Return to Home Page

February 24, 2010

Battling travel hypochondria

Two days ago, I spent all 14 hours of the New York – Delhi nonstop flight worrying that my seatmate was quietly infecting me with something nasty.

He stayed bundled in his ski parka and wool hat the enitre flight. He had a telltale IV drip bandage on the back of his hand, sat eyes closed with a grimace, and didn’t eat a bite (except for the occasional pill from the bag in his pocket).

Has anyone else ever borne the weight of travel-induced hypochondria?

Maybe it comes from the battery of shots the docs recommend for going almost anywhere these days. Get ‘em and you’re attuned more closely to the threats; skip ‘em and add a dollop of risk to that awareness.

Maybe it’s an unavoidable side effect of Western culture, obsessed as we are with hand goop and Airborne and sneeze technique.

Maybe it’s just me. But I’d like to chalk it up to travel’s tendency to push us to find the story in any given detail — to make us reach for reasons and explanations to make sense of it all (no matter how quixotic it feels).

Pursuing countless such paths per second, it’s no wonder some of them swerve into fear. Some rightly so, some as false alarms. Moving forward, the goal becomes keeping the number of alarms roughly equivalent to the number of legitimate threats — and thus eliminating that pesky brick-in-the-backpack known as travel hypochondria.

Photo by Jaako via Flickr.

Posted by | Comments (1) 
Category: Air Travel, General, Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel Health


One Response to “Battling travel hypochondria”

  1. Keith Says:

    It’s tough. We hear so much about planes are giant germ capsules and then pharmaceutical companies push products out onto the market to combat it. I think the key is to follow cleanliness routines wherever you are (wash your hands, don’t lick your fingers, etc.) and you’ll be better off for it.

Leave a Reply

Main

Bio

Books

Stories

Essays

Video

Interviews

Events

Writers

Marco

Paris

Vagabonding.net

Contact


Vagabonding Audio Book at Audible.com

Marco Polo Didnt Go There
Rolf's new book!


Vagabonding
   Vagabonding

RECENT COMMENTS

Mike M: I have been testing an Android app called Instant Traductor. It does 2-way...

Roger: I thought “home schooling” was permissible, no matter where you...

Les Poyner: I have published a book on Amazon kindle of my overland travel from England...

Jeff: In my state we schedule 180 days of school per year. That leaves 185 days — over...

Brooks Goddard: Readers in the eastern USA will be glad to know that there is a short...

Karen McCann: A wonderful poem. I used to think of the car as a particularly American...

Samantha Alexander: When it comes to mistakes, I might top the class. Then why cannot I...

buy levitra: BION I’m impressed! Cool post!

Laura L.: @Dan, thanks for the tips on how using Google Maps! I’m definitely...

sammy: i need someone to help me.. i need to sell my soul today if possible.. i need so...

SPONSORED BY :



CATEGORIES

TRAVEL LINKS

ARCHIVES

RECENT ENTRIES

Vagabonding Field Report: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Travelers tend to fetishize an impossible notion of authenticity
Top 5 language translation apps
Why Robben Island is well worth the visit!
The challenges and rewards of long-term travel
Taking kids out of school to travel
Learning to cook Thai food in Krabi
The rising popularity of river cruising
The Sacred, by Stephen Dunn
The Savannah of Travel Writing


Subscribe to this blog's feed
Follow @rolfpotts