I recently had the misfortune of getting horrifically ill with flu two days prior to going overseas. In this case, it was just to NZ with my partner, so no biggy really as I'm pretty familiar with that neck of the woods, but it did remind me of my run of bad timing with being sick whilst far away from the comfort of one's own bed.
There was the time I got Chicken Pox as an 18 year old whilst travelling between Croatia, London and Australia. I was so stricken I could barely move, and had to be attended to by numerous medics in between airports and hotels. To this day, Mum and I can't really believe I didn't end up scarred for life as I looked like a swamp creature completely covered in masses of oozing mumps. Horrified bystanders would stare as I was half-carried, mumbling and tearing at my skin, through customs and on and off flights. I have a tiny scar on my eyelid as a reminder.
Then there was the time I refused vaccination against Swine Flu prior to going to the Philippines and Thailand, and succumbed with a hacking cough and wracked, flu-like convulsions in Kuala Lumpar. I'm anti-vaccination. I listen to all the pros and cons and still hear my naturopath's words in my head and refuse...often to my own detriment.
So it was sort of to be expected that I would get the flu at some point this season, especially considering I'm a makeup artist and spend my days in close proximity to the faces and breath of others.
This flu was SOOOOOOOOO bad. Seriously. I just sobbed and wriggled and tried to sneeze the fever out of my exploding head from Brisbane to Auckland, then was promptly quarantined in our hotel room by the Pirate. I decided to write a survival guide.
1. It sucks to be sick overseas!!!!! If you're alone, try to find out where the nearest Doctor is, and make hasty repair there if need be. Otherwise, push through and go get supplies before locking yourself inside your room: Panadol, thermometer if possible, Vitamins if possible/you don't already travel with them, and anything you like to have when you're ill. Get as much bottled water as you can carry if you're somewhere where safe drinking water doesn't come through the taps.
2. Drink as much water as possible. Make use of the hotel plumbing and sit in the shower/bath. Try to sleep. If travelling alone, I would ensure that those I know and trust know where I am and how sick I am, and I'd be checking in with them as often as possible. If alone, try to conceal the fact that you're unwell from the general populous, as it can make you an easy target.
3. If you're a little beauty queen you're probably going to be even more discouraged by your physical flaws at this point, because being sick makes skin look terrible full stop. If you're beauty obsessed as much as I am, you'll attempt to re-write the rule book, and maintain a level of maintenance you wouldn't blink twice at in your day-to-day life, but which will be exhausting to aspire to while you're nose and eyes are running like taps, and your glands are exploding out the sides of your throat. Less must be more in this case.
4. Remove all your makeup and if you've got long hair, keep it tied up. Your skin will be dehydrated from flying and from the heating/air conditioner in doors, so every time you wake up, cleanse your face, and reapply your eye cream/serum/moisturizer, body lotion/anything else you use daily. If you use a replenishing or radiance focused mask, and travel with it, do that as well. Don't attempt to do any face peels/too much exfoliating/ or use anything too active on your skin at this point, as it will already be needing TLC. Take it from one who knows; those magnifying mirrors in hotels are awesome for pinpointing flaws and doing lengthy skin analysis and extractions but try to restrain yourself. You'll already be looking pretty rough and it's better not to conduct a full-blown facial at this point in time.
5. If you just can't resist (ahem), go into as much damage control as you can with icy wet cloths to face and neck. I like to soak cloths in wet water, then chill in the mini-bar as often as possible. It will shrink your pores, and it feels really nice when you've got a fever. I also recommend applying a very thin layer of facial serum of your choice, followed by chilled cloths, and repeat. This is just a trick I use because it seems to really work for me, and it feels nice.
6. Wash your hair, and do a little treatment on it if you have one at hand. Also - paint your nails. It will make you feel better to uphold a standard of glamour. If you're feeling up to it and one is available - get thee to the hotel day spa asap. A massage and Mani/pedi will be very reparative to body and soul.
7. Order room service. Don't try to go get supplies unless absolutely necessary/there are amazing boutiques down the road. Wear sunglasses at all times whilst outside. Reality could kill you at this point, so avoid bright lights as much as possible.
8. Don't attempt to 'sweat it out' by embarking on a trip to the gym. Falling off equipment/fainting etc, all in the name of fitness and cleansing ain't a good look on anyone. If you are one of those psychos who believe in a good, old- fashioned sweat (why do I always insist on doing things the hard way??), just take it easy for heavens-sake.home
9. If you're only in the destination for a few days, try to accept that the extent of your sightseeing/exploration will probably be restricted to what you can see from your windows. There's always next time. UNLESS, there are those amazing boutiques just down the road...in which case; dope yourself up on panadol, pop some lipstick on and your sunnies, and stagger down there at all cost. A new dress is probably the very best cure ever anyway :)
Feeling a bit better...just in time to go home on our last day.
Freelance fashion stylist and makeup artist.
Fashion and Art writer.
Dancer/Performer and Dance Teacher.
Would-be film maker.
Refuge of eccentrics.
Seeker. Prayer. Lover of a cacophonous collection of people, places and things.
Viva la resistance.
"Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you'll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she's in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand."
"You'll be a hard act to follow, a bitter pill to swallow, you'll be tough, oh you're tough to replace"
"People say she's crazy, she's got diamonds on the soles of her shoes. Well, I guess that's one way to lose these walking blues: diamonds on the soles of her shoes"
She laid me out on the laundromat floor, said "you'll be not nealy who you are anymore, and I'll always be here to remind you what time is for."