I've been in Guadalajara, Mexico for nearly three weeks, and although I'm thrilled to be here, my initial excitement has been dampened a bit by the misfortune I've experienced since my arrival…
Week 1: Jetlag
That's a real thing! I previously experienced a very mild form of this when returning to South Africa after 6 months in China, which lasted only a couple of days. But it seems that almost 25 hours of traveling back in time(Mexico is 7 hours behind South Africa), along with the change in altitude, took a far worse toll on my system this time around! So for my entire first week I was passed out before sunset and woke up in the early morning hours. Not the ideal state to be in when having to set up a office and train new staff…
Week 2: Stomach problems
Don't get me wrong, the food here is phenomenal, and I tried anything the locals recommended from day one, but at some point, at the end of my first week my insides rebelled.It was like my stomach said " Whoa lady! You can't just keep stuffing your face with all these foreign flavors without my approval". So during week two, I felt sick and had a severe loss of appetite. Luckily I always travel with a variety of tummy meds ; nausea, diarrhea and stomach cramp mess.I also made sure I stayed hydrated by drinking lots of bottled water(tap water is not an option in Mexico)
Week 3: Bed bugs!!!
I woke up last Saturday feeling pretty great actually;my sleep pattern was back to normal, and now that my stomach wasn't cramping after every meal, I once again had an appetite, life couldn't be better!
I ignored the two nasty looking mosquito bites on my arm and had a very enjoyable weekend. But my Sunday evening my 2 mosquito bites had turned into 5. By midweek it was all over my upper arms and back. I didn't think too much of it since I previously experience an allergic reaction to mosquito bites in China, but these marks were popping up all over my body, and when scratched(because they itch like nothing I've experienced before!) they turn into these huge angry red bumps and even blister a little.
Friday afternoon my skin felt like it was on fire and I was experiencing extreme levels of discomfort. I had looked at the possibility of bed bugs before, but since I couldn't see them , I simply dismissed it. But now with the itching driving me to the point of where I was drawing blood from scratching, I stormed into my hostel room and started stripping the bed, methodically searching in all the place Google told me to look in, and coming up empty. Just as I was about to give up, I decided to move the bed so I could see under it…Ta-Daaaaa! I'd found the little critters!
Bed bugs shed their outer layers as they grow, similar to snakes, and right there under the bed I'd been sleeping in the past week, was the evidence of their shedding! I then flipped the wooden frame of the bed over and found even more evidence of their existence.
I immediately informed the hostel manager who promptly moved me to another room, but not before confiscating all my clothes(except what I had on at the time) as well as my luggage and wrapping it in big black bags to be sent of to the laundromat.
As I sit here typing , I'm still covered in huge red itchy spots, but I feel a sense of relief knowing what the actual cause was, and that I won't need to spend the next two months here fearing an allergic reaction to mosquitoes!
Here's hoping that in week 4 , things will start to take a turn for the better!
Happy Travels! 🙂