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Friday, January 29, 2016

The Real Reason You Got Sick On Vacation

Above, my room at the Hotel Fukudaya in Tokyo where I spent some time trying to shake a flu-like illness. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It's happened to me twice. First, in 2000 on an Alaskan cruise and, second, my first trip to Japan in 2001.

What was it? I got sick.

What happened to me in those instances was probably what an article in Travel + Leisure refers to as "leisure sickness".

They begin with:
Your bags were packed, your out-of-office reply was set, and you could finally relax for your much-needed vacation. And all of a sudden…your body ached, your nose was running, and you wound up staying in bed all weekend. Ugh. 
There’s actually a name for this: leisure sickness. Tilburg University researchers from the Netherlands coined this term in 2001 after surveying 1,893 Dutch people and finding that about 3% of both men and women reported flu-like symptoms, as well as headaches, fatigue, muscular pains, and nausea while taking time off. Many of the survey respondents believed their symptoms came from balancing a heavy workload, stress associated with travel, and having a hard time winding down when they had time off.

Since those two instances, I now prepare for a trip by taking Vitamin C every day for ten days prior to departure and during the trip. Since I began doing this, I have not since gotten sick on a trip. I cover this on page 8 in The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan.

To read more, go here.

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