You can imagine correctly that moving around a great deal in different climates via planes, trains, and buses will bring its fair share of sickness. No Gammill has been immune! We’ve had colds, stomach issues, headaches, infections, and limb problems. Fortunately, nothing serious and most of it passes quickly (ha ha).
I, however, feel like the guru for worst experiences. Thanks to some bad food, Indonesia and Burma left me feeling like the 2nd & 3rd doses of a colonoscopy exam! In Australia, I jammed my finger tackling Sebastian in the waves and did not bother to address it until Indonesia. By the time we got to Malaysia my pinky was a bent experience! I did visit 3 different doctors and am happy to report that the final doctor – a friend of Onn’s in Penang -determined that it was not broken and needs a long time to heal (ligaments). My left shoulder has had the same problem my right had a few years back and I’ve been slowly trying to recover from that using otc anti-inflammatory pills; it has finally started to feel better after 2-3 months of pains that have driven everyone crazy.
The bottom line is that colds and illnesses inevitably happen during travels. The good news is that medical care is excellent when we have needed it. In case of emergency, we do have a health plan (with high deductible) for our travels and I recommend that as a precautionary measure for any long-term traveler. On top of that, we carry around a small pharmacy of medicine that would put a smile on my father-in-law’s face. Considering all the fun things we’ve done: jumping 40+ meters off bridges, racing speed boats in rock gully, zip lines in 3 countries, river rafting and caving, not to mention taking red eye buses on 2 lane highways….well, we’re doing pretty darn well! Here’s to your health!
Happy Easter everyone!
Full safety caving & zip line in Lao!!
Posted in Australia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Packing, Places, Plans, Thailand
Tagged colds, Health, injuries, insurance, medicine
If you don’t know me, it’s simple. I have a life saying, The Other Fellow First, which has been preached to both of my children since day 1. The motto comes from Camp Dudley. Sebastian & Louisa will be going for their 4th season this summer and are the 3G of Gammills.
So why mention a camp motto now? Let me explain. When you put yourself out there in the world, in places that you have never been, have no idea about the language, and are basically in a vulnerable position, you find that many people from many cultures have the same life motto simply by experience.
- A friend of my cousin’s welcomes us (strangers) into their home in Wanaka, New Zealand, serves us a delicious steak with plenty of wine, and then says we are welcome to stay as long as we want.
- Air BnB host takes her day off to drive us around Sydney and then to share a secret beach to swim.
- Another Air BnB host uses her day off to drive us to the Barossa wine country and takes us to exclusive wineries that she has access. Cool!
- Australian volunteer in Nusa Penida, Indonesia, notices that Sebastian really likes fireworks on New Year’s Eve (shocker!) and gives him an armful to take on our journey to Bali.
- The sister of a friend not only hosts us in her apartment but takes us out to dinners and arranges our sightseeing in Malaysia.
- An elderly Thai woman with her adult daughter are sitting next to us at a food stall in Bangkok. Daughter hands my wife a local drink and says, “Here, this is for you and what Thai like to drink.” Then her mother turns around and hands us a grilled banana. Yum!
- I’d like to close with yet one more example of why I feel strongly about education through experience for my children. Onn is a longtime high school buddy and I am glad that we’ve stayed in touch over the years. To put it simply (and I will be sharing a separate blog on our Penang experience), Onn took us into his home with his family and provided a place to stay. More than that, he showed my children the meaning of The Other Fellow First. He embraced them, taught them some martial arts, fed them amazing foods, and played with them on ziplines and ropes. I could go on and on but the moral of this story is that both Sebastian and Louisa saw how happy Onn was to share his life and talents. How he truly practiced and lived The Other Fellow First.
My perspective is quite one-dimensional when it comes to teaching my children (just as many parents, we want the best for them). It’s a wonderful feeling to experience and share similar values with both friends and strangers from all walks of life. And even better when those people impact your children in a positive way, much like that teacher you always loved!
The Other Fellow First – a darn good reason to get outside, meet others, and share your values! Thank you to Onn, Wai Fung, Sue, Mel, the Turner Family and everyone of you that practices The Other Fellow First!
P.S. Just off the press are these two articles for you to enjoy and they apply to this blog: Timeless Appeal and NYT Solo Traveler
Posted in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Places, Thailand
Tagged Australia, Bangkok, camp, Dudley, Health, Indonesia, life, New Zealand, other fellow first, Sydney
Tonight we started to pack. I made a list of things for each of the kids and let them choose the clothes they want to bring. Both are very excited and reminded me that we may need rain gear (argh). The kids backpacks are full but still managed to have some space for extras. My backpack is pretty full and heavy, I have a feeling I will have to re-evaluate some of the clothes I’m bringing, and still missing our medicine kit and toiletries. Chris has yet to pack anything but keeps warning to “keep it light!”
Posted in Packing, Plans
Tagged Accommodations, Airplane, Backpack, Beach, Countries, Diving, Family, Friends, Health, Home, Homeschooling, Hotel, Kids, Packing List, Travel, Work