We both pack really light. Like, avoid wearing those clothes for months afterwards because you’re so sick of them kind of light packers.
Even so, I never leave for a trip, especially to less developed countries, without a few key things in my pack. M. thinks I’m nuts every time I do this, but I have proven him wrong several times!
Case in point, the first aid kit.
I actually didn’t tell him I was packing the first aid kit when we went to Myanmar; I just stashed it at the bottom of my pack and figured I’d never mention it if we didn’t need it. I keep a small travel first aid kit under the sink (let’s just say I’m not to be trusted with sharp kitchen knives) so it was an easy thing to grab last-minute.
Lo and behold, only a few days before we left Yangon at the end of our trip, this happened:
We had decided to walk from our hostel into the city centre, and I opted to wear flip flops in the city for the first time in two weeks because I wanted to even out the weird tan my Toms had created on the tops of my feet (I know, I know, I was basically asking for it).
This during the Water Festival celebrations, and that morning, all of Yangon was busy deconstructing stages from the revelry the night before. And so, as we walked, with me in my flip flops, I felt a twinge in my foot.
I looked down and there it was — a long, rusty nail, right under the skin of my heel.
Luckily it was a very surface wound and there was a clinic just around the corner. Everyone was friendly and helpful; I even managed to get a tetanus shot and some medication for about US$5.
We found the pharmacies to be difficult to navigate in Myanmar, so it would have wasted time and caused frustration if we’d had to hunt down alcohol wipes, gauze, and medical tape. They patched me up at the clinic, but I would not have been comfortable walking around for the last few days of the trip had I not packed my first aid kit.
If all else fails, a first aid kit takes up very little room and even less weight; if something does come up, it makes life a lot easier. Definitely consider it a necessity in any developing country, area with a language barrier, trip with a tight schedule, or rural location.
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