Yes, believe it or not, I am back again after a loooong time of no posts! I have no real reason for not posting except that I couldn't think of anything to post that might be interesting to anyone.
I'm in the middle of preparations for a 3 week trip to India starting mid-March. I've been to 5 or 6 other countries (or trips with multiple countries), and I don't remember having to do as many preparatory things as I have this time. Not even when going to China. Strange. Maybe it's because I booked this trip last May, and I've been looking forward to it for so long.
In any case, I went into Reno a couple of days ago, and got my travel vaccinations. Tetanus booster, Typhoid, and Japanese Encephalitis. It seems most illnesses in India are either related to contaminated food or water, or mosquito/insect bites. And would you believe that these three vaccinations cost me more than $500.00? I couldn't either, and I still need to get another J.E. vaccine in a month! I also have to visit my primary MD before I leave to get prescriptions for possible "Delhi Belly" (traveler's diarrhea), and malaria prevention. Did you know that you have to take your malaria prophylaxis two days before you leave, all during your trip, and for a MONTH afterwards? I sure didn't. Then you have to get prepared for the yeast infection sure to occur while on the malaria prophylaxis. Yay. Can't wait for that! I sure hope my health insurance covers prescriptions for travel. Today I ordered the suggested DEET containing bug lotion, and Permethrin containing spray to apply to clothing and bedding. Hmm, there's another $25.00 to add to the tally. With all this preparation, those pesky mosquitos shouldn't be able to get within a mile of me! Rabies vaccines? No, I think I'll just plan on staying away from bats, monkeys, and any dogs that have a crazy look in their eyes, thanks. It's a good thing I've already had my flu shot and TB test at work, for free. Also no need for a pneumonia vaccine since my immune system is healthy. One of the advantages to working in a hospital: I'm exposed to so many various germs I think my immune system could kill almost anything.
Also recommended are water purification tablets and/or self filtering water bottle. Sorry, I'm going to stick with sealed bottled water on this one. $70-100.00 for a special bottle seems a little paranoid. I'm willing to make sure the seals are good.
Then there's the clothing. You don't live with me, but I pretty much live in my pajamas when I'm home. When it's hot, I stay inside with the air conditioning on, and when it's cold I stay inside with the furnace on. Easy, right? India in March/April will be hot; in the 80's to 90's. I can deal with that; it gets up to the 100's here in the summer. However, India is much more conservative regarding women's clothing. No short shorts, no low necklines, and no bare arms. But, I also don't want to look like a typical sloppy American tourist in jeans and tee shirts. So off I go (to Sam's Club. I have to conserve money somewhere) and I spend probably $150.00 on knee length shorts, 3/4 sleeve tops, and a bathing suit that hopefully covers all my embarrassing parts. Oh, and half a dozen new pairs of undies. I AM going to be gone for three weeks. I'm not sure what I think about some poor person having to pound my underwear on a rock to wash them if I don't have enough to get through the trip.
Today, I went to Costco for a much needed eye exam and new glasses. (Again, trying to save money) I'm definitely in that middle-age period where your eyes change AGAIN. Like my eyes weren't bad enough to start with, right? Turns out I can get back into contacts, but I still need to get new lenses and frames for use in case I lose the contacts and also while they're having the heavy-duty weekly cleaning. Oh, and don't forget the sunglasses to wear with the contacts because my eyes become more light sensitive. There's another $500.00. (Ugh.) And I thought the trip itself was the expensive part. Sheesh.
I also decided to purchase a worldwide cell phone in case of emergency or death. Because of course US phones don't work anywhere else in the world. Basic bones pay-as-you-go cell phone and GSM card: $29.95. Charge for incoming calls or texts: Free. Cool! However the phone has a UK number, so the person calling will probably be charged like crazy. Outgoing calls: $3.75 per minute. Yikes. I guess I won't be calling home except to make sure the phone works. But at least if someone is in a car crash or dies I'll find out right away. It will still take me three days to get home. Oh well.
Boy, I'm glad I have an understanding spouse. However, I think this will be my last trip abroad for several years. Stay tuned for more adventures in travel!