Chiapas, Mexico
November 2016

There are things I am duty-bound to accomplish when I travel. Try the local food. Take pictures to show my friends and family. Get hopelessly lost and discover something new. Buy my friend Karimé a shot glass.

One thing I can’t seem to accomplish is keep myself healthy. I caught bad colds in the Czech Republic, Egypt, and Peru. There were sinus problems in Uruguay. And the past two years, I’ve come home to horrible sinus infections that have led me to try immunotherapy.

I am rarely sick when I am at home, but somehow my immune system lapses when I’m traveling.Despite the regular shots in the arm, despite my arsenal of vitamin C and Benadryl, it has happened again. On the boat returning from the Yaxchilan ruins, I felt a sudden but familiar scratch in the back of my throat. By the time I reached Bonampak, the runny nose was building, followed by sneezing at my hotel in Palenque.

Fortunately, it wasn’t a cold, but sinus problems. I’ve had a head full of snot ever since.

I’m not sure what to do about these ailments. I eat healthy. I drink orange juice every chance I can. I wash my hands. I am rarely sick when I am at home, but somehow my immune system lapses when I’m traveling.

This time I blame the outboard motor on the boat for setting off my sinuses.

Should I take probiotics? See a faith healer? Get acupuncture?

I’m out of answers. I need a remedy.



  1. Happens to me too. At home I am healthy, on vacation I get sick easily.
    Have you considered taking a vitamin drink (I drink “Emergen-C”) on vaca? I take one in the morning and one in the evening on vacation and make sure I get enough fresh air, exercise and enough sleep. I am now doing better.



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