Travel Update: Philippines are canceled

Right now, I should have just arrived in Palawan, Philippines with 31°C and sunhsine. Instead, I’m sitting in Una’s house in Shanjia with 12°C and rain.

What happened?

Well, yesterday morning (ok, it was already around lunchtime) I woke up, thinking I should stay in bed just a while longer to enjoy it, since the next bed was 36 hours in time away. I was wondering about my itching neck, but the evening before, I hiked Elephant Mountain, very close to Taipei 101 to take some great pictures over Taipei and see the sunrise. There were lots of mosquitos up there and I thought they must have bitten me. And then I started to wonder why not only my neck, but also my arms were itching in many parts.

I got up, looked into the mirror, and without even turning on the light I could see I had a big rash on my neck. So I went to the bathroom and saw that the rash was on many parts of my upper body and even in my face. I thought, “That must have been quite a few mosquitos…” and put some Fenistil on the itching parts. I waited for a while and realized that it was not getting better. In fact, it was getting worse and the rash started to extend to my belly and my legs.

At that point, it already became clear to me that I couldn’t board an airplane in a few hours and spend like 30 hours in transit to my next destination. And it also became clear that these were not mosquito bites, but an allergic reaction. I waited until Una came home from work, we had dinner and then Una, her mother and her neighbors inspected my rush. One of Una’s neighbors then drove us to a skin clinic (It was so nice of him to drive us there, since it was raining outside and getting there on a scooter might have been a bit uncomfortable).

The experience at the skin clinic was very nice. I cannot imagine that such places exist. The whole visit took us only 20 minutes. By that time, I talked to the doctor, got an intramuscular injection, got some meds and some cream for the itching. The waiting period was very short and the total price was only 400NT$ (10 EUR). I’m wondering how my health insurance company is going to deal with the invoice in Chinese :-) And I hope they understand that Taiwan only has the year 103 instead of 2014. Right, yesterday was 18.02.103.

Anyway, during the time I spend at the doctor, my last chance to re-book my ticket to the Philippines ran out. I’m not too sad about it. My health comes first, and if this means that I miss flights and subsequently also loose money, than this is the price. It is OK for me. The reason why I’m not afraid to travel far and to travel by myself is that I know I can always trust my instincts and my gut feelings. And yesterday, my gut told me I cannot travel with an allergic reaction.

I think the reason why my family and friends are OK with me traveling alone is that they know I try to not bring myself in dangerous situations and I usually make smart decisions. Sometimes, plans just don’t work out when you travel and you just have to accept that. So this is why the Philippines are canceled for me.

Instead, I’ll be spending another week in Taipei to recover (maybe I should also add that I had food poisoning Friday night). Being sick during my travels doesn’t worry me too much, as I’m often sick at home as well, so why would that change only because I’m traveling? The important part is to know how you should treat your body when you’re sick and don’t push it to its boundaries.

As of right now, I feel better and the rush is barely visible anymore. There’s only some itching left, but I have two more days of medicine to take.

I already made plans to visit another country instead of the Philippines, but let’s wait until next Tuesday, when my flight from Taipei is supposed to leave, and see how I feel then or if I picked up any other illnesses :-)

Next Tuesday, I will let you know my next destination on this trip. Stay tuned!

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