I Can’t Stomach It On My Travels

Travel is not all about seeing new places, eating interesting foods and meeting new people. As with all the good things in life, it also comes with the bad things in life. Stomach bugs.

I had previously written about how I discovered seasickness on my travels and the time I got eaten alive by mosquitoes in the Alps. Here, I want to take you on the wild adventures of stomach bugs.

Those of us with sensitive stomachs, travel prep is a mixed bag of excitement and also some thoughts of “here we go again”. It’s the fear of having to move towns or cities whilst ill, being stuck on public transport or simply finding yourself in a foreign country and knowing that it’s going to be harder to seek help or medication.

Let’s start off with the tale of Delhi belly. I was a young lass when I went to India (in my early 20s). Delhi belly is a thing for a reason. Although this bug didn’t affect me when I was physically in Delhi, a few days later on our trip around cities in Northern India, it hit. The only thing I could eat was plain rice and luckily there was plenty. Fortunately, my stomach wasn’t agreeable right after I ate so toilet adventures were not had. The bug passed in a few days and there were no other symptoms and I was back on the curry for breakfast train again. With all the delicious food available, you don’t want to have too many days off.

Amber Fort In Jaipur

Next trip, I blame the 3 flights in 24 hours to get me to Prague. I really think it’s something to do with the air travel that gets me sick immediately once I reach my destination. I was on my first grocery shop only a few hundred metres from my airbnb and wasn’t feeling so good. I made it a quick trip and ate the blueberries I had gotten once I got back to my room. And those blueberries came right back up again. Luckily, I was in my room so went to bed and slept it off. Did not get sick again for the entire trip. Weird!

John Lennon Wall in Prague

Another ‘just got off the plane’ sickness. I’d landed in Mexico City and aside from jetlag, was ready for my first tacos. The next morning, I was eating a banana in the hotel room when I started to feel alittle off. The banana didn’t stay in my stomach for long. The most painful part was that I had already booked tickets to the Frida Kahlo museum later that day. These tickets need to be booked weeks in advance so there was no way, I was letting this pass. Morning activities were cancelled whilst I slept some more. By afternoon, I had some strength and travelled on the metro and walked stopping to catch my breath and potentially throw up on some gorgeous street trees. I made it, without fertilising any trees along the way and got to enjoy the museum and gardens with some resting in between. I was fine the next day (bizarre!).

First tacos in Mexico City

Have you had your fair share of stomach bugs on any of your trips?

29 thoughts on “I Can’t Stomach It On My Travels

  1. For some reason, when I read stomach bug, I just knew that India had to be in the list somewhere. I myself have been fortunate that during my time there, I never really got in trouble where the stomach was concerned. Great post here. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I don’t recall having a case of the stomach bug before, but I’ve had upset stomachs due to heat, over-eating, and indigestion. No fun whatsoever, anyway…another “bug” to be careful of during travels are bed-bugs, which are the devil’s spawn, by the way!

    1. Oh I’ve also had upset stomach due to heat which is weird considering how hot it can get here in summer. I haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing bed bugs yet. Can you see them? Or are they invisible to the eyes?

      1. You can see them, but they tend to be active at night when you sleep. They’re about the size of a thumbtack and reddish from blood they drink, and are absolutely disgusting!

  3. There must be something about the air on planes… Also, be aware of foreign water!
    When we moved to Australia I was sick a lot in the first year. Same with hubby in Berlin the other way around. I think we might just not be used to certain germs.
    Cool you made it to Frida though!

  4. I sympathize with you. It’s awful feeling sick at the best of times, much less when traveling. I’ve been extremely lucky to not have food related sickness. I make up for it with sea-sickness though. Now I know to either avoid or come prepared with Gravol.

  5. I get ill absolutely everywhere I go, so totally relate to this post. Mine is less stomach bug and more travel sick though….Arriving in St Lucia I vomited multiple times out of the taxi window taking us to the hotel; on arrival to our resort in the Maldives I threw up in the plane, then in to the sea as we disembarked; in Munich I threw up on the metro; in Sicily I came down so ill I couldn’t leave the hotel for 2 days after arrival and my worst of all moments…..this one an actual bug, I got an infection from dodgy food, went in to complete renal failure, spent a week in an Egyptian hospital hallucinating hippos and ended up on an emergency flight home ready for a kidney transplant. I honestly daren’t risk India.
    Also super jealous you made it to Frida!!!
    Just as well travel is so amazing it means we put ourselves through it!!! 🙂

    1. Oh my goodness Hannah. Have you tried every remedy under the sun? Travel sickness must be the worst- do you get it in cars?
      Ah! Hope the kidney transplant went ok back home? What a horrible way to have to return home.
      To get to see the world- totally worth it hahaha!

      1. Yup, the tablets, the arm bands, acupuncture 😂 I do get in cars but always try to drive….if not I just bring a bowl!
        Yes all totally fine now thank you, it was very scary at the time but years later I can laugh about it 😊 oh the joys of travel!

  6. Oh Sophie, this is not good. I wonder if it is something on the planes that upsets your stomach. I have been pretty lucky although did once get a stomach bug 24 hours after landing in Norway! So maybe a fellow passenger on the plane using the toilet before me? We were very careful with food in Nepal and were okay, but many others we met got really sick. Same with a friend in Mexico. @travellinghan – your experience sounds truly awful. The worry of getting correct medical attention in a foreign country must be anxiety provoking. I am not familiar with the Kahlo museum but from the comments it must be something. Off to check it out.

    1. I really think so! I normally avoid any chicken options now just incase. Perhaps it is also all the germs and small space we’re all in. I’m also pretty careful with food too but still end up sometimes getting some sort of bug. Luckily all have passed within a day or so.

      1. A blessing that your immunity is strong enough to bounce back fast! I always take plenty of Vitamin C with me, but on occasions, especially when confined in a bus or plane, I might catch a viral infection from a fellow passenger no matter how careful I am.

    2. Ah thank you, yes it was so scary and I was only 20 at the time. I can laugh about it now, but when I go away somewhere unfamiliar I always research medical care beforehand. Travel definitely has its ups and downs! 😊

  7. Oh my, these all sound so awful! Luckily I have never had such cases, but I am always a bit scared of these things. I actually got sick once in the plane to Tokyo and it was such an awful experience, I wouldn’t wish it to anyone… I thought it was airtravel that made me sick but it turned out I got “food” poisoning from… water, from a water bottle that I bought at the airport! The first 3 days in Tokyo, where I wanted to eat everything but my body couldn’t were just the worst!!

    1. Oh getting sick on the plane would be so uncomfortable! How bizarre that it was from the water from the aiport. I really hate it when I want Sydney water in my bottle but when I arrive for a layover- they don’t allow water to board the next flight. That just means you’ll need to go back to eat what you missed out on.

  8. I’ve been pretty lucky (and careful about what and where I eat) in terms of stomach illness, although I did have a spot of Delhi belly a couple of years ago. I have, however, been plagued with bed bugs and have had some allergic reactions. Terrible!

  9. I’ve been very fortunate – never really taken ill on any travels, not even in India (which is where I thought I might suffer a little) and I forgot to brush my teeth with bottled water a few times, using tap water without thinking!!

    I did have a bit of a bad belly in Morocco for a while – didn’t expect that. 🥴

      1. Thanks – no, thankfully we still managed to get out and about- but soon started taking upset stomach salts/tablets etc, each morning and evening to try and keep it under control.😝

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