Tuesday, June 21, 2005

How not to prepare

So...one of the things we've heard from many people when we tell them about the trip is "You should write a book". We laugh and say, "maybe". Actually, we'd love to do that but it's difficult to find the right 'hook'. In preparing for this trip we made use of a just a few of the kajillion books and memoires on around the world travel that already exist.

However, a couple of days in and I've already found an area we could cover rather well. "How NOT to prepare for an overseas adventure trip." Both of us have travelled to far away places before and Becca considers herself pretty good at the whole jet lag routine. On her last couple trips to Europe she was pretty much adjusted by the second day.

This time, however, it was a whole other story. The ridiculous pace we'd been keeping for the last three weeks, coupled with the all the stress and the lack of sleep (and the inability to get any sleep on the plane this time) finally caught up with us. We tried to take a walk our first afternoon in Belgium to have the exercise and fresh air do its thing and allow us to hold out until evening to sleep. But our bodies were so wrecked that we both literally (and I do mean literally...I'm not just mis-using the term)dozed off as we were walking or standing around looking. We kept tripping because we couldn't lift our legs enough. After about 25 minutes of this we gave up and had to go back to the house and collapse into bed. We got up after 2.5 hours to have dinner and socialize a little, then crashed again for 13 hours. We felt drugged and 'off' for the next couple of days and for Brian it all culminated in a riproaring cold and fever. Luckily we were staying with the Rahirs and Anne Marie took over with all her homeopathic methods. Brian dabbed some sort of pungent oil (camphor oil, perhaps?) on his wrists (right underneath by the veins), behind his ears, on his ankles and right under his nostils. Then he got to spend 5 minutes breathing in the steam from that oil dropped in boiling water. While a little unorthodox and uncomfortable at the time, it evidently did the trick, making him feel 100x better. After another 10 hours of sleep that night he's almost back to human again.

Another chapter in the 'How not to prepare' book would be about not having surgery on both feet 8 weeks before you hope to leave on trip on foot, leaving you sore, out of shape, and overweight. Ah well, the good news is that we have walked a ton already in Brugge and Amsterdam and will continue to do so. So hopefully some of that will fix itself as we go..

More learnings on what not to do as we go.....

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