10 Years on the Road: 183,000 Miles Backward?

Monday marks the 10 year anniversary of our road trip through North, Central, and South America. That’s 3,653 days of full-time travel in the Americas. It’s been a great decade full of the kinds of ups and downs that come with life on the road. We mean that literally and figurative. A couple of weeks ago we reached our highest point on the road so far at 15,916 feet (4,851 meters) on the drive from the Paso de Jama border crossing from Argentina into Chile. After around 183,000 miles (28,000 km) we’re getting pretty good at this and we’re looking forward to many, many more years on the road as we continue south to Tierra del Fuego, then back up again. However, in one important way we fear we’re going backward.

Crossing Paso de Jama Aregentina to Chile

A couple of weeks ago we crossed from Argentina into Chile and headed to the highest point on the road (so far).

The main goal of the Trans-Americas Journey is to take our careers as travel journalists on the road to be better at our jobs and better at life. But our little road trip has always had a trickier subtext.

Here’s what happened

On September 10, 2001 we were focused on building a long-term working trip through Africa. Then the attacks of September 11 happened. We lived three blocks from the Twin Towers and when then President George W. Bush stood on a pile of debris in our backyard, picked up a megaphone, and vowed to get “them” it struck us as blindly jingoistic and dangerous.

Somehow “they” were going to get “us” if “we” didn’t get “them” first. Those vague divisions only got more pronounced: if you weren’t with us you were against us and that went for anyone outside or inside the US. Red states and blue states weren’t far behind.

We realized that we didn’t understand our own country and questioned why we’d spent so many years traveling so far from home. We put our Africa plans on the shelf for another day and decided to focus on the US and her neighbors instead. The Trans-Americas Journey was born. Feel free to read more about how the attacks of September 11 inspired our Trans-Americas Journey.

Bald Eagle flying

We’ve come close to losing this iconic symbol of US freedom once before.

Many Americas & many Americans

Even as we were laying the considerable ground work needed to create a working road trip through the Americas, we had a larger goal in mind: to look at what it means to be good global neighbors as the United States of America seemed to be getting more and more isolationist. Who is “us”? Who is “them”? And what about a more global or even regional concept of “we”?

After all, everyone from North, Central, and South America is American, not just those of us from the United States. There are many Americas and many Americans and there’s strength in that. The ‘S’ after the word America in the name of our project? That’s not a typo.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

If this wall could talk…

People born in Canada are American. People born in Chile are American. People born in Uruguay are American. People born in Peru are American. People born in Guatemala are American. People born in Mexico are American.

We believe that understanding that small detail creates a crucial shift in perspective which turns the idea of “us and them” into the much more beneficial idea of “we.” Anyone who’s traveled knows this already because many of the most fundamentally good elements of travel come from the fact that it’s an act of being together, not apart.

On the road through three Presidents

We spent the first 2.5 years of our Trans-Americas Journey road trip primarily in the US where George W. Bush was in his second term. Slowly, tentatively US citizens were coming to terms with new fears about domestic terrorism (fears much of the rest of the world had been grappling with for years).

Some people we met were becoming more and more insular. Others, however, believed that disengaging from the world or going to war with it weren’t the only options, or even the best ones. Those people wanted a middle ground where they could have security without fearing everything and everyone around them.

Airstream Mount Ranier National Park

We listened to the historic nomination of Barrack Obama as the Democratic Presidential candidate in 2008 in this Airstream in this campsite in this US national park.

We listened to the 2008 Democratic National Convention on satellite radio in an Airstream in a campsite in Mount Rainier National Park. By the time we’d crossed south into Mexico President Barrack Obama was well into his first term and we felt that the search for middle ground was growing in the US, like a pendulum becoming less and less polarized as it slows down and lingers in the mid-swing.

During Obama’s second term, our road trip moved further south through Central America and we traveled with a feeling that, despite clear and present problems, the world was predominantly on the right track. The pendulum was still slowing and finding its sweet spot somewhere in the middle.

The pendulum swings

We followed the most recent US Presidential election cycle on TVs throughout South America. We voted at the US embassy in Brasilia. We watched the results come in at our friend Mauro’s apartment in Sao Paulo. Now, rather than settling down to find middle ground, the pendulum of “us and them” in the US seems to be swinging more wildly than ever.

Absentee ballots Brasilia, Brazil

Our 2016 Presidential election ballots being dropped off at the US embassy in Brasilia, Brazil.

