Wednesday, 6 December 2017

"I fainted in a burger shop after an overdose": 3 times I ended up in hospital abroad

Warning: Disgusting details and vomit-inducing stories ahead!

So, it turns out I have a habit of getting ill in the least convenient places in the world. Why? Well, read on to find out:

1. Yangon, Burma (2014).
Ah Burma: at the time it was possibly one of the most beautiful and friendly countries I had ever been to. But, with that said, it is not the type of place you want to have to end up taking a trip to the hospital. While the treatment is likely to be cheap, it will not necessarily be the best. 

So what happened? Well, I believe I was bitten by a spider (or spiders) in the Philippines, then every mosquito bite I got after that somehow got severely infected! I had about 10 of them over my body, and every time I accidentally knocked them against anything, the bites exploded and pus just went everywhere. It felt like they were never going to stop spreading and I was in a constant state of agony. 

After some internal debate on what was the best move, I was fortunate enough to track down an international private clinic. Here, I was treated by two doctors and a nurse, and it only cost £40 for the consultation, cleaning, dressing, and two swabs to be sent off and analysed. I was told not to leave Yangon for three days before my results came, but I had only gone to Burma to see Bagan, so I cut my trip there short and made it back in time for the results and medication. 

The worst part is that I had delayed my flight back to the UK for two weeks because I wanted to learn to dive in Koh Tao, but after developing this infection I was told not to go in water for one month - my hopes of diving were over! Thankfully, I ended up in Thailand back in the summer of 2016 and squeezed it in then, but it was very upsetting at the time (first world problems). I also still have the scars on my legs today. (Before and after pictured below).

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Why do I travel?

Greetings fellow traveller!

My name is Scarlett, or at least I pretend it is, and I'm 23 years old. So why Scarlett I hear you ask? Here's a fun story for you - my mum was going to call me Scarlett, but I was born in an ambulance so they called me Amber. My father joked my middle name should be lance... but thankfully mum put her foot down!

Anyway, I digress! My parents always enjoyed taking us travelling as children - instead of stops at resorts in Miami, with four children to cater for, we went on long-distance camping trips all over Europe in a van we dubbed 'the mystery machine' (for its similarities to the one used in Scooby-Doo)! Further, at 11 years old, my parents picked up my life and moved our family over to Canada. After a hard year, we decided to return home. My eldest sister fell in love and stayed out there, she still lives there today with two children and a husband, so I always have an excuse to visit. But on the whole, my parents are a large part of why I love exploring the world so much, and hearing about my mother's stories from her youth inspired me to do the same.

But why did I decide to continue travelling without them? Well,  aged 17, I picked up my best friend Olivia on the morning of our exam results and we stopped at McDonald's to calm our nerves. In our glass half empty approach to life that morning, we discussed what we would do if we failed. We jointly concluded we would just get up and leave, escape the stress, and travel around Southeast Asia. At that moment in time it felt like such an odd concept, we did not have any friends that had been travelling, and it felt like we would be the only people in the world that had gone to Southeast Asia at such a young age. Of course, this was entirely naive in hindsight, but we definitely were the youngest people in every group we met, hence the blog name "Never Too Young To Travel".

But that's skipping ahead... anyway, needless to say, we both passed our AS level exams with flying colours, but the fun thoughts we had of chilling on a Thai beach and riding motorbikes through Vietnam lingered in the back of our minds. That is, until we realised this didn't have to be a pipe dream, with hard work we could do this.