Travel ailment: Food Poisoning

August 17, 2016

I've always been adventurous when it comes to food so when I booked my trip to Thailand in 2009, I knew I was in for a treat. My friends are all food enthusiasts so we talked about what I should eat in Bangkok. 

When I got to Bangkok; the heat was unbearable. It was so hot outside. I had to stay inside the hotel during the day to avoid the heat.

When I ventured out, I could smell the barbeque from every street corner so I would stop and buy whatever they were cooking and eat on the spot. I didn't go to crazy in Bangkok with street food until I got to Krabi.

Krabi was very laid back. I spent most of the time at the beach. Lunch and snacks were always street food from the vendors near the beach. I ate a lot of fried seafood, delicious steamed clams, and my all time favourite fried won ton skewers. I ate it all the time so it's no wonder on my last day there, I set myself a schedule of eating all day. After going to the beach, I went back to the street vendors and ordered all my favourite items. For snacks, I eat green mangoes with chilies. I was really full and happy.

On my way to the airport to fly back to Bangkok, I started feeling queasy. I thought I was just tired so I tried to sleep. The flight was only an hour so I was back in Bangkok in no time. Immediately, after entering my hotel room, I threw up. I felt better but then few minutes later, I was back...and it lasted until 6am.

I felt so weak and tired. I was also running a fever and I felt horrible to say the least. Thankfully, my travel companion was there for me. He made me stay hydrated and took care of me by feeding me plain rice so I can have something in my stomach. I was very worried that I was not going to make my flight back to the Philippines. Thankfully, my fever broke and I was strong enough to fly back.

When I got back to Canada, I immediately visited my family doctor and I got a check up. Everything was fine but my stomach was never the same again. I had stomach pains all the time and I could not eat properly. I had to get a lot of tests done and the results were fine so I saw a gastroenterologist specialists and that didn't help either.
Finally, I was at the end of my rope. I was very stressed out about my stomach pains that I ultimately gave up on Western medicine and went to a Naturopath doctor. On my first visit, the doctor immediately gave me a list of foods that I could eat; everything else was a no-no. It was really hard to go on a strict diet for two weeks. It was a torture. I had to cut out everything. He told me I had gluten allergy so I could not eat any products with wheat (bread, pasta, beer!!!). After two weeks on being on a very strict diet, I started feeling better. I went on a trip to Cuba for a week and broke my diet. I ate carbs, lots and lots of it! I didn't care, it was my birthday week and I indulged. Thankfully, I didn't get sick.

When I came home, I watched my diet but I pretty much ate what I wanted. After more than one year of pain, I finally started to feel better. I try to eat more healthy but I started introducing the "bad foods" on my list and making notes of what still makes me sick.

My food poisoning experience has not stopped me from enjoying and eating different cuisines but I am more cautious on what I eat especially while on a trip. I try to avoid shellfish as much as possible and anything spicy.

Have you ever had food poisoning? Have you experienced travel ailments?


  1. Oh my! What a terrible experience! No wonder it took you so long to write about it. Glad to know you're much better now, and that the ban on those "bad foods" wasn't permanent.

  2. Oh gosh, sorry to hear you had to go through that! Glad it's improved now. I haven't had anything horrible, funnily enough the only time I've had food poisoning while travelling was in Oxford! It was only a 24-hour thing, though, but the bus back to London was torture.

    Jane / deluminators

    1. That's terrible :( Hate being in transit when I'm ill. Worst feeling in the world.

  3. What a bummer. I've kind of come to expect food poisoning as part of the travel experience to certain countries. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with being sick while traveling, but I feel like my tolerance for a lot of foods isn't as high as it used to be. Maybe I shouldn't attribute it to traveling though, it's probably just that I'm getting older.

    1. I feel the same way. It's also part of getting older.

      I've had some stomach issues but this was the worst one. I'm more careful about what I eat when I travel now.

  4. Yikes! What an experience! That's good that you didn't let the experience stop you from enjoying foods while traveling but made you more aware and cautious!


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