The blind, jingoistic rhetoric of “we” better get “them” before “they” get “us” is back and it’s louder than ever. It also now applies to more than just suspected terrorists and comes with a fresh coat of racism put on with a very wide brush.

Because of our 10 years anniversary, journalists have been asking us a lot of questions including questions about what we’ve learned in all that time on the road. That one always stumps us. However, one thing we’ve learned is that we all need “we” and we’re all better together than we are when we’re divided.

Also, we’ve still got a long, long way to go.

Revisit our 5 Year Road-a-versary

Revisit our 9 Year Road-a-versay

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Road-a-versary! Nine Years on the Road (and counting)

9 years of full-time travelWe managed to remember our road-a-versary this year and it got us thinking. When we drove out of New York City and began this little road trip adventure through the Americas, Facebook was only available to university students. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey had yet to publish the first Twitter message which read “just setting up my twttr” (way to set the tone, dude…). Senator Barack Obama was still months away from announcing his first Presidential bid. Colombia was dangerous and Venezuela was safe. The US publishing industry had actual money to pay freelance travel journalists. And we were driving a shiny new truck.


Roadaversery 9 years traveling on the road

Today–nine years, 13 countries, more than 50 border crossings and nearly 165,000 miles later–we are on Las Pocitas beach near Mancora on the northern coast of Peru celebrating nine years on the road.

There’s so much more in front of us (like 90% of South America) and we can’t wait to see what’s down the road. Thanks for coming along for the ride and a very, very special thanks to those of you who have not just come along for the ride, but have chosen to support our journey through Patreon.


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Music, Mountains and Much More to Come

In April, after years of pain, failed attempts at non-surgical remedies and increasingly bad arthritis, Karen had hip replacement surgery in California. Prior to getting her artificial hip (pictured below), dancing and hiking were utterly out of the question. We are happy to report that Karen’s brand new hip, made of titanium, plastic and ceramic and implanted using the less invasive anterior method, has been a game changer. Here’s how music and mountains have played a major role in her new mobility with so much more to come.

Karen's artificial hip replacement surgery

Karen’s actual new right hip.

Letting the music take control

Four days after surgery Karen started physical therapy. A week after surgery Karen ditched her walker (though we liked the racy colors and the fact that it was called Drive). A few weeks after that she was ready to do some dancing.

Karen and her Drive walker

Karen coming home not even 26 hours after hip replacement surgery.

Just in time, the Tedeschi Trucks Band (aka, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks) and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings rolled into town to perform some live music at the Vina Robles Ampitheatre, an outdoor venue at a winery in Paso Robles, California. Live music from musicians we love AND wine AND a good hip? Hell yes.

Tedeschi Trucks Band with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings

Left to right: Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Sharon Jones performing at the Vina Robles Ampitheatre.

This was not only an opportunity to break in the hip, so to speak, but a real return to something that we both love to do: dancing to live music. The Vina Robles Ampitheatre is located in beautiful Paso Robles wine country. It’s spacious and comfortable and the sound and sight lines were great (we later learned that a friend who’s now a head honcho at Knitting Factory Entertainment was involved in its design, so, duh).

Vina Robles Amphitheater Paso Robles California

Vina Robles Ampitheater in Paso Robles, California.

The wine from the Vina Robles winery was really good too and we recommend splurging on the VIP tickets when you go to the ampitheatre because they get you access to a small outdoor wine and beer garden and great prices ($10 off bottles of wine and $5 beers including local microbrews) in the hours leading up to the start of live music. The ribs they were selling ($15 per plate with a big array of sides) also looked awesome and they have terrific plastic carafes and plastic stemless wine glasses so you can pour any undrunk wine into the carafe and take it to your seat with you.

Heading to the mountains on her new hip

Within a few months of surgery Karen was taking walks of up to six miles (3.2 km) with Eric’s mom (though we suspect she slowed down for Karen). However, Karen hadn’t yet strayed off the pavement. We got the chance to go off-roading in, of all places, Bogota, Colombia.The busting capital city of the country is mostly an urban concrete jungle but it’s got a secret.

Quebrada la Vieja hike Bogota

Karen heading to the mountains with her new hip on the Quebrada la Vieja trail in Bogota, Colombia.

The trail head for the Quebrada la Vieja trail (free, open from 5:30 am to 10:00 am, no dogs allowed) is located in the midst of a swanky neighborhood of fancy apartment buildings on the edge of the city. It immediately plunges hikers into verdant, lush mountain terrain complete with a babbling brook, wooded hillsides and a challenging trail with steep inclines, water crossings, uneven terrain and, on weekends, a lot of other hikers. More than 1,000 people entered the area the Saturday morning we hiked there (TIP: the trail is MUCH less crowded on weekday mornings).

