Health, Safety and Bali Belly
I’m here to offer a few truths about the health and safety when living in Bali. Friends and family are regularly asking about this now they're planning trips out here, so here is the low down.
I’ve been slacking this week on the blog posts, mainly due to being villa bound for two days and feeling generally under the weather. In honour of my Bali Belly, I wanted to take this time to talk about health and safety when travelling in Bali.
First of all, let’s begin with the obvious - the water. As you know, the excess use of plastic is a bit of an irritant of mine, and I while I don’t suggest drinking the tap water, it’s easy to keep plastic waste to a minimum; I would recommend bringing or buying a reusable bottle and using the refillable water coolers that are very easily accessible as much as possible. Even if you just refill your 2 litre water bottle thats you bought from the shop, you’re still making a difference and drinking sterile an clean water.
Whilst on this topic, I’ve found brushing my teeth with the water (after finding out most of my friends do) is actually pretty safe, just don’t swallow any and you should be fine - but if you’re concerned, stick to bottled water. The truth is, you’re likely to swallow gallons of sea water during your first few surf lessons so no need to be too stressed about it!!
Local Food and Restaurants - Let’s be real, local food is FINE. I haven’t tried too much from the carts walking round, but I’ve tried the Nasi Goreng, Nasi Campur and other bits and haven’t struggled after eating it. I will say this though… Sambal is fucking spicy, ignore your locals friends when they tell you it isn’t, if you’re not used to rain spices then you need to introduce this gradual to any meal.
For those of you wondering about this Sambal is a hot sauce or paste made with chillis, shallots, garlic, lime and other variations depending on who is making it, and it’s a staple addition to any meal in Bali - it’s just not for the faint hearted.
I’m also going to weigh in that I can’t comment on the meat out here, but I live with girls who eat it regularly and are absolutely fine - including chicken.
Scooter Safety - It’s taken me a while to build up some scooter confidence. When I landed I have such a bad sinus infection that my ear stayed popped and infected for 2 weeks, int his time I tried to ride a scooter and my balance was so shocking that it put me off. I decided to pay for a scooter lesson now I’m steady again and I was flying within minutes. I just recommend being steady and taking a scooter lesson if you need to. The roads are crazy here and the drivers are used to the way it is, so stick to the left, be confident and just go for it…. And wear a helmet!
Bali Belly - OK, now for the fun part… not. There are varying degrees of Bali Belly, and if you’re unfortunate enough to come down with any variation then I feel for you. I have heard stories of people being bedridden for days, I’ve been lucky and just suffered a little. So since this is my third time in as many weeks of suffering with a mild case, I’m sharing my top tips for curing, coping and keeping it away!
Activated charcoal/carbon is your new best mate. Theres no avoiding this, the second you notice a hint of stomach ache, bloating or any other stomach related symptoms, get your ass to the pharmacy and grab the black stuff. It’s actually become something I want to drink most days due to the benefits it has on your system. Best Health Mag have an excellent article outlining all the benefits so CLICK HERE to read for yourself.
Rehydrate. Even if you’re one of the sever cases where you can’t keep anything down for more than a few minutes, definitely get yourself some electrolytes from the local pharmacy to rehydrate, one small sachet in a drink can work wonders for your energy levels and refuelling your body with much needed hydration, salt and glucose levels. I now keep a stash in my wash bag for emergencies - they’re a miracle for a hangover too!!
Rest. Don’t think because you’re on travelling or on vacation that you need to be up and out 100% of the time. If you’re body is struggling, show it some love and rest up. The more you rest the faster you’ll heal.
Personal Safety - A new kind of safety discussion but one to talk about all the same. It’s worth noting that everyone I have met are friendly and wonderful people, but It’s also very important to remember that I’d recommend being cautious in ANY country, including my home town in the UK. Keep one eye on your belongings or leave them with someone you trust, use safety deposit boxes where possible and carry your bag across your body. Don’t walk alone late at night, don’t drink to the post of reduced awareness, and just stay on the ball at all times. You’re in a foreign country, so stay conscious and stay aware. It’s no less safe than being at home, theres danger in every part of the world so just keep your wits about you.
So there you have it, I’m sure I’ll be able to share more stories and advice as the months go on, but I hope this helps any of of you be aware of Bali Life. It seems like a negative post, it isn’t supposed to, it’s just about helping you be more aware ahead of any travelling. I love Bali, and feel healthy, safe and the happiest I have for a long time.
See you soon