Thursday, January 10, 2013

Shields Up

My US passport arrived last week and I did not want to part with it to send it in with my travel visa application on Tuesday. Funny how having my passport in hand makes me feel more worldly even though I haven't gone anywhere with it yet.

I've booked my trip to India—I fly out of RDU 1/19 in the afternoon, catch a direct flight out of EWR around 8:30pm, and land at DEL on 1/20 around 9:30pm. (Even though that looks like a 25 hour flight, New Delhi is 10½ hours ahead of Eastern Time, so it's really only a 15 hour flight. Still stupid long, though.

This first trip will be for 2 weeks; I leave New Delhi just before midnight on 2/1 and land back at RDU around 10:30am on 2/2. But, the company has requested I have a 5-year, multi-entrance visa, so I don't think this will be my only India adventure.

I had my appointment with the travel clinic at UNC yesterday and I am still sore from all the vaccinations, and more than a little grumpy because I did not sleep well last night (I'm a side sleeper and they gave me shots in both arms, so I was tossing all night) and I just feel "off" today. Here's what is floating around in my system:
  • Hepatitis A & B
  • Typhoid
  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella
  • Polio
  • Influenza
  • Tetanus t-dap

I envision my vaccinations as an impenetrable deflector shield.

Though the reality is probably more like this deflector shield—
I'll still end up with plenty of gross stuff on my windscreen.

Thankfully, I'll be in northern India and it's the cool season, otherwise there would have been vaccinations for Malaria and Japanese encephalitis, too. The clinic also gave me prescriptions for Ambein (to help recover from jet lag) and Azithromycin (for the inevitable Traveler's Diarrhea, and yes, I do need to avoid the local water, even in the western-style hotel).

I had no idea they now recommend an adult booster for Measles/Mumps/Rubella and Polio, and I'll need to go back to the clinic in 2 months and 6 months to finish the series for Hep A/B. If I return to India during the transmission season for malaria or Japanese encephalitis, I'll need to get those too, and possibly rabies. Luckily, these vaccinations should cover the cocktail I'll need for travel to Manila since they've said I'll eventually go there too, and they should cover any travel required to their Sri Lanka location, as well.

Now that I know my trip will only be 2 weeks, I'm wishing I had purchased a smaller piece of luggage that I could carry onto the plane, but I thought the trip was going to be 3+ weeks so I got a larger piece that I will need to check. Live and learn. At least the bag I got for the laptop is large enough for a change of clothes.


  1. What I will say about that long of a flight is make sure you move your feet. My ankles swelled so much when we flew to Thailand. Walking around is good, but so is sitting in your seat and pointing your toes & pulling your toes back towards you. I found I didn't need to carry food on my flight, but I should have bought water on the other side of security to carry with me.

    1. Thanks! I debated about getting compression hose to help with circulation and swelling, but seeing as I haven't received my first paycheck yet and had to charge the flight to my personal credit card because I don't have a company card yet, this trip is getting dang expensive. Good to know pointing and flexing my feet will help.

      I usually take an empty water bottle through security with me and fill it up on the other side; sure beats paying $3–4 for a bottle of water. Staying hydrated is always a challenge for me when flying. Maybe I should take 2 empties this time. LOL!

    2. With all the travel looks to be on your horizon, I would recommend compression hose once you get paychecks. And I think 2 bottles is a good idea. I didn't think about taking empties through; thanks for the tip.

  2. I don't know if you are aware of this, but in areas where clean water is a problem you should also avoid salad and fresh fruits/veggies that you can't peel off the outer layer. When Bill and I went to Egypt, our tour guide roundly scolded me for eating a few dates without peeling them first. I didn't get sick, but you can never know if you will/won't. Of course, you can be adventurous if you want to.... ;)

    1. Thanks, Cheri! I did read that I needed to avoid salads and produce in general in the CDC travel sheet they gave me at the travel clinic. I am not a fan on Indian food and was kind of planning to eat like a rabbit, but I guess I won't be doing that either. Though I did read that Mughlai cuisine—heavily influenced by Persian food—is popular in northern India, and I LOVE Persian food. If all else fails, lucky me, there's a McDonald's on the ground floor of my hotel.