Bogota view Alto de la Virgin Quebrada la Vieja hike Bogota

A view of Bogota from the Quebrada la Vieja trail in the mountains above Colombia’s capital city.

We spent two hours round trip on the trail with our friend Chef Paula Silva who was taking a nature break before returning to work at her Hippie restaurant. It’s just shy of two miles (3.2 km) one way from the trail head up steep inclines that gain 1,000 feet (300 meters) and take hikers over rocks, creeks, mud and a fairytale pine forest before reaching the Alto de la Virgin monument to the Virgin Marry and a vista that offers sweeping views of Bogota below.

It was hard to believe we were surrounded by nature yet so close to so much concrete.

Quebrada la Vieja trail Bogota

Karen putting her new hip through its paces on the Quebrada la Vieja trail in Bogota, Colombia.

While no one would accuse Karen of breaking any land speed records, she did accomplish the ascents, descents and terrain with no walking stick and, most importantly, no limping and no pain.

That clearly called for a celebration, so we headed to Julia Pizzeria to try the best pizza in Bogota — cooked in a wood fired oven and everything.

Julia pizza Bogota

Post-hike celebration pizza at the totally legit Julia Pizzeria in Bogota.

As Karen continues to get stronger and more and more mobile (Machu Pichu here we come!), we want to send our thanks to Dr. Daniel Woods of Central Coast Orthopedic in San Luis Obispo, California for the care and expertise he employed before, during and after Karen’s hip replacement surgery along with his medical assistant, Jill, for her responsiveness and endless patience and helpfulness.


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Travel Health: Limping Through Latin America

If you’re into active travel (and especially if you’re not 24-years-old anymore but more like twice that) you’re likely to have a few aches and pains or even injuries along the way. For the past five years Karen’s quest to manage or even (gasp) banish the pain in her right leg has led her to adventures in Latin American medicine including country farmers/doctors, non-FDA approved supplements, extreme acupuncture and a final realization that nomads like us have to take pain management into their own hands while on the road.

Karen vs. the volcano

It started about mid-way up the climb to the flanks of a ridge adjacent to Santiaguito Volcano in northern Guatemala. We were part of a small group hiking up to a flat vantage point disturbingly close to the action. We planned to spend the night there to watch the volcano toss out white-hot boulders, spew red-hot lava and burp scalding steam and ash.

Hiking to Santaguito Volcano, Guatemala

Karen during the Guatemala hike that started it all.

It had been more than a year since we’d huffed up a nearly vertical trail carrying 30+ pound (14 kilo) backpacks and we were definitely feeling the altitude and the exertion. Then Karen felt something else, a kind of muscular refusal in her right hip punctuated by pain that was sharp enough to make her stop walking.

Then the pain passed and we started walking again without thinking much of it until a few days later when Karen could barely get out of bed. That was almost five years ago and part of that time has been spent exploring Latin American medicine trying to find a way to manage or banish the pain so that we can return to the hiking and trekking we love. That search has led us to some incredible people, experiences and realizations.

Is there an upside to a bum leg?

Ask any traveler what the best part of travel is and you’re likely to get some vague, clichéd reference to “all the wonderful people you meet” or “the unexpected personal experiences.” What they’re really saying is that when you put yourself out there in the world, at the mercy of the strangers, who are suddenly all around you, almost everyone turns out to be pretty generous, supportive and cool.

What other possible explanation is there for the fact that the majority of travelers leave their homes and then return to them not only unscathed, but better for it. It’s certainly not the suntans or the souvenirs that make them better. It’s the people they left behind and the interactions they carry with them. Turns out, a bum leg in Latin America is to travelers what an adorable little dog is to single men in Central Park.

If there is a silver lining to Karen’s injury it’s that its led to these adventures in Latin American medicine including unforgettable interactions with amazing people and, um, methods.

Adventures in Latin American medicine: What a watermelon will get you in Guatemala

Karen’s hip was particularly bad in Guatemala after too many nights spent on the ground. Before we’d fully agreed, a good friend of ours had us in his car and on our way into the countryside in the northern Peten region. We were going to see Don Ramon, a farmer with a talent for adjusting bodies in ways that alleviate pain.

