After planning our trip for the last year, it was finally time to quit our jobs, drive 430 miles to move Natalie’s stuff to a SoCal storage unit and prep for the trip.
IMG_4312Ross in our 10×10 storage unit with Nat’s entire apartment and life. 

The next step in planning the trip was to get immunizations and making sure that all of our medical needs were in place before the trip. We drove to the heart of Santa Ana to Orange County Heath Care Agency (highly recommend for affordable vaccines in Orange County) and spent the next 30 minutes listening to all of the frightening diseases, ailments, sicknesses and potentials for death that we were subjecting ourselves to by traveling to South East Asia. One of our favorites was Japanese encephalitis which could be asymptomatic or could instead cause a loss of limb, feeling in a limb for one year to your whole life or one out of four people die after being bit by mosquitos in the night. Another sneaky illness found in biting bugs (who love Natalie more that anything) is a small virus called ZIKA. Thankfully the doctor assured us that as long as Natalie didn’t get pregnant up to six months (the disease stays in the man’s sperm for six months and with the woman for up to four weeks) after being in an infected area, we were ok with this one. We  have never been so relieved to hear that it could just be a little diarrhea!

We left the travel doctor with three pricks each:

  • Polio
  • TDAP (for Ross)
  • Typhoid
  • Flu shot (for Nat)
  • Malaria Med prescription

Another tip from Nat is to consider another form of birth control that is not a pill during the trip. Natalie opted for a three year Mirena IUD.


 Allergy testing for penicillin.

For Natalie’s whole life she has thought that she was allergic to penicillin. Since we plan to travel to countries that might not have readily available antibiotics, we wanted to check and see if she was still allergic. After being poked and prodded the tests came back 80% negative! #winning.

Other medicines we packed in our “first aid kit” are Bandaids, Triple Antibiotic ointment, Malaria medicine (Doxycycline), anti-diarrhea medicine, Advil, Aleve, Pepto-Bismol, Blister Bloc, Sunscreen (lots of it!), DEET (if we could shower in it, we would!) and gauze.

You can never be too prepared!



  1. Have an absolute blast, you guys! Jason and I are so excited for you.

    Based on personal experience, I’d recommend against taking the Malaria medicine, but if you’ve already taken it on trips and been fine — great!

    Other bug repellents recommended by our travel nurse (and us):

    Picardin is a lot safer than Deet and just as powerful. We didn’t get one mosquito bite.

    We can’t wait to follow along on your blog and IG, and live vicariously through all of your adventures. Enjoy!

    Much love,
    Meg and Jason


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