Thailand Planning Step One - LOTS of shots... and a twinge of "WTH am I doing?!"
Step One: Don't get a disease and die. Turns out there are Travel Clinics in MN - specialty travel folks who are experts in what is needed for each area of the world. None of which are covered by health insurance because my trip is not 'required'. So far, I have gotten 7 out of the required 13 shots/vaccinations needed to travel in the areas of Thailand that I plan to travel in.. by foot. I am HOPING that my health insurance covers said vaccinations or I will be paying over $4500 out of pocket just for the shots alone.... Mosquito viruses are a HUGE deal in Thailand esp in the rural areas. That and Rabies are the number one issues to be on the watch for. Rabies in the USA, you think bats and mice. Rabies in Thailand include stray dogs, cats, and monkeys. Yep, monkeys are not friendly there. Noted. Also needed is 24/7 sunscreen for obvious reasons, mosquito net for sleeping, and a mosquito hat for walking... as well as 24/7 Ultrathon Deet - the stuff they used in Desert Storm and Iraq. Also recommended was a mosquito wash for clothing to prevent them from getting me from the outside of my clothes. Did I mention I hate mosquitos in MN - and now I kind of fear them even more?! Nevermind they could seriously make me ill... Zika virus, Jap Encephelitis, and a host of other illnesses I had never heard of were rambled off to me by the travel doc.
My arms one day looked like pin cushions and felt like punching bags used by some big burly human with a grudge against my arms... and I rode the bike to work that day.. which was even more fun because each time I got on the bike to go to the next meetings, the handlebars seemed farther and farther away and higher and higher up in the air.
Next up: Finding a backpack to haul around for the 2 months I plan to be gone... and figuring out how to pack for TWO months in a backpack!!!!