   Yes, I’ve been traveling on and off for at least that long.

It started back in ’94 in Istanbul. I awoke at around 4 am with a violent bout of the runs.  I remember running from my hostel room, down the hall and to the toilet every few minutes.  All the energy I had was sucked out of me.  Nothing more would come out even though my body was still trying to push fluid through.  It was my first ever occurrence with this discomforting and wretched watery bowel movement.  I didn’t know what was happening.  I didn’t know what diarrhea was because it was my first time dealing with it.

Fish Spa Therapy

While walking around Chiang Mai, I couldn’t help but notice the occasional fish spa. Although these alternative treatment centers aren’t in abundance like the massage establishments, these fish therapy salons are noticeably scattered throughout the city.

I was curious because I’d never seen or heard of this type of therapy before. One day I happened to walk past a place called Mae Ping Fish Spa. It advertised a low-season 50% discount.  I strolled in.

Thailand: Massage Capital of the Earth

This outdoor business charges 60 Baht or $2.01 for half-an hour and 120 Baht or $4.02 per hour.

While drifting through the streets of Chiang Mai, I thought: Thailand’s second biggest city feels like a village compared to the capital megacity of Bangkok.

For a relatively small municipality, the ubiquity of massage treatment  venues is astonishing.  There must be hundreds or even thousands of these therapeutic salons.  Overwhelmed by the options, I pondered: Thailand must be the massage capital of the world.

Devouring the Streets of Delhi

This man had the most popular stand I saw. He was churning out this crispy, yummy, fried form of bread.

For the first half of my stay in North India, I was very careful about what I ate.

I diligently made sure that food was cooked over a fire in front of me.  This ensured that any potentially harmful bacteria was destroyed before corrupting my bloodstream and intestines.

I carefully inspected stalls, trying to judge how long food had been sitting out.  I didn’t eat raw veggies or fruit that may have been hanging around.

I still haven’t eaten flesh food including fish or chicken.

I purposefully ate at stands and little restaurants that seemed to attract a lot of locals.

I was careful of juice made with bad ice; bad for a foreigner who hasn’t yet built up and may never build an immunity to bacteria on the subcontinent.

Dental Tourism

Upon arriving at the Dharamsala bus terminal yesterday after a 9-hour over night bus from Shimla, I was carted up a mountain by taxi.  A man drove me to the area known as McLeod Ganj.  I had him drop me at a hotel I’d found online the day before.  I didn’t book. I just showed up and negotiated a price.

People Watching Until the First Monsoon Rain

Glancing down from the second floor of the Café Nirvana, I see two kids in bare feet.  They can’t be more than five or six. They’re wearing shabby, dirty clothes and placing their hands out politely.  They’re not pushy.  After being ignored, they dance merrily together along the road, probably to the next place where they’ll ask for a handout.  I think:  Gosh, talk about being shorted by society.

Traveling With a Healthy Mindset

 As the bus began its ascent and could do nothing but putter seemingly slower than a person can walk, the handful of Gringos on the bus looked at one another with bewildered eyes:

Are you serious?  I can walk faster than this.

How to get Veggies into your Diet in Central America

Getting veggies into your diet in Central America can be an elusive endeavor. But, like anything, with proper focus and motivation, it’s doable.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, we should get nine servings of veggies daily.   That’s a lofty goal for anyone at home or abroad.  Most of us, including myself, don’t often reach it.   I’d like to try to change that.

15 Ways to Boost Your Health While on the Road

The ability to stick to a routine greatens when living in one’s home.  Home breeds habit. This includes sticking to a healthy diet and exercise regime.

When traveling from place to place, the concept of routine can be forgotten; thus, it’s easier to let your health slip compared to when you’re in a place of permanence.

The following tips can apply to both travelers and those who aren’t transient. I just find that it’s more challenging to maintain my desired food intake and exercise regime while on the road. While drifting and having to figure out constant new logistics, and living out of a small bag, it’s harder to stick to a healthy lifestyle. Not always having a kitchen can cause us to buy whatever’s in front of us when we’re hungry.

Two Panamanian Hot Springs and an Ambiguously Marked Trekking Path

I had the pleasure of visiting Boquete’s Caldera hot springs which is 24km from the center of the picturesque and sleepy mountain town.

I thought I’d compare the hot springs of Boquete to the one I recently visited in El Valle, as the two are surprisingly very different.