... when you're constantly on the move, few things remain unchanged.

this week's tip | don't drink the water

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

One thing I absolutely, wholeheartedly recommend to anyone that wants to go on a trip is never drink the tap water!  I also think that people who frequently travel should get into a habit of either packing or buying bottled water along the way.

This doesn't only apply to third world countries - drinking foreign water is as much of a shock to your system as eating a foreign meal, even though its results are often less outwardly noticeable.  I can prove this by challenging disbelievers to a simple experiment: try taking all your usual shower products on your next trip and see if you notice a difference in the way your shampoo, soap, shaving gel, toothpaste etc lathers or rinses off.  I'll bet you do!  This isn't always simply because of water hardness (or softness) - this is often because of other chemicals added as well.

I noticed this when I moved to Atlanta - my conditioner was taking forever to rinse out, my teeth became sensitive and within the first couple of weeks my skin broke out badly!  Ironically, I got used to Atlanta's water after a while and my skin settled back down, only to return home to Aus for a visit where I broke out all over again after a shower!  Logically, if your bath products are performing differently and your skin is reacting, it stands to reason that internally you are reacting as well.

Personally, I am really strict about the water I drink.  In 2011, I got a kidney infection that had me hospitalized for three days, scared out of my wits and in more pain than I can describe.  When I asked the doctor what causes kidney infection, she told me that drinking straight tap water is often worse than not giving your system enough water AND that Atlanta's water reserve was on a calcium deposit so rates of kidney problems are very high in the city!!  From that point, everywhere we go I always wonder what water reservoirs are sitting on top of (or near) and never let even a drop of it touch my open mouth.  I've envisioned radioactive spills, or rubbish floating in the water and like Charlotte from the Sex and the City movie - who instantly got sick when she let some water in her mouth, I'd probably mentally give myself another kidney infection from the stress if I ever let any into mine!

At home we simply have a Brita filter jug that filters our drinking water and when we're out, I always buy still bottled water.  I never drink the water that's brought to our table when we're dining out - even if they say it's filtered, I just don't want to risk it.

Perhaps I'm overly cautious, but those who've had a kidney problem can attest to its horrifying, debilitating pain and will understand why I go to such lengths to protect myself from ever incurring another.  And for everyone else, this advice comes from the purest intent of my heart, simply to warn you and guard you against potential health disasters.  You don't really need to be as extreme as I am, just avoid foreign tap water!

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Sharing my stories of migrating from Australia to the US | travel adventures | married life | furry kids | new experiences | lessons | and loving life despite always missing home. xo.


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