Hot! Catching the Travel Bug

Or “What’s the Deal GFA?!”

I have been unusually absent from blogging lately but don’t worry, there’s a good story behind it. Put simply – I caught the travel bug. And not the kind that has you planning your next trip before you even finish the one you’re on.

During my spring trip to Belize, I detoured off the tourist track to the small village of Dangriga. Located on the southern coast, it’s a jump off point for the smaller island keys. My objective was to get to Tobacco Caye for some quiet time after the noisy and bustling jungle.

When the bus pulled into the station, it was clear that this was not the Belize of postcards and tourism guides. The dusty main road was lined with boarded buildings. Aside from a few kids riding bikes, the town was desolate. It was one of those backpacker moments when you do a gut check on whether to soldier on or get back on the bus.

Knowing I would be on an island the next morning, I continued on, finding the jovial Cap’n Doggie at the Riverside Café. Soon I had my boat and guide to Tobacco Key. I also had a plate of fried fish, fries and a most refreshing Lighthouse Lager. Later that night at Ruthie’s Cabins, though, the lager wasn’t so refreshing. I felt the urge to purge. Several times. It was a sleepless night as my body rejected what seemed like such a good dinner.

I never made it to Tobacco Caye, but had a great time the rest of the week at the tourist-friendly Caye Caulker. Back in Arizona, I chalked it up to another travel misadventure until two month later I found myself in similar angst.

What I thought was a case of bad leftovers was actually the culmination of several weeks of apathy. I thought it was just a slump, a mid-life crisis, a “7-year itch” from running my own business. But when the purge continued for several days, I went to the doctor. I donated some samples, took his OTC recommendation, and started to feel better. A few days later, the Health Department called.

Turns out, I had a stowaway in my large intestine which in turn had left me anemic and lethargic. Thank goodness! A parasite sounded much more curable then chronic malaise. Sure enough, a short run of antibiotics and my energy, appetite and true travel bug were back in force.

The next week at the doctor’s office, I did a gut check.

The best parts of travel are going off the beaten track, meeting the locals, and tasting the food. I rarely give a second thought to what I try. Sometimes it backfires – like the decision to eat strange nuts in the Mexican jungle. But mostly it’s worth the experiment. Now I was like a teenager coming to terms with mortality after breaking a bone. Would this change the way I traveled?

Hardly. The doc gave me a Hep A shot and I went home to plan my next adventure.

Dinner at the Riverside Cafe

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