Our friend swore he’d seen Don Ramon work near miracles on other people in pain but we were still nervous as Karen lay face down on a burlap sack on the damp ground behind Don Ramon’s ramshackle home.  As his family gathered around, Don Ramon proceeded to stretch and manipulate Karen’s right leg and hip in ways that were downright painful. She even hollered a few times, not that Don Ramon noticed or changed his tactics. After about 15 minutes he was done and Karen’s hip actually did feel looser and slightly less painful. Or maybe it was just numb. Or paralyzed. We paid Don Ramon with a watermelon.

Adventures in Latin American medicine: High tech in Honduras

Juan Carlos Paz, wunderkind behind Jungle Xpedition tour company in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, really, really wanted to show us his favorite part of Cusuco National Park. After a day of hiking in the park and a night of sleeping on the ground it was clear that Karen’s leg was in no condition to make the hike to his private oasis. We contented ourselves (sort of) with a shorter walk, and then returned to San Pedro Sula in Juan Carlos’ vintage land rover.

Hiking in Cusuco National Park, Honduras

Karen on a consolation walk in Cusco National Park in Honduras after her bum leg made it impossible to do the hike we’d planned on doing.

For the duration of the drive Juan Carlos slyly made it known that his father was a radiologist. Before we knew it we had an early morning appointment with Dr. Carlos A. Paz Haslam. Carlos’ father had shoe-horned us into an already packed schedule in order to make an MRI of Karen’s hip using state of the art machinery. Dr. Paz then spent half an hour going over the detailed images with us. He refused to take any payment at all.

Adventures in Latin American medicine: Supplements in San Salvador

Miguel Huezo, owner of Suchitoto Tours, had already helped us out with everything from restaurant recommendations to road condition updates during out time in El Salvador. When Karen’s pain took a turn for the worse it seemed natural to ask him if he knew any good doctors. He immediately referred us to a doctor who had gotten his mother back on her feet after she broke her back at age 70.

Dr. Sara Maria Alfaro, trained in the US as an orthopedic surgeon and now practicing in San Salvador, performed a fairly routine exam and looked at Karen’s MRI from Honduras. Instead of reaching for her scalpel, however, Dr. Alfaro wrote out a stack of prescriptions for joint health supplements including glucosamine, bromelines and amino acids plus Wobenzyme, a legendary 40-year-old supplement created in Germany, and drops made in Argentina that include cow cartilage and are not even available in the US.

The total cost of the office visit was US$33. Three months worth of the supplements set us back about US$600 and may or may not have resulted in a small reduction in pain and greater range of motion in the joint.

Adventures in Latin American medicine: Watery relief in Costa Rica

As Karen struggled through a yoga class at Pura Vida Retreat & Spa in the hills above San Jose the instructor suggested a Watsu treatment. We’ve never done Watsu but the instructor convinced us that the weightless, stretching-centric experience done in a small pool full of body temperature water would relieve the pain and promote healing.

Basically, the therapist holds your body and gently places you in positions which allow slow movement through the water to produce gentle resistance that stretches muscles and opens up joints. All you have to do is relax and turn off. The effect was like getting a massage in a sensory deprivation tank and I now have a new favorite treatment, with or without pain.

Adventures in Latin American medicine: Random act of pain management in Panama

Dr. Mark Sobor introduced himself as we sat next to each other in a small wooden boat speeding from Isla Colon to Al Natural Resort on a nearly deserted corner of Isla Bastimentos in the Bocas del Toro archipelago in Panama. Over evening cocktails that night Dr. Sobor explained that he is a family physician and pain management specialist from Chicago.

We mentioned the chronic hip pain and that was that. Despite the fact that Dr. Sobor was on vacation he spent hours over the next two days treating Karen with his own aggressive form of acupuncture plus electro stimulation and very deep tissue massage.


Karen undergoing electrified acupuncture in Panama.

Afterward Karen felt like she’d been trampled by a cranky Billy goat but as the soreness subsided she realized that the underlying pain was actually greatly minimized. She could even climb stairs (if not a volcano) and sit cross-legged without cringing. Yoga classes and horseback riding seemed like possibilities again. But the good times didn’t last long once we were back on the road and unable to continue treatments with Dr. Sabor.

Adventures in Latin American medicine: Manipulation in Medellin

In Medellin, Colombia a wonderful friend of a friend took one look at Karen’s limp and insisted we make an appointment with her acupuncturist whom she credited with near miracles. Dr. Roberto Moreno Zuluaga was a successful orthopedic surgeon, then he trained in homeopathic pain management and acupuncture and has since renounced surgery. After an initial evaluation he said he believed the hip pain was caused by a muscle injury which had compacted the hip joint wearing down the cartilage.

