Getting Covid While Traveling - Vacationing Abroad Tips

August 16, 2022

Getting Covid While Traveling - Vacationing Abroad Tips retiree travel problems

What happens if you get covid while you are traveling abroad or choosing to do your retirement traveling around the world? I've become an expert at traveling while sick or with health/medical challenges with our years of vanlife, digital nomad and extensive world travel. Most of our travel is blissful, but we have had a few travel disasters along the way as any travel can lead to travel disasters and vacation nightmares as one is in less control than at home. Perhaps our worst travel disaster was when I broke my arm riding my bike on the Danube and landing in a foreign hospital via ambulance needing surgery and hardly anyone spoke English.

We've very carefully and diligently avoided covid for many years now ( while family and so many friends succumbed, some dying, hospitalized and some still with long covid issues). My 100 lb weight loss and now 135lb weight loss is the only reason I feel safe to travel now at 70  ( along with our covid vaccines and boosters and always masking with the best masks on planes and any indoor spaces). We are in great shape, exercise daily, do not take any medicine, or have any chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure etc, so more fit than most our age. 

Getting Covid While Traveling - Vacationing Abroad Tips seniors masking always

What happens when you get covid while traveling depends greatly on your current health condition, age, risk factors, even luck,  as well as the country ( or state) you are visiting, and also it's affected by how rural, poor or rich, the area is and how good the medical system is. We are in Bansko, Bulgaria now which is an amazing digital nomad and skiing haven, but we'd probably have been much safer if we got Covid in Barcelona and France ( we recently left) as both have much better medical and hospitals. Good news is a doctor came to our apartment and they have fast, cheap PCR tests, bad news is that even the MD doctors  do not even know what Paxlovid is or have any other medicine for covid ( like first world countries) , so that was quite scary if we ended up with possible major problems. Even Bulgarian friends of friends said there was no medicine. Our symptoms included severe fatigue and all over body pain, severe brain fog, hoarseness, headache, a sore throat, some coughing, lots of sneezing, fever, night sweats, nasal congestion, and nausea. The first few days were very bad. 

I tried every possible resource to get Paxlovid from telemedicine, and friends and doctors in  USA, UK, France etc etc as well as here, and although our insurance covers us greatly for covid severe issues like prolonged hospitalizations etc, nobody I contacted anywhere was able to help us...and then I just got too sick to look and had to hope for the best. Greece is only 2 hours away by car, so I even considered driving there where at least they have EU style medicine and have Paxlovid. The scariest thing about covid is just not knowing how lucky or unlucky each individual might get with it, as some have no symptoms and some die from it and you do not know for sure how your luck with hold out, especially if one is in the high risk age range. Luckily the odds are much more in your favor if one is vaccinated and boosted, healthy, normal weight, not on other medicines due to chronic health issues etc ( plus by being maskers inside and covid cautious/diligent guaranteeing a low viral load which tends to make the virus more mild). We wear our N95 masks on airplanes, cars, buses, taxis. trains, and in stores, museums, and common indoor areas ( rarely use)  and keep our distance even outside. 

Getting Covid While Traveling - Vacationing Abroad Tips bone broth cure and help
Luckily, I am a former nurse who worked in ICU and I also have extensive experience working with some of the world's greatest holistic healers, nutritionists, dentists, Chinese medicine etc, so I tend to know how to make the most of a bad situation. On the way home from getting my husband's shocking covid positive PCR test, we had the cab stop at the store where I did a mad dash getting bottled water and food supplies as one has to do 10 days of quarantine here. I am now on my maintenance keto diet, so that makes things a bit trickier and with us both very sick and separated, we needed easy to do solutions. I've written before about the super healing properties of Bone Broth ( best recipe) and the doctors that recommend it and luckily it is easy to make and to eat. I made a simplified version here with what I had on hand. 

Getting Covid While Traveling - Vacationing Abroad Tips ginger cure chinese and indians love

Ginger is great beloved medicine in Chinese culture and Indian culture and I have eaten it daily for many years now and add it to my morning green tea and salads. It is antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant,  and very soothing for cold, flu, sore throats and digestive issues. Once in Asia, my husband got a very bad urinary infection and one of our holistic practitioners said to try ginger tea a lot during a day and see if that helped and if not to go get an antibiotic from an MD. Luckily and amazingly it cleared up with the ginger tea and one reason we became fans. Luckily, this is easy to find and cheap and it is also suppose to be good for weight loss support. We do not take advil and ibruprofen as it almost killed me and are dangerous, so prefer natural things if possible (or highly researched choices like Paxlovid in emergencies like this). 

Getting Covid While Traveling - Vacationing Abroad Tips best vitamin c
One of my important supplements I have with me is Thorne Buffered C ( and it came in the keto box I just wrote about as I use it daily). It is the best and safest way to get high and helpful doses of Vt C ( according to my nutritionist who has a PhD from Columbia Univ. and is brilliant). I also got this advice from Babinetics who helps me with my weight issues when I asked best home covid protocol to help us "In terms of herbal treatment , Increase vit D to 20 000 iu for 3 days, take as much Vit C as you tolerate.  At least 1000 mg 3 times daily .  Get a homeopathic called Rumex Crispus in whatever dilution is available where you are ( probably 12 CH ) 3 pellets every 2 hours until all symptoms disappear. The best herbal if you find is is goldenseal up to 1000 mg 3 times daily for the next 7 days." So we managed to get most of those things from our landlord and a super helpful stranger I "met" on the bansko facebook group who picked up the homeopathic for me in Sophia! 

Getting Covid While Traveling - Vacationing Abroad Tips yogurt and electromix

We also always do sea salt gargle when we have colds and have that here from Spain as we use it a lot. Also we use turmeric so have that here and added that to the bone broth and ginger teas. I have electro mix for keto, so we both took some of that to help out our electrolytes. I think it is plain sheep or goat greek yogurt, but I can not read the label in Bulgarian.  Health and immune system is all about gut health as that is where it is located ( I had to learn that one the hard way with years of healing a gut issue), so glad we had some yogurt probiotics that supports immune health. 

Getting Covid While Traveling - Vacationing Abroad Tips tumeric homeopathic and sea salt heal

 When you are both very sick, you also need easy to fix food so we ate a lot of nuts and mostly fresh food that did not need to be cooked. 

Getting Covid While Traveling - Vacationing Abroad Tips healthy nuts fruits and veggies
and basics like organic lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Plus other various vitamins and supplements ( like zinc and ones we normally take) and foods. I think it al helped, but who knows. 

Getting Covid While Traveling - Vacationing Abroad Tips organic lemon and apple cider vinegar
Luckily, I got a lot of fresh blueberries, blackberries, strawberries etc  at the farmers market and they are packed with nutrients and antioxidants.I froze them so have them available and ate a lot. 

Getting Covid While Traveling - Vacationing Abroad Tips berries packed with nutrients and antioxidants

I may still be stuck in quarantine, but I feel great now and grateful to be in a gorgeous place with great weather and we can keep the big windows open to get fresh air and even though we missed the famous Bansko Jazz festival, amazingly we could hear some of it from our beds! I can't wait to get back to hiking and exploring! What is your favorite health hack? What helped you survive covid? Did you get covid while traveling?

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