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SOL: A Day of Sickness in Portugal


In 2008 I went to Portugal and Spain with an ex. We rented a car and we drove all around Costa Del Sol and drove over to Faro, Portugal and to the Straight of Gibraltar. It was an amazingly beautiful place. 1910166_524086654177_2603_n

Everyone was really nice, or so from what I thought since I did not understand a ton. When we drove over to Portugal, this was before my knowledge of Portuguese,  we stopped to get some food, and could not read a single thing on the menu. What was going on?! This was not Spanish…. I understood Spanish!

Unfortunately, I did not have a Portuguese dictionary with me like I had carried the Spanish one like a bible. We guessed on what to order and I ended up getting something like a cold soup. It was really awful!

At the moment of awful food, I thought I would feel better. I had a headache and then a stomach ache and then a really bad headache and then delusions! I needed to get to a bed right NOW!

I slept through the night barely. Of course, the first time I get to Portugal, I am super sick and no clue what is wrong with me. I had the craziest dreams, I really was delusional, and I could not grasp the difference between reality and not being awake – its was seriously crazy.

The ex found a doctors office and we walked there, what seemed like 5 miles away in the middle of an alleyway. They told me in English I had tonsillitis. I literally had not idea what they were talking about, how was that even possible? They said it was a really bad case and gave me some medication, that was in Portuguese. They said I would be better the next day if I took the medicine. At this point, what options did I have? I was so upset that my time in Portugal was spent in a bed dying of a very high fever, but I had to take the medicine, whether I could read it or not.

Oh what the hell?

The next day we leave to go back to Spain. I am better. But my time in Portugal is lost.


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TWL Working Mom

Jennifer is the Owner of TWL Working Moms and Co-Owner of Influential Mamas.  Along with blogging + freelance writing, she is a mom, army wife and full-time teacher. Jennifer lives in Washington State and is a born + raised New Yorker. In her spare time, she loves traveling, yoga, the beach, writing, listening to books and drinking coffee.

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  1. Having just had a bad case of food poisoning while in Bangkok I can relate to your frustration of being sick while traveling- yuck! You will never forget the trip! I hope you get back to Portugal for a proper visit!

  2. Oh no… nothing worse than being “super sick” in a strange land where they speak a language you do not understand. Guessing on an order can be disastrous… I’ll NEVER forget one I guessed on in a noodle house in China.

  3. I once had what I like to call an “out of body bowel experience” in Guatemala. I, too lost a day, but felt better the next day. I’ve heard that Portuguese speakers can understand Spanish, but Spanish speakers struggle with Portuguese. Is that true?

  4. Love your pictures and feel empathy for you on your Portugal trip. It reminded me of my one and only day trip to the Louvre and how sick I was. I saw the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and spent more time visiting every single bathroom in the museum. Needless to say, I think I deserve another trip back to Paris, and you to Portugal. One day… 🙂

  5. Our son was sick when we visited London. It’s the worst to be sick in another country, but at least we spoke the language. You captured that delusional feeling well. Glad the medicine helped you feel better. Hope you get another chance someday for a well visit to Portugal.

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