This was the first time a diagnosis had “felt” right and so we started a course of deep (and often painful) massage, stretching and acupuncture to release the injured muscle, increase the space in my hip joint and give my body room to replace the cartilage. Every treatment brought a reduction in pain (as did his advice to ride a stationary bike) so we extended our stay in Medellin by renting an apartment for a few months so treatment could continue. After six visits (US$30 per visit) Dr. Moreno said he believed Karen was good to go and would likely heal on her own if she could keep up the routine of stretching and stationary bike riding.

We made one last appointment with Dr. Moreno before we had to leave Medellin, just to be sure. That was nearly six months ago and in that time, with no stationary bike or acupuncture at our disposal, Karen’s pain has, unfortunately, gotten worse. Now she’s added intense therapeutic massage with a talented therapist from California named Florence Bannout. This hurts like hell but seems to be getting to the deep-seated heart of the problem.

Florence also referred Karen to Mike Carey who says he can read your “cellular memory” which allows your body to tell him what’s wrong so he can fix it. This may be the oddest approach to my leg problem (so far).

I sat across from Mr. Carey while he asked my body yes-or-no questions from an enormous list. My body answered, electronically, and Mr. Carey registered the responses through his fingers. He ultimately diagnosed me with a slipped occipital bone (for which he gave me a tincture which he said would electrically stimulate this small bone at the base of the skull, back into place), heavy metal poisoning (for which he told me to blend cilantro with water and drink a small amount for seven days) and suggested I start taking something called Barley Gold to promote regeneration of the cartilage in my hip.

Taking pain management into our own hands

As wonderful and eye-opening as all of those experiences have been and as grateful as we are for all the generous, caring help we have received the fact remains that nothing has done much for the pain on a permanent basis so far.One of the major reasons for that is the fact that we are never in one place long enough to commit to long-term treatment. It’s clear that  because of our nomadic lifestyle we have to take pain management into our own hands.

The latest addition to our portable pain-management arsenal is Arnicare. Karen’s been using it on her hip, leg and knee for the past four months and it produces an almost-instant reduction in the daily pain.

Arnicare to the rescue

Karen taking pain management into her own hands on the road with Arnicare.

Other plusses?  The gel formula absorbs fast, there’s no old lady smell (it’s odorless), the metal tube travels well and is easy to get every last drop out of so there’s no waste, the screw cap stays on so there’s no leaking in our luggage and there’s no need to keep the stuff cool.

Arnicare also comes in fast-dissolving pellets which taste great and come with a nifty top which accurately dispenses the right number of pellets. It’s also tiny and super lightweight so the pellets can be slipped into a pocket or pack.

We’ve also used Arnicare beyond Karen’s chronic pain. For example, it saved both of us during three days of intense horse back riding at Hacienda Zuleta in Ecuador. After more than a year of not riding we were expecting to be limping but after judiciously rubbing Arnicare into the major muscle groups even Eric, who gets saddle sore just looking at a horse, felt so good he said “this stuff might be magic,” and he was only partly kidding.

Horseback riding across the paramo - Hacienda Zuleta, Ecuador

Riding through the high-altitude paramo in Ecuador.

Arnicare rescued Eric again after he spent hours working under the truck in positions that normally leave him with extremely sore shoulders. Are we pain-free travelers? No. Have we found a new way to take pain management into our own hands while on the road? Yes.


We are currently working on a project with Boiron, makers of Arnicare, during which we are using their all-natural wellness products on the road so that we can share our honest experiences with the products with you, which is what we’ve done.


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Patrons Wanted

Sure, we could plaster our travel blog with annoying pop up ads, banner ads and clumsy sponsored links, but we don’t. We’d rather focus on providing digital travel content that doesn’t suck. But we can’t live on good intentions. That’s why we’re so excited about Patreon.

An easy way to support the stuff you like

Unlike Kickstarter, which asks for lump sums that are used toward overall projects, Patreon lets you choose a level of support (from as little as 25 cents) to be put toward a specific creation. In our case, individual travel blog posts.

Patreon-whiteYou pick the support level (starting at just a quarter per post) and each month Patreon automatically bills you for the content we’ve produced during the previous month. For example, we generally publish 5-7 posts per month. If you and your big heart choose to support us at the US$1 per post level you can expect to be automatically charged for US$5 to US$7 a month from Patreon. That might not sound like much (two lattes, for example), but we can produce a lot of good stuff with that extra support.

