Looking after your health when you’re traveling

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Travel is an exciting prospect at any time. There are few better ways to exercise your freedom than to get out there and see as much of the world as possible. As the old saying goes, travel really does broaden the mind, and there’s no doubt it’s an enriching experience. If there is one caveat that you should keep in mind when getting ready to travel for an extended period, though, it’s that wherever you go in the world, you’re still human, and just as things can go wrong when you’re right at home, they can also turn against you when you’re on the move.

This is particularly important when it comes to your health. There are things that can go wrong with your health and wellness because you’re on the move, for sure, but there are also the little things, like bouts of illness, that can happen at the wrong time. And while you know perfectly well what to do if you fall ill at home or at work, it can be more of a test if the same thing happens while you’re halfway across the world. The following are some tips on keeping your physical and mental health in check when you’re on the move.

Invest in the best insurance

When you’re in a new country, all of the exciting things about that place are likely to dominate your thinking, but you need to make some space for what happens in a medical emergency. To make a long story short, you need to know in advance what your rights and options are if you get sick in a specific country.

Each place has its own healthcare system with its own intricacies, and you have to be aware of what those are. On top of this, you should make sure you are covered by the most comprehensive health and travel insurance, so if you need acute medical care in any country, you can access it readily.

The best healthcare is self-care

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to your physical and mental health. This is something that is of particular importance when you’re a digital nomad. When you’re working on the road, it’s likely that you’ll be taking a “working to live” attitude to things, which prioritises getting your work done so you can enjoy more of your surroundings. However, this shouldn’t mean that you hunch over a laptop in some cramped space rushing off a report so you can go somewhere.

You still need to prioritize comfort and ergonomics; when you’re finding time to work, make sure that includes finding a space where you can work – don’t place yourself at risk of back, neck and shoulder problems that could derail your travel.

Understand the mental health challenges of traveling

Overseas travel can be extremely life-affirming; that’s why we do it. Some of the best memories you’ll have when you’re 80 will include the carefree moments you spent meeting new people and having new experiences.

However, there is a risk of romanticizing these times as being uncomplicatedly fun. That’s not the whole story; sometimes, when traveling, you’ll feel homesick. You might feel rootless, which can be exciting, but can also present questions about the future. At times, you’re going to feel low, and it’s essential to have a way of dealing with that. Having access to counseling, if that helps you, will make a difference. Ensure that you can have an appointment, via telehealth or over the phone if necessary. Also, make sure that you can get hold of medication if you need it, and know when it’s time to head home and give travel a break if it’s getting too tough.

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