As our friends and family now know – David got sick. At first we were very worried that it was heatstroke, which can be pretty serious. He had a fever that would not go down and the longer it lasted the more I was getting concerned. All kinds of crazy ideas were running through my mind. Clearly our itinerary was changing. The slow boat to Laos was out (no way was I taking a sick person on a three day excursion with no easy medical access). Did we need to cancel the trip altogether?
Thankfully after a dramatic visit to the hospital in Chiang Mai we found out that David did not have heatstroke (which can cause neurological damage, so you can see why I was worried), but instead had the flu. Yes, I know, of all the vaccinations we got before we left, the flu jab was not one of them, and naturally he caught it. The flu shot only became available at pharmacies the week before we left and I was worried that it would be more likely to make us sick pre-departure than be helpful. I was wrong.
Long story short, yes it was the flu. Yes, we needed him to rest for a few days and take antibiotics. No, we were not going to make the slow boat. In fact, we’d probably have to cut Luang Prabang, a town that we’ve dreamt for months about visiting, off of our itinerary.
After a very short (15 minute) personal pity party, I reminded myself that HEALTH above all else is the most important thing. Sure, we were going to miss out on a great town, but so what? Sure, our expenses were going to go up a little bit what with buying a flight (I was not taking the man on an overnight bus journey for at least a week or so), but that’s why you have emergency funds. If you can’t afford an emergency fund, you can’t afford to travel. Besides, do you know how much our trip to the hospital cost? I was bracing myself for the big-ticket expense. In Canada, a trip for a non-resident to the hospital will run you around $800 per day in Calgary. Chiang Mai? $35. INCLUDING antibiotics. Seriously? Can’t be bad. He was even given his meds in a little brown bag with cord handles, like a goodie bag at a party.
So, what next? With David being either bed-bound or minimally active for the next week, I had to figure out how to keep myself busy. We’d already visited all of the sights on our to-see list, so I had to create a new list. Here’s what I came up with:
- Wander aimlessly, discover, take pictures
- Drink coffee
- Edit my book (again)
- Write blog posts
- Remind myself that plans are just that, plans.
I thought it wasn’t too shabby, in the end. Here’s some photos of what we got up to.
There was one yoga class (no photo) that left me sore from attempted handstands, many coffees, about 60 pages of my book were edited, posts were written and David recovered enough for us to do the 100km Samoeng loop via scooter. He’s even going to be dabbling in blogging and sharing his experience as the rider in an upcoming post. Yay, David!
It just goes to show that even when hiccups happen, especially to ‘A’ type personalities, you CAN make the most of it. All that matters is that David is feeling much better.
As I write this, we’re sat in the airport in Luang Prabang (we did end up visiting it… at least the airport!), and I’m reignited with the energy of making it to a new country and a new destination. Travel is about the hiccups and what you end up doing when plans fall through. We’re excited.
Have you ever had a trip go sideways, but ultimately work out?