Now, I’ve travelled quite a bit. Not as much as many of my friends, but most of these friends are from Europe and all you have to do is sneeze there and you’re in a different country, so I don’t think it’s exactly fair to compare my travelogue to theirs.
Recently, I returned from Costa Rica where I attended my cousin’s wedding. It was a marvelous trip, but also quite different from all my other travels. Before previous trips, I would often be rushing around shoving things into a suitcase or backpack while my mother [either via phone, e-mail or in-person] was telling me all the first aid supplies I absolutely needed to pack. Which I usually forgot to pack.
For the most part, I never needed these absent first aid supplies. In fact, the one time I woke up with–and I’m not exaggerating, I took a poll–a monster eye, which happened to be on my first morning in Barcelona, I eventually found what I needed in the drug store by simply pointing to the gigantically swollen eyelid hovering over my left eye.
That’s how I’ve always rolled. If I didn’t pack it, I could always get it there. It took little time, effort or money to solve any first aid problems.
Costa Rica, though. Costa Rica was different.
Was it the heat? I’ve travelled to Dubai in the summer, so, no.
Was it the ocean? I’ve gone swimming in “foreign” waters before (i.e. not the Atlantic Ocean, to which I’m accustomed), so, no.
Was it the water? I lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where even the locals boil the water before drinking it, so, no.
Was it the monkeys? Hmmm. I’d never seen monkeys in the wild before this trip. So, I’m going to say yes. I blame the monkeys.
What do I blame them for?
Well, during our car–plane–shuttle–plane–car–ride home, my travel companions and I made a list of all the First Aid supplies we needed while there. We didn’t all need all of them–but each one was needed by someone in our group of five people. And it took more than a little time, effort or money to procure them. And if they weren’t procured bad things happened.
Here is the list that I will use to pack the next time I travel to Costa Rica–which all things considered–you should definitely get to at some point:
Tylenol (for a fever)
Ibuprofen (for pain)
Ear-drops, for an infection
antibiotics–pills and creams
aloe (oh, soooo much aloe)
(more) sunblock (so we never again have to buy the $18 sunblock there)
dramamine (guess who forgot that one on the first boat ride. guess what happened.)
I left Costa Rica with a cold, a sunburn from which I’m still recovering, and a severe ear infection that’s still working its way (two weeks later) through my system, yet I would go back there in five seconds flat. With these first aid supplies packed in my bag, natch.
Why? you may ask.
Oh, you know, because: