I've been fighting this sickness for a while. I've had nearly every symptom you can have. Many things can make you unwell: bacteria, stress, viruses, imbalances in your body/poor health, fancy food in Manila. Here's how to beat an illness while traveling:
1: Break the cycle
If you're sick because you're stressed and you're stressed because you're sick you've got two ways to break the cycle: 1)Fight the sickness. 2)Fight the stress. The former approach can be accomplished by getting lots of rest, staying hydrated and taking medicine. If that doesn't work you'll need to eliminate the stress. A couple unplanned nights of irresponsible drinking with sexy European women will often do the trick.
2: Change places
Bugs and bacteria are aliens in your body but when traveling you're an alien in their home. Simple solution: go someplace you feel comfortable where the bacteria doesn't. Island hopping in a tropical paradise should do. In keeping with the stress-free approach above it's important not to plan ahead. Even if it's Christmas and everywhere is booked I'm sure a nice guest house will let you sleep in the hammock in the common area or a German girl or two will offer you her bed.
3: Get comfortable
If the above hasn't worked and you're still feeling lingering symptoms go somewhere you feel comfortable, somewhere with a friend that has a care package from home with useful supplies. Somewhere with cheap massage where you can buy literally any drug in the pharmacy without a prescription. Somewhere you've been before where you understand the culture. If you haven't gotten a good nights rest in over 2 months you can try some dirt cheap Valium that's available on every street corner.
4: Take your mind off it
Dwelling on your sickness certainly won't make things better but sometimes you just can't take your mind off it. Going to a powerful location like a field where millions of people were killed in the not-too-distant past will be sure to distract you. If the killing field wasn't powerful enough you might be able to find a nearby prison where people were kept, tortured and executed.
5: Keep on truckin'
If you're still feeling ill just keep on moving. Go to a faraway land where you don't understand any of the customs and it's very unlikely that there's much in the way of medical assistance. Plan a couple jam-packed, stressful days of pure transit where everything is riding on the previous thing working out and the slightest hiccup could make a sane train go mad. After all, you're not gonna let a stuffy head and sore throat ruin your trip, are you?
Something left behind
When traveling for a long time it's easy to leave things behind. I left my beloved mango knife in Indonesia but it went to a good home. The Dutchman there left his phrase book and the Japanese businessman left his car. The group of Chinese travelers forgot some of their friends in Malaysia. The American man in the Philippines left his power cord and the Frenchman forgot a loaf of bread in Cambodia.
Help me help you by filling out this extremely short and simple survey. I promise it won't take more than a couple minutes. I'm not a doctor. The opinions expressed do not constitute real medical advice.Soundtrack: Auld Lang Syne