Staying Healthy While Travelling: What to Pack to Prevent the Flu.

Hubs got tonsillitis a few days ago on our Vietnam trip. Swollen throat accompanied a hideous fever, pounding headache, phlegmy sinuses and itchy everything (read: Man Flu). As his symptoms dawned on him, it dawned on me that we’d been drinking the same water and smooching and stuff. As we tend to do.

So I started a germ attack that the Viet Cong would’ve been proud of. As hubs struggled through the Cu Chi jungle, coughing and wheezing and being all round miserable, I begun to plan my wellness mission.

When we got back to Saigon city that night I launched my first missile.

I rallied the troops, setting out a small command army of SAS on the hotel floor – tiny bottles of health.

In my hiking pack back at the hotel, I found a tiny bottle of immunological potency. Oregano oil. I dabbed a drop under my tongue with my finger and felt the tingling effects in my head immediately.

My pack also held a bottle of baking soda (for washing my hair and for germ emergencies like these). I mixed a teaspoon of the white powder in a cup of water and gulped it down. I did this three times a day for the next few days, to alkalinise my body – bring it back into balance.

Of course, one of the little bottles was coconut oil (because it has 101 uses at the very least). Coconut oil is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. I swilled it around in my mouth and spat it out a few times a day and applied some to my tonsils to soothe my throat.

I ate noni fruit leather from Oahu island in two inch squares to reduce inflammation.

The next day, hubs stayed in bed. My tonsils were swollen and my nose opened up like the sky does each afternoon when the Vietnam rains arrive. But I never got the fever or headaches like hubs did. And it didn’t get worse.

While he wallowed I wandered.

I trundled around HCMC, using the natural wonders on the street to boost my immune response and prevent further enemy attacks. I drank the water and milk sucked from fresh young coconuts sliced open with machetes on the street. I found Indochine Spa where I had a steam bath to clear my sinuses. I bought Lavender essential oil from the market and had a hot bath when I returned to the hotel that night. Lavender is a powerful healing herb.

Copious fresh local fruit from ladies in bamboo hats walking along beside me and rau mong vegetables snatched from festering coals in metal baskets in the gutters helped to build up immunity against hubs’ germs.

Meanwhile hubs was “dying” from Man Flu in our hotel room. I was sucking up Saigon into my cells – the disgusting smells, the aromatic tastes, the honking scooters and foreign tongue that I couldn’t wrap my mind around – to keep forever with me.

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