Becoming a patron

If you like the words and pictures on our Trans-Americas Journey travel blog please check out our brand new Patreon Creator page. Just click the “Become a Patron” button on the upper left hand side to see how fast, easy, customizable and secure it is to become a patron of the Trans-Americas Journey.

Your Patreon support of our travel blog will help us stay on the road and continue to produce professional digital travel content about independent adventures in the Americas and meet other stated goals including everything from resuming our carbon offset program to getting our website and travel blog professionally re-designed.

Did we mention our sweet incentives including custom prints of Eric’s photos and totally free personalized travel advice for our most generous patrons?

We are committed to keeping our website and travel blog ad free. If you like what we’re doing and can give us some Patreon support of any kind we promise to use it to keep saying no to the pop-ups, banners and links and keep saying yes to digital travel content that doesn’t suck.

If you’d prefer to just give one lump sum you can still contribute any amount you want to our Tip Jar.

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Staying Healthy on the Road: The Only Bug We’ve Got is the Travel Bug

Right after people ask us “What’s the weirdest thing you ever ate?” (answer here) people usually ask “Don’t you get sick when you’re traveling?” It’s a fair question and after more than seven years (and counting) of traveling on the road full-time we can honestly say that we’re actually healthier when we’re traveling than we were when we were at home. Yes, part of staying healthy on the road is the magic of travel: when you look forward to a day filled with new experiences, not new meetings, you’re more likely to stay well to enjoy them.

The Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (the name is purely coincidental), in partnership with the U.S. Travel Association, recently released a study that links travel with better health, including decreased risk of heart attack and depression and even the promotion of brain health. Stated simply – travel is good medicine.

Part of staying healthy on the road also has to do with being preemptive. It’s not like there aren’t colds and flu and worse out here on the road. We just do our best to head them all off before they can get their claws into us and you can too. Here are our…

Top travel tips for staying healthy on the road

1. Soap is not enough

When we backpacked through South and Southeast Asia from 1995 to 1999 hand sanitizers didn’t really exist. Now they do. Use them. We were traveling in Mexico during the height of the swine flu madness and we credit liberal use of hand sanitizers (which the Mexican government was actually giving away and placing in all public places) with keeping us perfectly healthy. We have hand sanitizer in the glove compartment of our truck and in every bag and backpack we carry. You should too.

Swine Flu H1N1 The pig is Innocent

Eric wearing the t-shirt we bought in Mexico during the swine flu outbreak. It says El cerdo is inocente (the pig is innocent).

2. Fight flu before it fights you

We could never pronounce it, but we always swore by Oscillococcinum (aka Oscillo) at home so why not take it on the road? It’s actually perfect for travel since this homeopathic flu fighter is tiny, light, securely packaged, does not need to be refrigerated, is dissolved under your tongue (so there’s no need for water) and won’t interfere with any other medication you may be taking. Now that we’re in South America we’re bouncing back and forth between hot climates (Amazon Basin) to cold climates (hello, Andes). In Sogamosa, Colombia, for example, we were at 8,428 feet (2,569 meters) we were cold all the time. Karen started sneezing and aching but after four doses of Oscillo over 36 hours the flu symptoms were gone. The stuff tastes yummy too.

Oscillococcinum Oscillo homeopathic flue remedy

Flu-fighting, all-natural (and great tasting) Oscillo goes with us everywhere.

3. Know when to take a rest day

It can be difficult to “waste” a day of travel to lay low and rest up. However, knowing when to take a break can keep you healthy enough to really make the most of the rest of you trip. Slowing down for a day can also be great way to notice and absorb the subtleties of a place that can elude you when you’re traveling fast.

Relaxing in Yelapa Mexico

Eric kicking back (in the name of good travel health) near Yelapa, Mexico.

4. Remember that good doctors are all around you

Much of the world has doctors trained in the US and Europe. In many parts of the world, those doctors are skilled, talented and much, much cheaper than doctors in the US. When Karen got dengue fever in Chiang Mai, Thailand the doctor we visited at the spotless, modern hospital ordered full blood work (including platelets) and actually consulted with us for nearly 30 minutes. The total bill was less than US$4. If your preventative measures fall short, don’t try to tough it out. Go see a doctor and get back on the road.


We are currently working on a project with Boiron, makers of Oscillo, during which we are using their all-natural health and wellness products on the road so that we can share our honest experiences with the products with you.


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