Shaun and Erica, the couple behind Over Yonderlust, are currently making tracks in Central America. Their writing is terrifically thoughtful, entertaining, and often times hilarious, and their blog is rich in media – be sure to check out their wonderful photography and videos. They were a prime interview target, both because of their quality travel content and their propensity for getting sick. We are fortunate to host them here for a day as they answer questions about their trip and their travel health.
1. You guys have been traveling around Central America the past several months. What’s been your favorite place and favorite experience to date?Our favorite place we’ve visited on our trip thus far is Cuba. And not surprisingly, many of our favorite experiences happened there as well. One of the things we loved about that leg of our trip was the fact that we didn’t have a guidebook or access to the internet. Everything we did and everywhere we stayed was recommended to us by friends or locals. Getting a glimpse at what it was like being a traveler before technology and globalization, paired with the fact that Cuba already feels like you went back in time, made for an incredible experience.
2. Your trip looks like it has been a blast so far, but you have also spent more than a few days ill. How have you been getting sick and what’s been the worst experience you’ve had?
Most of what we’ve had to deal with has been gastro bugs, likely from our street food addiction. However, the worst sickness experience of our lives happened on the trip and possibly didn’t have anything to do with food. We planned our trip to pretty much always be in summer as we head South through the Americas. This may sound pretty awful to most people but being from Texas we’re used to the heat. Plus, Erica needs her beach fix. Anyway, what happened to us seemed like a really severe case of heat exhaustion (it could have been food poisoning, but heat exhaustion seemed more likely). We learned very quickly not to underestimate the sun, even if it’s normal to us.
3. By the same token, how have you gotten better? Have you gone to any clinics or seen any doctors while traveling? Pharmacy visits? Or just powering through?
We’ve just been powering through, letting our immune systems build up. We were ready to go to the hospital when we got heat exhaustion, however, the daughter of our casa particular host was a nurse who coached her mom in what she needed to do to help us get through it.4. If you could have done anything differently in terms of your travel health on this trip, what would it have been?
Even with how much we’ve had to deal with on this trip, the only thing we would have done differently (at least from a preparation standpoint) would have been to expand our first aid kit and bring probiotics as well.
5. Lots of people are afraid to travel to tropical and developing world areas because they are afraid of getting sick. You guys have been sick and yet you continue to travel. What are your thoughts on this and what would you say to someone like that?
With every country we plan on visiting, we do quite a bit of research into what diseases/illnesses are prevalent there. We then discuss our options with our awesome travel nurse and get her recommendations on vaccines and/or medication. With this trip, we not only got all the required vaccinations but also a couple other recommended ones like Hep A and B. However, we opted out of Malaria pills due to the negative side effects they can cause. With a little faith in modern medicine and a visit to a local clinic/doctor if you experience any symptoms of the ailments in that area, these fears can be overcome and allow you the freedom to explore the world while having some of the most amazing experiences of your life.
Thank you Shaun and Erica! We hope the rest of your trip is more accommodating to your health. Again, be sure to check out their blog, Over Yonderlust, and find them on twitter at @overyonderlust and on facebook at facebook.com/overyonderlust