“The rewards of the journey far outweigh the risk of leaving the harbor.”

I was recently in a conversation about whether or not vaccinations were suggested or required for Italy.  They are not, at least for those of us who have already had routine immunizations.  This is something that I made sure to check before I went.  That may sound silly to some of you, but before I travel I do try to ensure to the best of my ability a safe and happy voyage.  Getting recommended shots is just the smart thing to do.

I enjoyed this query because most people would never think to ask about vaccinations for Europe.  Many should, however, as this article points out.  Many more, naturally, have asked if or what shots are needed for India. ‘ A lot’ is the best answer I can give.  I had vaccinations for polio, Hepatitis series, tetanus, and Japanese Encephalitis the first round.  Second round was just JE and I have still yet one more round in October for Hep.  They suggested rabies but I felt my circumstances did not warrant it.

These are just the shots, mind you.  I also need to wash my clothes in Deet, wear lots of protective lotion while I am there, take Malaria meds almost constantly.  This is just to reduce the risk of serious illness.  There is still a very real chance I could get Dengue Fever or the like.

All this is nothing compared to the constant threat of ingesting something undesirable.  I have a prescription for that, as well, to reduce the chance that I will get sick enough to have to be air lifted to Singapore.  Should I get (very) sick in India, I cannot go to the local hospitals due to the extremely unsanitary conditions.

And yet I was actually surprised when those closest to me turned out to be not my greatest support in this endeavor but some of my biggest detractors.  I truly love them all the more for not giving a damn about others’ welfare so long as I am safe.  Everyone should have such amazing people in their lives.  Knowing how well-cared for I am allows me to go out into the world with less concern for myself because they have that covered.  They love me in a way I did not expect, but it turns out in a way that I really need.

I understand that I am putting myself in harm’s way.  I am going, come Hell or High Water.  Or illness, parasites, poop, or bad smells.  I will probably get at least a little sick.  I will be tired, hungry, dirty, and homesick.  If the greater the risk, the greater the reward, then I can’t wait!

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4 Comments on ““The rewards of the journey far outweigh the risk of leaving the harbor.””

  1. amy jones says:

    Great post

    • DavidKeifert says:

      This makes me nervous. Like no matter how prepared I am, it’s still not going to be enough.

      • jodibingham says:

        Don’t be nervous. Just know that we will probably get sick, at least a little. But, if prepared and cautious, hopefully not a lot.

  2. Insure if you do get shots that they are mercury free. They use mercury as a preservative in many vaccines. If you get a lot of shots, it will definitely make you feel sick for a few days. This is why I avoid flu shots. I always feel sick after and it’s because of the mercury preservative used in the vaccines.

    From the CDC website “Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative used in some vaccines and other products since the 1930’s. There is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure.” http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/thimerosal/

    I’ve also read about DEET and how that can be bad for you as well, but will keep the bugs off. I haven’t done a whole lot of research on DEET. I wonder if there’s a natural alternative. There are plants that naturally repel most bugs. Maybe with a little research there may be a lotion or spray made from those plants? I think Mandy did some research on this a while back.

    If you can find some local honey, it will help with any allergies that may form from the introduction of new plants and pollens your body has never seen before.


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