• Cassie Stockamp

The Downside of Slow Travel...

Updated: Mar 17, 2019

Please be warned... there’s a part that is kinda’ gross...


I was tested today. I’ve come off of 2.5 days of a raging fever and thought I had it in me to travel again... I wanted to get back to the beach so my lungs could heal; I still have a raspy rattle in my chest as my body violently reacted to a neighbor burning plastic in Ella - every morning.


I was on the 7am local bus to Melagama Beach in southern Sri Lanka. Not that it matters, but I was the only foreigner on the local bus. And I don’t know if it was because it was a Saturday, but it was crowded. Sardines crowded. I finally got an aisle seat and settled in for the 4 hour ride. I noticed I was highly sensitive and reacting to the different smells that were wafting in: a sickly sweet air freshener floated by every time we stopped, burning garbage and the occasional burning plastic. That one made my stomach lurch a bit so I held me breath, exhaled deeply and most of the the time by the inhale, the odor had passed.


I had pangs of manageable nausea off and on, but by hour 3 I got triggered. By this time it was wall to wall standing people. Every time someone moved to get off, the rearranging of bodies started. I had bags on my lap, elbows in my ribs, backpacks in my face.... everyone was always touching another. At hour three the nausea got worse and I steeled my eyes in one place, deepened my breath and felt the beads of sweat pop out of my forehead. Not a good sign for me. I dry heaved once and looked at the open window and resigned myself to leaning over 2 people and sticking my head out the window if worse came to worse. Well, the next thing I know is that we’ve stopped, I am being crushed, my body goes limp and I throw up in my mouth. Oh dear god. No where to go with it other then back down. Fortunately I hadn’t eaten in close to 24 hours so there was no bile, etc.


The crowd lessened and I felt better. Still weak, but that horrible nauseousness was gone. What a day. I’m at the beach looking at waves and breathing in salt air. Getting better... I knew it wouldn’t always be easy... lol.



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