The Downside of Travel

Gorgeous Golden Fall in Maroon Bells.

Gorgeous Golden Fall in Maroon Bells, Aspen, Co.

Travel is good for you. I believe that simple truth, and there is no dearth of literature to support it. However, there can be a downside: illness.

My parents liked to travel, and they took my brother and I on the road to Florida every year of our childhood…until flying became the way to go. During my childhood I had mumps, measles, and chickenpox…in Florida. All on vacation. I also sustained injuries on those trips: dislocated hip (from jumping waves), and a Man of War jellyfish sting (thankfully a small one, because it was incredibly painful).

dad holding our hands in ocean

Ft Lauderdale, FL…the scene of many illnesses for me!

The trend has continued throughout my life. I either get sick on vacation, or immediately afterward. I was in Cozumel most recently, and I returned home last Monday. I functioned with painful joints and a lowgrade fever through Friday, and Saturday put me into bed where my fever spiked to 104 degrees. My joints were on fire. Today my fever is finally broken and I feel human. I haven’t been able to eat much, my joints still hurt a bit, and I feel completely worn out.

I sent my doctor an email and asked him if I should come in for a blood test to see if it was Dengue (again). He said no…if I’m feeling better there is no reason to do it. It could be Chikungunya, another mosquito borne disease that causes fever and joint pain, similar to Dengue Fever. Mosquitoes swarm in Cozumel during the wet months, like October.

I do hate getting sick. I’ve been sick on every continent I’ve visited! There are two left…I wonder what Australia and Antarctica will do to me. For now, I am planning a trip to St. Lucia in December to help do reef and fish surveys. I wonder if there are many mosquitoes in St Lucia. I hope not.ralph-tam-with-manta-excellent-640x480


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About the Author ()

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? I am an Empty Nester who likes to Renew, Revamp, and Reinvent Life! Contact me at

Comments (12)

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  1. Nancy Murphy says:

    You must be spending way too much time above water–those pesky mosquitoes!!!

  2. Travel is such a wonderful past time and for my husband and I, an adventure. I do understand the caution that one needs to take while venturing out of their backyard. When we travel, we educate ourselves on where we’re going whether it be places to eat, stay, tours and above all, what we’ll need to protect ourselves from diseases and other culprits lying in wait.

    I’m happy to hear that you’re feeling better and that a new adventure is just around the corner. Keep us posted with blogs and those fabulous photos of yours. I always look forward to seeing you on Bloglovin!

    Juetta West

  3. I hope your next trip is 100% bug free (in every sense of that word).

  4. That’s my fear, too, especially since even in 3d world countries I won’t take malaria preventative. Glad you’re better!

  5. I get sick each time I travel, too. I honestly believe it’s the icky air recycled throughout the airplanes (or the hacking person sitting nearby!).
    Lisa_GrandmasBriefs recently posted…8 intriguing questions… and answersMy Profile

  6. I hope you feel better fast. I’ve been getting sick the last few times I’ve traveled, too, and I completely agree with Lisa – I’m convinced that disgusting air on the planes is to blame.
    Lois Alter Mark recently posted…california dried plums help support healthy bones!My Profile

  7. Estelle says:

    So sorry to hear you get sick when you travel or afterward. I hate when that happens! I do think it’s the airports!

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