So today, I decided to post instead about my intense hatred of boats.
Now, I love the water. I love the beach, and lakes, and swimming. But I detest boats.
Why? Seasickness. I am so jealous of people who can stomach a boat ride with no problem. In fact, I get awful motion sickness on just about anything that moves. I even get sick if I ride in buses and cars for a long time, and planes too if there's turbulence.
Boats, though, are by far the worst. I just don't have sea legs at all. I was even once seasick taking the 20 minute ferry between Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Yes, it's that bad.
My worst experience ever was in Fiji. This experience made me swear off boats forever ("forever" only lasted 3 years though, until I moved to France and needed a cheap way to get to England). For those not in the know, I was part of a National Science Foundation fellowship for archaeology/anthropology students to Fiji in 2009. We flew to the big island of Fiji, Viti Levu, but then had to take a boat to a very small island in the Lau region of Fiji (which is about halfway between Viti Levu and the nation of Tonga). This journey across the open Pacific Ocean lasted the majority of 24 hours.
Boy was I ill... even with medication. Fortunately (or unfortunately?), all but two of our group of 15 were also in various stages of seasickness by the journey's end. At least I wasn't alone. I managed to make it until about half an hour before disembarkment before BAM I'm heaving my guts into a toilet that won't flush. The only good thing about it was that it put me in the group of sickest people that were first off the boat onto the island.
Happier times on the boat in Fiji before the seasickness kicked in...
More recently, I've taken the ferry to England from France twice. I've been mostly OK as long as I take a hearty helping of Dramamine before I get on the boat, but I felt nauseous even with medicine on the most recent trip over because the sea was so rough.
So what is a traveler struck with motion sickness to do? Dramamine is a god-send in these situations. The regular kind will make you really drowsy but you can buy non-drowsy versions as well. However, in my experience, sleeping through it is a surefire way to avoid getting sick, so maybe the drowsy version is better.
Another good brand is Bonine, but it is harder to find in my experience. Dramamine can be bought at any Wal-Mart or Target store.
If you'd like a less medicinal, more herbal remedy, you can try powdered ginger in pill form. I got my bottle in the health food section of Wal-Mart. I find it works well in moderate situations (the sea is not very rough), but in very rough waters or high turbulence on a plane, the medicinal means work much better. I have never tried the patches or acupressure bracelets, but I understand some people have success with these as well.
Suffice to say, I don't think I'll ever be able to take a cruise in the Caribbean or Mediterranean, unfortunately. I'd love to, really, but I'm too scared of booking it and then getting on the boat and being miserable and ill the entire trip.
Do you get motion sick? What is your best remedy, either herbal or medicinal? Let me know in the comments. :)
That's all for today! If you have any requests for posts about anything I've done, travel wise (Southeast Asia, East Asia, Fiji, Western Europe, or the USA; upcoming travels; backpacking; teaching ESL abroad; studying abroad; solo female travel; money/budgeting; etc) let me know! These are all topics I'm planning to write about through the course of this 365 day bloggin experiment, but any input would be appreciated.