Travelling with a cold: this week in Vienna
Having a cold sucks at any time, but what happens if you come down with a cold while travelling?
This is the dilemma I came up against this week when, after touching down in the Austrian capital Vienna, I started to sniffle. No-one thinks having a cold, under normal circumstances, is the end of the world, but if it’s bad enough it might certainly feel like you’re drowning in a tide of mucous.
Some of my most unpleasant memories while travelling have been with heavy colds – blocked up in Bishkek, hacking lungs in Hong Kong, sneezing in Sara’ayn and phlegm flowing in Fremantle. So when the streams of snot finally hit me in Vienna, I knew exactly what to do – and so should you.
1. Don’t push yourself. Vienna (and most other cities, except perhaps Venice) will always be there. You can always go back. Holidays where you feel forced to “tick the boxes” and sightsee are often painful anyway, so why do it to yourself while you’re nostrils resemble the Danube? Do what you feel like doing – skip the rest and don’t feel FOMO for it.
2. Ask the locals what to do – you might come across an amazing local remedy. Sometimes this backfires (like it did in Bishkek, where the eucalyptus oil I was recommended stung my nostrils), but often it’s better than anything you’ve got in your personal medicine kit – Johar Joshanda, a herbal tea from Pakistan, is a perfect example.
3. Walk – get out and breathe the fresh air. If you’re in a polluted city, go to a large park where you can at least walk in a bit of natural sunlight. You’ll feel better for it, the light exercise will stimulate your sinuses to temporarily weaken the stuffiness, and you won’t be stuck in a hotel room surrounded by used tissues.
4. Go to a cafe or teashop and read, people-watch, be amongst it without the exhausting sightseeing trail. Try some local food, sip green tea, and take a holiday from the holiday. It doesn’t matter even if it’s not 100% authentic – look after yourself.
5. Wear comfortable clothes. One of the best things about being on holidays in a new city is the anonymity. Wear whatever you like, be comfortable, and don’t make things more miserable by forcing yourself into clothes that may look good, but leave you feeling even more hassled.
And finally, remember that when all is said and done, you’re in a new city and it’s just a cold – you’ll get over it soon enough and be ready to continue your holiday!
With that, here are a few pictures from Vienna this week;