Decidedly urban couple who quit their jobs and successfully backpacked their way through Asia for a year. They met Buddha, drank baijiu and learned to master the squat toilet. Now appearing in a new life as ex-pats in Singapore.

Prep Work

The real immunization story

I just had to get a post script going on Vinnie’s immunization post. He made it seem like we’re actually on the ball with all of our shots. Ha. One week before leaving SF, I made the appointment to get my shots. Most shots are given in a series so this was a little like showing up to register to vote on election day. I was given an evil side eye glare and a horribly traumatic lecture about the illnesses that will eat my brain, trim my waistline and eventually kill me.

Is it bad that I was interested in the “lose weight from a tape worm” part of the lecture?

Anyway, with the time constraint and the huge cost of the Rabies ($219 x 3) and the Japanese Encephalitis ($245 x 2), I chose not to get all the shots.

I really don’t plan on working with livestock or waterfowl, on rice paddies or on farms.  Why would anyone work with waterfowl? That sounds like 3rd world punishment for North Korean soccer players. I also plan on wearing eau de deet for 12 months (bug spray), so I’m not scared of contracting the dreaded brain eating Jap-E.

I hope that I can get my rabies vaccine abroad where I think it will be cheaper. And I really need that Rabies vaccine because I love dogs more than children and maybe even more than champagne. Here’s a picture of me in Chile – note the number of stray dogs that I chose to befriend.

In the US I spent $239 and received:

  • Regular Flu – not a shot, it was a nose spray!
  • Polio shot
  • Typhoid  shot
  • Tetanus shot

Plan to get  abroad:

  • Rabies
  • maybe Hep A ( I believe I’ve already been vaccinated.)
  • Probably not Japanese Encephalitis

Travel Immunizations and Vaccinations

CC thanks to AJC1

Depending on where you’re going (asia, india, africa, etc.), there’s probably some vaccinations you’ll want to get.  Some vaccinations need to be given multiple times over a 28 day cycle, so try to start 2 months before your trip if you can. Most city’s will have a travel clinic, like the Adult Immunization & Travel Clinic in SF, just be prepared to shell out $200-$400 in shots, thankfully for me, Kaiser Permanente members get them for free at the KP hospital.  For Asia & India, I filled up on:

Remember to have a hearty breakfast/lunch on your visit, my first trip was 6 shots, and without any food in my stomach, I got a little dizzy nearly passed out.

Photo Credit: AJC1 creative commons license on flickr

Mini First Aid Kit for Backpackers

Just put together a mini first-aid kit that should cover what we need.

  • Athletic Sports Tape, 9m – Can be cut for small band-aids or large sprains.  And as Tim Ferris points out, it’s a life saver and doubles as duck tape (though I’ll be bringing that along as well)
  • Sterile Pads – can be used with the sports tape for homemade band-aids or gushing wounds.
  • Band-Aids – So you don’t have to go ghetto with sports tape and tissues.
  • Ibuprofen – For hangovers, headaches, and general pains
  • Neosporin Antibiotic, max strength
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) – great for allergies, minor colds, or falling asleep on overnight trains/planes
  • Clartin – generic versions for my allergies
  • Dental Floss, 200yrds – Unobvious uses include sewing or tying something together.
  • Large Nail Clippers – cause we’ll be living the fancy high life :p
  • ChapStick – I went medicated
  • Gold Bond – For all over, from your feet to ‘down there’.  I went extra strength medicated.
  • Meds:
    • Malaria Medication – Doxycycline, daily, 2 days before, 28 days after
    • Anti-Diarrhea Medication – Azithromycin

Updated in new sporty plastic box.  Now to find some Pepto Bismol…