• Brian D. Hinson

Sick in Mozambique

On a seven-nation tour of southern Africa, I got sick in Mozambique. The rest of the crew took off from our hostel and did cool things; cool things which I have since forgotten.

But one of those days I felt up to making it down to the beach with my camera and observing the life of the fishermen and their families. I also played with one guy’s dog for a while. That was all I felt up to: shooting pics and throwing a stick for a dog.


Sometimes, something you ate will throw you back a day or too. I always take a kit with me that includes Cipro (great for bacteria in your digestive tract) and Imodium. Don’t take it too hard when a travel illness lays you down. You might miss a few days. I’d rather be sick abroad than healthy and at work. Do what you can do and don’t push it. Take the time to recover.

This is harder to do on a mountain trek, for instance, but even in that case, your guide can make arrangements, even if it’s just finding someone to hang out with you as the rest of the group travels on. In one case in Nepal, one of my trekking comrades got so sick the guide rented him a donkey to ride for a couple of days.

Sick happens. But to remove most of the risks, there’s something I recommend. Hit up a travel clinic two months before departure. They will cook up a list of vaccinations, prepare a travel kit for your trip. Always included in mine is the Cipro and Imodium. There’s been malaria prophylactics in others. It’s tailored for your trip, your environment, your duration of stay. I personally use Passport Health.

Travel insurance is cheap, so don’t skip that one. If you need a hospital, you don’t want to be billed out of pocket. You can get the kind that will airlift you out of the wilderness. There’s a lot of options.

Take care of yourself. Take precautions. But if shit happens, don’t get all depressed about it. Lie on a beach if you can.

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