Nearly four weeks in and a couple of things have gone a bit Pete Tong (wrong for those not from the UK)…thankfully nothing too serious, but I wanted to share them as some of my issues have been a bit more than unusual than the standard bit of sunburn or being ripped off by taxi driver..
One. The day I left my phone in Singapore – my bus was half way to Melaka by the time I realised and I had a major panic. Having been permanently attached to it in the UK, it is very disconcerting to find yourself offline when you’re solo anyway…but thankfully I had my iPad to fall back on and (old school) a pen and a notepad! In the end, it was nice to be phone free…packing more carefully next time.
Two. The time I woke up and couldn’t walk – this was the worst thing that’s happened to me so far (touch wood) ..and it’s still a total mystery. I think I sprained my ankle in my sleep (Google said it is possible with tight bed sheets?!) Anyway, I woke up to pain at 2am and saw my right foot was swollen to twice the size and it was impossible to carry any weight on it. Needless to say waking up in that state was terrifying – particularly not knowing how long it would last and that I had the biggest mountain in South East Asia to climb in five days time! Lack of sleep and pain resulted in my first cry of the trip…it also meant I missed a day in Manilla. Looking on the bright side, I was very lucky Jess was on hand to get me medical supplies , ice and snacks for the whole day. And I had just finished reading The Revenant, (spoiler alert) and he gets attacked by a bear and has to walk hundreds of miles to get revenge, so me having to hobble to the en-suite bathroom and back to bed just cause I needed the loo didn’t seem as bad. Perspective always helps. A lot of painkillers, ice packs, a foot strap and 24 hours later I could walk again. It’s a mystery.
N.B This is a DIY foot support / ice pack holder* I made out of a long sleeved top which I became incredibly proud of in my darkest hours. I could totally do a Revenant…
Three. When I bruised my eardrum – I also didn’t know this was possible but it is. The world goes muffled and it feels like you have a cold. It’s a bit uncomfortable but mostly incredibly irritating to everyone around you who has to repeat themselves three times while you stare at their mouths to lip-read. This was a diving injury to my middle ear and I went to the doctor who gave me the diagnosis for my own peace of mind that I hadn’t perforated my eardrum and was going to be deaf in one ear forever. Equalizing is pretty essential and I wasn’t doing it enough – lesson learnt the hard way.
Four. Destroying my best camera – Five years old and still working like a dream, the only compact Canon I’ve ever needed to own saw me through six weeks in Thailand and holidays in Brazil, Cambodia, Vietnam and Hong Kong. Sadly it did not see me through the Philippines as salt water dunking striked. Damn shame. I want to say the photos of fish/ whale sharks were worth it but…
Five. When I did my washing and ruined my favourite jeans – just emotional this one and hideously amateur. I was too excited at the prospect of clean clothes again and dumped it all in like a twelve-year-old putting on a colour wash for the first time. New pink top. Bleached jeans. = Blancmange clothes. I also lost a dress and shorts to this wash. Still, makes the backpack lighter I suppose… (sigh / cry/ sob). A delightful colour isn’t it.
So I think this all means it has to be smoother sailing from here…if anyone else has sprained their ankle in their sleep I’d love to know!