Traveling With Someone Who Is Sick

16 Jan

There are many pros and cons to think about before deciding whether or not you’d prefer traveling solo or with others. I decided to go solo on my trip to Peru last summer. My decision was partially influenced by the fact that I would be spending four weeks with a group of people on an archaeological dig so I knew I wouldn’t be alone for my whole trip and partially based off of the fact that there was no one else to go with.

During the four week dig I made some really great friends. I talked openly about my plans that would commence after the dig and one friend, in particular, asked if she could join me in my travels to Cuzco and Machu Picchu. Her and I had become very good friends so I welcomed the idea instantly.

The weekend before we left for Cuzco she had started to feel sick, but I didn’t think much of it. Once we arrived in Cuzco we spent all day exploring the city before we were off to Machu Picchu the next day. While we were walking about the ruins she said that she felt sick and needed to leave. We had a train to catch from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo anyway so it didn’t inconvenience me very much.

When we arrived back in Ollantaytambo (the stop before Cuzco), she felt as if she were going to throw up and didn’t want to do so in a taxi. She wanted to stay the night. For me, I was on a much stricter budget than she was and I couldn’t really afford to stay the night in Ollantaytambo, especially since I left my backpack at the hostel in Cuzco where I had already paid for that upcoming night. I felt bad thinking about leaving her there, but when I explained it to her she decided that she would try to taxi back to Cuzco with me and I was grateful for that. One two-hour taxi ride later and we had made it to Cuzco. She immediately went to bed.

Now, I’m not trying to say that her being sick was a burden to me, but it definitely put a damper on our time in Cuzco. We had all these plans that we were looking forward to together and we couldn’t do any of them because she was sick.

In the middle of the night, she woke me up saying that there was something really wrong with her. She felt absolutely dreadful and ended up going to a small hospital. I was leaving the next night at around 10 p.m. for La Paz, Bolvia and I didn’t know what to do. I kept getting phone calls to the hostel from her boyfriend and family wanting to know how she was, but I had no idea.

Early the next day, I got an email from her. She said that she had a parasite but that she was doing better. She told me that she would be staying in the hospital for another day or two and wished me a good time in Bolivia. She apologized for being sick.

That’s when I realized I had to go see her. So I took a taxi to this clinic that was pretty far from Cuzco’s centre. She had no idea that I was coming and we both started tearing up when we saw each other.

As much as her being sick was a setback, she was now my friend. I didn’t even know her for a month at the time, but we could no longer consider each other travel buddies. We were friends. If I were sick, she would’ve been there for me.

So, how did I spend my last night in Cuzco? In a hospital. I’m glad I did because I would’ve regretted not going. Of course I would have loved to go out dancing with friends, but sometimes you need to think about what’s more important.

Yeah, sure, I was pretty bummed that most of our Cuzco plans fell through, but I can always go back.

Cuzco will always be waiting for me.

I think the point I’m trying to make is that your plans aren’t going to turn out exactly as you want them to when you’re traveling with another person; however, the friendships that you can possibly make in such a short time can outweigh those negative factors.

And they did.

I made some really great friends during my trip to Peru and Bolivia. Some I would even consider to be lifelong friends.

Sometimes you just need to make sacrifices and learn to deal with the less ideal things that come with traveling. And, I wouldn’t change a thing.

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