What to Pack So You Won't Get Sick
Yoga and meditation retreats are increasingly taking place in exotic, far-flung locales. But before dreaming of enlightenment on foreign soil, tune into the illnesses that can be contracted abroad. "There was a 45% increase in Malaria cases alone last year", says Dr. Adrian Cohen, Medical Director of the world's premier adventure race, Eco-Challenge. While he goes on to state that "there is no substitute for taking an anti-malarial treatment or being properly vaccinated against preventable diseases such as Hepatitis", he does applaud chemical-free mosquito repellants like cactus juice and citronella in lieu of DEET.
According to his research, "Approximately 600 million travelers cross international borders each year, but only eight percent seek pre-travel advice." He urges the intrepid to consult with a travel physician instead of a regular general practitioner before departure, as part of his 'prepare and protect' mantra. Lastly, he recommends keeping your feet covered up when you are not on a yoga mat, many parasitic diseases can be communicated by walking barefoot through dirt, in addition to more traditional routes of infection such as swimming in or drinking contaminated water.