Envy Tries Giving Travel Advice*

by - 10:04 PM

It's marked on my calendar in big red letters: Berlin. From April 21st till April 26th I'll be in the German capital with my college class. My mom is glad college is offering this chance; Berlin is familiar territory and I won't be all alone in a big city. Loads of people will keep me from getting into trouble, she thinks. She's not worried about this trip at all. No, she's worried about the word on my calendar that's covering May 2nd till May 7th: Ljubljana.
My trip to the Slovenian capital will be my very first solo journey and while I'm well-prepared, my mom isn't sure I'll survive...

'Envy...'
'Yes mom?'
I away from my half-filled suitcase to look at my mom. My mom likes to sit on my bed and watch me pack my stuff. She did it when I went to Rome, she did it when I went to Vienna and she did it now that I'm going to Berlin. It's part of the reason why I'm such an early packer: if I don't do it now, my mom will do it for me tomorrow. 
'Please promise me you'll return healthy from your trips.'
I snorted. 'What makes you think I wouldn't?'
'Your habit of forgetting to eat, like in Rome And forgetting to drink, like in Vienna. Food poisoning in Peru.'
'Mom,' I said while trying no to laugh, 'that was all years ago. I know how to stay healthy now. If I wanted to, I could even write a blog post on how to stay healthy while travelling!'
'You think you could do that?'
'Yes, just watch me. I can give advice.'
My mom's look told me she didn't believe a word I was saying. 'Oh yeah? Then how are you going to keep yourself from not forgetting to eat?'


My mom thought she had me there, right with her first question. I'm one of those people who easily forget a meal once they're in some interesting place. Because hey, that tree looks cool! Oh look, a bird! Woah, that building is so beautiful. Wait, wasn't I supposed to do something?
Especially when I'm on my own I forget about food, which is one of the most important things to keep you going while you're out exploring the world. So I have a food schedule. It may sound lame, but for some people it's useful to keep an eye on themselves. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, simple as that.

'Food schedule. I set alarms on my phone and make myself have three proper meals a day.'
My mom isn't one to be impressed easily, but I could tell she hadn't expected that answer. I was able to put a few shirts in my suitcase before she challenged me again: 'You don't even eat fruit when you're home, are you going to do that while you're away on your own?'
'Of course.'
'Drink enough water?'
'Yes mom, I've got a plan.'

Plan might be a big word I used at that moment for the simple thing I had in mind. I would have liked to use the word 'strategy', but my mom also isn't impressed by fancy words for small things. You see, whenever I go out by myself, I realize I fail at adulting. I'm very bad at taking care of myself and easily forget things. So to keep myself aware of the fact that I sadly can't live on chocolate bars, I buy one piece of fruit every day while I'm away. When I leave my hostel, I always take a piece of fruit and a bottle of water with me. Under normal circumstances I forget about both fruit and water, because of the cool trees and birds and buildings I already mentioned. So when I go out, I put that piece of fruit and the bottle of water right on top of all the other things in my bag. That's a good thing because your fruit won't get squashed and every time I need to get my phone or camera out of my bag, I'm reminded of my duty to eat and drink like a responsible adult (Did you hear that? That was me laughing because I just can't imagine myself as a responsible adult).

'Okay,' my mom said. 'Maybe you know what you're doing. Maybe.'
'I told you so. I could totally give others advice on it too.'
My mom smiled. For a few minutes she let me pack in peace. When I was about to close the suitcase, I looked at her and said: 'Mom, you're just worried 'cause I'm so chaotic, aren't you?'
My mom smiled again. 'Yes. You have to admit that you have a knack for getting sick or getting yourself injured. What if you need a doctor while you're in Berlin?'
'Mom, I study German, I'll just yell "Arzt" really loud.'
'And that'll help you in Slovenia too?'
'I can say "doctor" in Slovenian yeah.'

I prefer not to get sick or injured while I'm away. It would be weird if I did like those things. I keep an eye on myself, try to eat healthy food around the same times each day. I generally try to prevent any kind of mishap, but shit happens. And when it happens, it's always nice to know some basic sentences and words like 'Where is the hospital?' in the language of the country you're visiting. Just to be sure.

'So what's 'doctor' in Slovenian?' my mom asked. She had a twinkle in her eyes. She loves to hear me say things in a new language.
'Zdravnik'
'Good. Sounds very Slovenian. But what if no one knows where to find a doctor?'
'There are sites and services for that, mom.' I picked up my cell phone and showed her.

I'm going to be honest with you guys: every time I go out there's 50% chance something will go wrong. I'm very clumsy and usually not that health-oriented. So sites like Amino help me out when I, once again, forget to take care of myself. The site helps you find a doctor. You tell them what your problem is (I mean asthma for example, being chaotic doesn't count in this case), how far you're willing to travel and also takes health insurance into account. Oh, and don't worry if you're chaotic like me, the site will guide you through all the steps and offers reviews and information on all doctors who could help you out. Honestly, it's so easy to use, I couldn't make a mess of it, which says quite a lot actually. Not even my mom could mess it up as she sat on my bed, trying the site for herself.

My mom wasn't sure what to think at first. A site that matches you up with doctors, based on criteria you can set, was not something she expected me to know about. But after a few minutes of skepticism (because Amino is in English from start to finsih and we're Dutch and with some mom-logic that's a reason to be skeptic for a minute or two) she approved of it. Well, not just of the site, she approved of most of the things I'd said and decided I knew how to get myself around the world without dying.
'But Envy?'
'Yes mom?'
'You don't really think you can write a post with advice on staying healthy while travelling, do you?'
Well mom, I think I just wrote that post.

Stay Awesome!

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8 Fellow Ramblers

  1. I think you did prove your mom wrong :) Awesome tips!

    Nabila // Hot Town Cool Girl

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you think my tips are useful :)

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  2. Haha, I love the format of this post! The ending bit was so sassy, tehe.

    I'm jealous of your trips, but I hope you have an awesome (and healthy) time!

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    1. Thanks Sunny! Sassy was wat I was aiming for :)
      I just injured my knee so I hope I'll be able to enjoy my trips. After writing a whole post on staying healthy while travelling, I manage to get myself injured while I'm still at home...

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  3. I love this post from start to finish, it's so amusing yet it's detailed and your matter-of-factly tone while convincing your mum you could be 'adulting' by yourself is hilarious! Enjoy your trip (if you aren't already there or haven't returned already)
    www.myhopefulpencil.blogspot

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    1. Thank you! I actually came home about two hours ago and almost (but not quite) followed my own advice XD

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  4. I think that if you fall on the floor injured in Slovenia, people will notice and you won't have to call for a doctor haha. :D Otherwise just yell help or call 112 and you should be good. :)

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    1. Oh, 112 is the alarm number here too, good to know! I hope I don't fall on the floor injured, haha. If it'd happen here (in the big cities at least) people would just ignore me. Sad truth XD

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