The truth is that travelling is not 100% fun all the time. Somethings you will experience less pleasant stuff along the road. However, travelling is also a way to learn about yourself. This story is one of those.
Before I left home I was fed up with exams stress, delayed trains and the never ending list of things to do. For my month of travelling in Colombia I wanted something completely different. Something away from the city life I am living at home. Something that would give me an inside on how other people live their life differently than mine. I wanted to try the life on a farm.
However, what this experience essentially taught me was that I am a city girl because...
1) Mosquitos and suchlike bugs find me no matter where I am
I found this little farm in the region of Santander, and organized a stay with them. I was supposed to stay for two and a half week. However, it did not quiet work out this way. The housing offered there were pretty primitive without electrics and water in most parts of the house. Thus, most important for this story: without proper windows or doors. Hence, free entrance for all kinds of insects,
Already after the first night I awoke with these strange red spots on my legs. I did not take them for more than mosquito bites by then. Normally, I easily get bites at home. However, the morning after there were more, and the ones from the day before had turned terribly red and painful. They hurt when I walked, and did not look any good. Thus, the fighter I am, I did not complain.
On Sunday, after only three nights at the farm, I called my travel insurance to get a piece of advice about whether or not I should see a doctor. The answer was loud and clear: go first thing Monday morning.
Not the most mosquitos safe door to our sleeping room...
2) Even doctors order me to stay in the cities
After hours of waiting at the hospital's hot emergency room, the doctor finally called out my name. He looked suspiciously at me when I showed him my legs covered in around 30 terrifyingly red bites on each, and asked where I was staying. He shook his head, when I told him. It seemed like I was not the kind of person to stay in the middle of the forest, he said. Actually, he would recommend me to move away from there as soon as possible, and rest for at least 3 days.
3) My body overreacts on almost everything
There I was in a foreign country’s hospital with legs attacked from some sort of insect and not feeling that well. However, what I was not prepared for was the injection. Even though the nurses were nice, and carefully explained what was going to happen, my body was not prepared at all.
The injection felt a lot worse than it is meant, properly due to dehydration and hours in a crowed waiting-room. I managed to get to the reception to pay my bill. Then the only thing I remember was grabbing onto the desk, wanting to ask the secretary if I would sit on a sit for a bit. The next thing I was sitting on the floor with people around me, and a doctor calling for a bed.
I had fainted for only a coulpe of seconds, and most of all I felt tired. However, the nurses insisted on keeping me for observation. They placed me on the bed and drove me to a room, and there I sad for the next couple of hours, until the other volunteer from the farm came and picked me up. Lucky I cleared with the insurance that they would pay for three nights in a private room for me to recuperate. I only returned to the farm to pick up my baggage.
So here I am a week later and finally finished with the antibiotic treatment. Things do not always work out the way you thought they would. Sometimes it is for the best, and you get amazing experiences out of it. And sometimes it is not for the best, but it will always teach you something about yourself. I learnt that I am a city girl, and should properly only do day trips to forests etc.
And guys; please remember to get that travel insurance before leaving home, so experiences like this one does not get any worse.
Have you ever tired ending up in a local hospital? How did they treat you? Share your story in the comments below
P.S. I am now taking vitamin E which should help against mosquitos, and my beloved mother is sending me a mosquito net for future encounters with mosquitos and suchlike bugs 🙂