Elizabeth the Island Enthusiast

a celebration of unconventional adventures

Tag: Sick While Traveling

Down Under & Out of Commission

Hello all – apologies on the lack of activity on here in the past week. Just as I started to overcome my culture shock from arriving in Australia a little over a week ago, I came down with a NASTY case of strep throat that essentially rendered me bedridden the past 6 days. If it didn’t feel so lame, I’d probably still be in bed right now (I’m not in Australia to lie around in bed all day, after all!).

Because my head was throbbing incessantly (not to mention a variety of other unpleasant physical problems), I let myself take a week off from writing and staring at a screen for extended periods at a time.

That didn’t stop me from writing something though…

I’ve found terrible, terrible moments and/or illnesses often inspire some pretty good bad poetry (the only kind of poetry I excel at).

So, I present to you…


Oh, the pain
So severe
My lymph nodes
Can be seen quite clear
Oh, so much pain in my throat
I’m really not one to gloat
But my tonsils appear exemplary
Compared to WebMD’s symptom image dictionary
Damn you, streptococcal
You make it impossible to swallow more than a spoon-full
I could go on and on in prose
About the fluids spilling from my nose
Caused by the dis-functioning in my mouth
Let’s just say I’ve been drooling more, since heading south
When will I recover?
Not for 6-10 days, I gather
Fingers crossed the fever’s gone
I don’t like tossing and turning until the break of dawn
The worst part of having strep throat yet?
It’s just so inconvenient…


Earl Grey Tea – my best friend for the past week

I’ll save the other really good bad poem I wrote a few years ago entitled “My Hangover” for another occasion…

It’s Not All Sunshine and Rainbows.

To those who claim they’re jealous of what I’m doing – please know it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

Yesterday I endured my third experience in an island hospital (and no one ever wants to end up in an island hospital…), after spending the previous night vomiting my brains out from who-knows-what. Now everything smells weird, and I find myself missing my stale hospital bed, only because that’s the first time I’ve felt genuinely ‘cool’ in weeks…

Trying to recover from a hefty fever sans air conditioning feels similar to trying to stay completely dry while standing in a violent rainstorm sans umbrella or poncho. It’s just really, really, really not fun.


But, even despite the puking, and the heat, and the lack of hydration, I shouldn’t complain.

As I watched a series of welts from painful, itchy insect bites grow on my arms earlier this afternoon, I found myself thinking, well, it could be worse… I could be chained to a desk, staring at an excel spreadsheet right now…

Sick Day? Nahhhhhhhh

Getting sick happens to the best of us… Unfortunately, it seems to happen to me far too often, especially while traveling internationally. No matter how many vitamins, special immunity serums or zinc tablets I take, some foreign bug always makes its way into my system.

This time around, thankfully, all that’s plaguing me is some strange sinus infection/head cold hybrid, accompanied by these bizarre fever dreams while trying to sleep the past several days, in which I believed someone was trying to nudge me awake all night long. Kinda freaky.

Having a bad case of sniffles in the tropics also feels oddly inappropriate. How on earth did I catch a cold here?

The smallest tub of ice cream I could find... But damn was it exactly what I needed

The smallest tub of ice cream I could find… But damn was it exactly what I needed

Despite being bedridden for the past three days, I will take this any day over last year’s nasty several-week-long bout of e coli, caught from some bad tap water down on the Coral Coast. I’ll save that story for another time…

As long as I don’t end up in an island hospital again, that’s all I care about. Trust me – no one ever wants to end up in an island hospital.

The island hospital I wound up in last year... When I drove by it last week, it actually appears to be shut down now, perhaps from Cyclone Winston damage

The island hospital I wound up in last year… When I drove by it last week, it actually appears to be shut down now, perhaps from Cyclone Winston damage

I forced myself to venture out of the house earlier today for the first time all week, just to buy Kleenex, Powerade and ice cream. Getting to wander around for a bit was nice, but almost having a fainting spell in the center of downtown Lautoka quickly reminded me I’m far from invincible.

I probably should continue to take it easy for the next day or so, as sad as that makes me… I desperately just want to feel good again so I can go out and explore!

LautokaWaterfall LautokaTree LautokaRoad ExploringLautoka

So, even though I’m still technically ‘sick’ and very much out of commission, I did my best to make today a relatively productive travel-planning day, and finally got my flights booked from Suva to Taveuni Island later in August.

I don’t even know much about Taveuni Island yet, other than that it’s Fiji’s third-largest island, home to scenic waterfalls and enticingly known as the “Garden Island of Fiji,” probably due to the island’s lush abundant tropical rainforests. Doesn’t sound like a bad place to spend a week.

After that, I’ll be heading over to Fiji’s second-largest island Vanua Levu for a while, where I’ll likely be volunteering for the remainder of my time in Fiji. Plans are still in the works, but I can already tell it’ll be an extraordinary adventure…

Just gotta get heal up first! UFF DA.