You have done it. You have found a beautiful hostel. It is safe and clean, has just the right amount of life – not too much that you get no sleep, but not so little that you feel bored. It is just close enough to the big-ticket items of the area that you can walk, but far enough out that you aren’t paying a ‘tourist tariff’. And the beds are comfortable with no little surprises (*cough* bedbugs *cough*).
Are you anything like me? I love photography, but I have no idea how to use my camera. I mean, point and shoot is pretty easy, but my camera has all these settings that obviously help you to make your pictures better. The problem is that I lack the confidence (and ability) to play around and work out what all of them really mean.
You do not respond to a mosquito bite with a hammer
– Patrick L.O. Lumumba
I am delicious.
We know this, I’ve even written about it before. Mosquito bites are a pretty common theme in all my travels, it doesn’t matter where we go; they will find me. And bite me. A friend once described me as ‘the best insect repellant out there’ because when I am around, bugs do not bite anyone else.
When we got to New Zealand this year we encountered not only mosquitos, but also sandflies. We must have been pretty lucky in the past, because we have never actually experienced sandflies before. If you haven’t either, then let me explain: sand flies are basically tiny, biting needles that live in swarms and prey on any and all exposed flesh. And the bites itch. More than a mosquito bite ever could! And possibly even worse, the itch caused by these tiny creatures has been known to last for up to 3 months.
So now I am covered in red, itchy lumps that are possibly my reality for the next 12 weeks (assuming I don’t get any more bites, and we all know that I will find new bugs to bite me in that time) what do I do? Scratching only makes the itch worse and last for longer. There must be a way to stop the itch, right?
Nitch. Nitch is my saviour!
As the tag line says, Nitch equals no itch. A friend of ours introduced us to this wonder cream, and now it is a permanent part of my medical kit. I shall carry Nitch wherever I travel, and to be honest, I will keep a tube in my first aid kit when I’m not travelling too. Any itch, apply a small blob of this cream and within minutes you can no longer feel that there was a problem to begin with. One application lasts for between 4 and 6 hours (on me at least!) so it is pretty hassle free and long lasting.
Nitch is the brain-child of Petra, a pharmacist interested in the use of natural remedies. The product was developed and manufactured in New Zealand, and can be purchased in pharmacies across the country, or bought online, and can be shipped internationally. It costs 17NZD per tube (around 10GBP) and is well worth the investment – we have been using one tube several times a day on around 30 bites on two people for the past four months, and we still have half a tube left!
The cream is a blend of plant-based ingredients including chickweed, hypericum, Myrrh, Echinacea, Manuka and Lavender, combining the anti-itch, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties of each to help relieve itchy skin rashes, bites, stings, sunburn, and even itching caused by chickenpox and shingles. I’ve not personally tested it on chickenpox and shingles, but the cream really does work miracles on the other reactions. Most recently, I have been using Nitch on an eczema flare up on my arm, and it is helping to not only keep the itch at bay, but also to moisturize the skin and stop it from drying out like in a normal reaction for me.
I’m not sure that it is possible to oversell Nitch, for me, it is exactly the product I need. I know that insect repellant does not work 100% of the time (I’d be willing to bet it only works for me around 30%) so having something that will help me to cope with the reactions that will happen. Because after all, I am delicious.
If you are interested in purchasing Nitch, and I highly recommend you do, then visit pharmacysales.co.nz. I am not affiliated with the company in any way, I just love this so much that I can’t keep it to myself!
Remember: if you are a tasty as I am, then Nitch. It equals no itch!
Now, all I need is bug spray recommendations so I don’t have to cope with the bites in the first place!
It’s physically unsettling, living life on a visa.
– John Oliver
Fair warning, this is a rather word heavy blog entry!
When you travel there are certain things that are necessary before even thinking of leaving home. One of these is looking into visa requirements.
When we returned from our camper van trip we knew that we had to apply for 4 visas before heading out again. All four of these required their own trip to London in order to apply, their own paperwork, turn-around time and would cost a small fortune.
British passport holders are (currently) very lucky – there are over 170 countries that British passport holders can visa free for a specific period of time ranging from 14 days to indefinite stay, and many more where you can obtain a visa on arrival. That being said, there are some places where it is beneficial to gain a visa in your home country, for example, it is possible to get a 2, 5 or even 10 year visa for China from the embassy in London, but only a one month visa from embassies outside of the UK. Naturally, longer visas cost more, but they also offer more opportunities.
When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.
– Susan Heller
If you haven’t guessed already, I like to do my research. I like to find out things from other people – things that work, things that don’t. So I Google a lot (other search engines are available.)
This morning, I went on a search for ‘Travel Essentials’.
So, travel essentials… And, I really do see this as my ‘if-you-want-to-waste-space-it’s-up-to-you-but-there-is-no-way-that-I-will-be-taking-this’ list.
Go at least once a year to a place you’ve never been before.
– Dalai Lama
Visas. Always a fun one in our house. They are ridiculously expensive. But, they are a necessary cost if you want to travel! I’m not going to pretend to know everything about them, but here is my knowledge, and tips for hassle free travel.
Over half the world menstruates at one point or another, but you would never know it. Isn’t that strange?
– Margaret Cho
I’ve been toying with the idea of writing this post for a while. Not because it is hard hitting, but because it is not the type of thing that is discussed.
So, fair warning, this post is aimed at women.
This disease comes with a package: shame. When any other part of your body gets sick, you get sympathy.
– Ruby Wax
Travelling with Anxiety. How my day differs to yours.
8.00: Your alarm goes off, you wake, you might shower, you grab some clothes from your backpack, you head to breakfast. You eat wherever looks good, and at the right price
8.00: My alarm goes off, I wake, I must shower, I put on the clothes that I pre-prepared the night before (as happens every day), I head for breakfast. I eat where there are people, but not too many, I sit by a wall, with my back to it, so I can see both the kitchen and the front door/windows. At the very least, I face towards the door to make sure who is coming in.
Your illness does not define you. Your strength and courage does.
Today I will focus upon flying.
That stressful time that begins all far away travel.
I travel because I have to, because I was born to, because I love to. However, it is not without its difficulties. I suffer from both depression and anxiety. And it is the latter which affects me most.
For those of you that are unsure, I will try to explain. For those of you that suffer, I know it is different for everyone, so I will not pretend to be an expert. I know how my own feelings are, but even this is hard for myself to comprehend. So here goes.
Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.
There are always miscellaneous costs in everything that you do
Travelling is no exception.
The biggest forgotten cost that we have found is travel vaccinations and medicines.
It depends on where you are going to as to whether you will be affected, but if you are, you can’t skimp on medical things. Please note, I am not a medical professional, so this is what I have learnt from my doctors, it is not a binding medical fact.