And so it starts. I am not entirely sure if travel blogging will be a strength of mine, or if it will just be a way for the few of you who are worried that I am not going to make it home alive, to know that I really will be home in one piece. So it starts. Itchy feet and great shades... the World won't know what hit them.
We're just shy of 4 weeks until our trip. Maybe the best way to start is to introduce the main characters...
Blondey: My beautiful best friend who will be finishing her internship to become a Registered Dietician in a few short weeks. Hence the timing of the trip- she's done February 10 and we will be running off on February 17. She's blonde, bold, honest and loves to experience new things, new people and of course- great food.
The GingCat (aka Kitten): Ging is our little junior traveller. She's 6 years younger than Blondey and I. She's wildly naive and carefree. Ging is also a Dietician and has no idea what she has gotten her self into by agreeing to travel with the Blonde one and I.
The plan: India-Nepal-Thailand. I shouldn't really include Thailand because it's sole purpose is to be an easy break at the end of what I expect to be a challenging (but rewarding) trip through India and Nepal. We peace out of here on February 17...
The planning is pretty much complete. We have our flights. We have our visas (well kind of... a story I will explain later). Packing duties have been delegated to Blondey. Blogging duties delegated to me. The Kitten has not yet been given a task as we're not sure what is the most appropriate for her yet... her inability to properly fill out her Indian Visa forms with both a first AND last name tipped us off that she might be more suitable for being the photogenic one for the trip (love you Ging!)
Now that there is a tid bit of background... today was vaccination day.
Blondey is actually in charge of two things- Packing and Vaccines. Working in a hospital means she was (is) the best candidate to figure out what vaccines are needed for this excursion. Me being completely Type A, I have sent out countless emails requesting these two to get their act together for visas and flights and dates... but I completely ignore B's instructions to go get vaccinated in December. Whoops... sorry buddy.
Vaccines are tricky because it is really up to you what you decide to get. India and Nepal do not currently require Canadians to have proof of any vaccinations (good), however when I got to my appointment at the Travel Clinic (I went to Preventous in Calgary- Jamie is great and super helpful) I received a 50 page book on all of the travel health precautions! Long story longer- go see a travel nurse. One of three things will happen: 1. You realize you're a hypochondriac and due to that, your trip to the travel clinic will cost you in excess of $500; 2. You turn anti-establishment and decide that sterile baby syndrome is the root cause of all of this disease and you walk away with a $60 booklet on things you think can be cured with penicillin; or 3. You elect to forego Rabies (even though you are terrified of monkey's and have had several close encounters which could have required a rabies shot), you skip out on anything that has 5 syllables in the name, partially because its expensive and partially because it is uncommon where you're going, and you pick the run-of-the-mill standards: Hep A, Typhoid, Polio and Influenza. You don't need Infulenza or Polio... and India even announced last week that they are officially polio free (hooray!), but as Jamie so sweetly said, "you're getting two needles any way, might as well get a few more". (side note: even tho polio is covered in your childhood vaccines, they are recommending a booster for anyone over 18. And the flu shot... to each their own... but it was free... who doesn't like free stuff?). Jamie also hooked me up with a prescription for Azithromycin. Its an "emergency" prescription in the event I end up super sick on the trip. Really just an insurance measure as she called it. I have also elected to skip out on the malaria pills, as we aren't going to be in regions where the risk is anything other than an insect transmission risk. I expect a little bit of DEET will be necessary... a terrible replacement to my amazing Fredric Malle Musc Ravageur, however I suppose that DEET could be known by a similar name.
For all the travelling I have done- this is the first trip I have taken as an adult that I have gotten any type of vaccines for. I have been to Asia (countless times) and Central America in the past three years and haven't bothered to get anything. India and Nepal make me slightly more concerned about getting ill... and even tho it seems a bit pricey, it is worth the investment. There... my sales pitch for the day has been completed.
Needless to say- my arm was a pincushion this afternoon. My suggestion- get them in the arm you use the most. It hurts to use my right arm- but it shouldn't be stiff for too long as I am using it all the time. However atm, I can't put my hair in a pony tail.
Hope you enjoy my ranting updates. I am reasonably confident that the posts will be sporadic and likely emotional. Over the course of the next few months you can expect lots of touchy feely and probably a lot of fml ranting. Either way- enjoy.
be good or be good at it,