I called this Pre-Travel Stress and Your Body, but really, I mean pre-travel stress and MY body. It’s just a week before I leave the country and even though I’ve had over a year to mentally prepare, my body is rebelling in every fashion. I’ve done everything I can think of to save myself pain and anguish abroad. Nothing so far has reached any dreadful conclusions but my body seems to think otherwise. Don’t worry though, I’ve included safe pictures, like these beautiful desserts from Prezzos.
Here is a bunch of things that your body is bound to do just before a trip of a lifetime, and I’m talking from experience.
1. Cold Sores (or Coleslaws)
I’ve put this at number one because, believe it or not, it’s VERY common (about 6 in 10 people carry the virus) but still a very sensitive subject. Lots of people suffer with HSV. It’s not a life threatening disease but it carries a lot of stigma. HSV 1 is pretty much sociably acceptable, but HSV 2 automatically makes you skanky/ a whore/ dirty. Herpes in the form of HSV 2, is nasty business. Painful, recurrent and transmitted through sex. HSV 1 can be picked up from glasses and kissing people with forming sores.
Personally, I was lucky enough to scrape by with HSV 1. But like glitter, I’ve managed to get it everywhere. I struggle with herpes upstairs, downstairs and even in my ears! Yes, really.
But please believe me, catching herpes is not the end of the world. Cold sores are uncomfortable but they’re not fatal. They tend to come up when you’re stressed or exposed to a drastic change in temperature, so keep affected areas well moisturised and protected from the sun.
How do I combat cold sores upstairs, downstairs and in my ears?
- Lots of sleep
- Vaseline (downstairs) and coldsore cream like Zovirax (upstairs)
- Wear cotton knickers if you’ve got it down under
- Lots of fruit and veg
- Limit your alcohol intake
- DON’T PICK IT
You know.. like, eye styes? I’ve not had a stye since I was tiny, and suffered with conjuctivitis… like every day. But this week, I grew a stye on the bottom eyelid of my right eye. It served to cause me much aggrivation and a very puffy eye. From what I can gather it was probably caused by poor eye hygeine. Call me disgusting but in the mornings I give my face a quick rub and rush down to work. I’ve been wearing make up more lately with all the outings and I think the left over eyeliner left on my eye has encouraged a stye to develop.
How did I fix my stye?
- Cleaned my eyelash lines with warm water
- Waited it out, the swelling and pain subsided within the week
3. The Travel Spot
These are the bain of my existence. My skin isn’t great anyway, but as soon as an event arises, my face and back become smothered in tiny little yellow heads. Blotchiness comes first, which has me picking at red pimples all over my body. Then comes greasy yellow heads. And then… the infamous Travel Spot.
Before any big adventure I get one particular spot, that resembles more of a boil (or a second head). It comes up on my chin, on the right hand side, never gets a head but simmers below the surface. Never to be squeezed succesfully, and stealing all the limelight in all the holiday pictures I own. It comes up, without fail, every time I travel and ALWAYS in the exact same place.
How do I deal with The Travel Spot? I’ve tried everything and toothpaste doesn’t work.
- Drink a lot of water
- Stop touching your face (I noticed it wasn’t quite so big after I jacked in biting my nails)
- Don’t panic, succumbing to the stress of The Travel Spot will only make it worse
- Apply witch hazel or Grease Lightening (picked up in Lush)
4. Nail Biting
I know, I know. I just said I stopped biting my nails. But in any stressful situation I slip into my bad habits. Preparing to travel, I suppose, is a stressful situation. On the surface I feel unphased about our plans, but somewhere deep inside me it must be causing havoc. Every now and then, I catch myself biting my nails.
It’s very upsetting. For as long as I can remember I’ve been called Sausage Fingers. My hands need the length that nails give them.
So how do I stop myself from biting my nails?
- Paint your nails
- File broken nails IMMEDIATELY
- Keep yourself busy with other things
5. Irritable Bowel
I’m not going to proclaim that I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (though I think I probably do), I’m just going to put it out there that when something as big, exciting and STRESSFUL as travel comes into my life, I suffer. With horrendous inner turmoil of the bowel variety. The best thing to do is try and pin point what triggers your poos.
Mine is any kind of spicy of food. Dad suffers when he over indulges in fatty foods.
What to do when your stomach hates you?
- Drink loads of water
- Avoid foods that trigger your poos (normally things like caffeine and chillis) unless of course you can deal with serious toilet time in about 12 hours
- Don’t hold it in, Immodium is made for people on 24 hour bus rides that have no toilets
- If you feel dehydrated, crack out a blackcurrent Diarolyte
- Don’t venture far from the toilet
And there we have it, a run down of all the things I’m currently suffering with. I know it’s not exactly ladylike to discuss one’s bowel movements but everyone loves a good poo story. And I want some sympathy.