Lauren Graziano: Caught a Cold on the Road

Some people are the kind of people that get sick a few times throughout the year, other people are sick all winter, some have terrible allergies come summer, and some people get sick just one time every year. I’m the kind of person that gets sick once per year. I catch a cold and I am terribly ill for a few weeks and then I recover and I’m good until next year. This year I thought perhaps I had dodged my few weeks of being sick. I had made it past the worst winter months without so much as a sniffle and I thought surely I had eluded my yearly cold and I could finally celebrate my victory. I was wrong. Just after our big snow here in Viterbo, after all the cold weather was finally clearing up and giving way to warm temperatures and sunny skies, I caught a very ugly cold. The kind of cold that has you waking up achy, exhausted, and with a headache that has you convinced someone was hammering your head all night while you slept. Between all the coughing, sniffling and just trying to breathe in general, it just absorbed all of my energy and left me completely drained. It was awful and the worst part was that it all began just three short days before our ten day long adventure to Ireland, Scotland, and then England. So I embarked on my journey on a Friday afternoon with about five different bottles of pills in my bag, feeling the worse for wear but positive that all that medicine would keep me healthy enough to survive the trip, and still excited to travel to places I had never been before.
Ten days later, I can say with complete certainty that I never want to travel while being sick again. I love to travel; I love the flights, the train rides, walking through the airports, arriving at new places, and taking pictures of just about everything. I hate traveling when I’m sick. Being sick in general is terrible already, but being sick on the road, going from one place to the next, sleeping in hostels, and eating out all the time is miserable. Normally, when anyone gets sick, you just want to be home in your own bed with a hot cup of tea or a bowl of homemade soup. Being sick while traveling made me miss my sweet home in Viterbo, the comfort and familiarity of my own room, and the collection of tea flavors in the kitchen. It also made me thankful for my wonderful Italian family that takes such good care of me all the time but especially when I am feeling ill. As lucky as I am to have such a great care system on this side of the world and amazing people looking after me, being sick has made me the slightest bit homesick for my family, my home, and my bed all the way across the ocean in Monument, Colorado. I think our bed becomes our best friend whenever we get sick because I never want to leave mine when I catch a cold and I think most people would agree. And if you are ever caught traveling with a cold or any sort of illness, I recommend bringing more medicine than you think you need because you will thank yourself later when you end up using it all.