In 2013 travel blogger Jodi Ettenberg contracted dengue fever. A former lawyer turned writer, by the time she got sick Ettenberg had been a professional traveler for five years with no plan of turning back any time soon. She wanted to get better and get on with her life.
"Dealing with health issues as you travel wasn't something I kept in mind or did anything preemptive about before," she said. "I was more like many travelers. I got sick as I traveled, and that was just something you dealt with, food poisoning or anything else. You had your first aid kit and your packing kit. It wasn't until I got sick that I had to start thinking about it as a preemptive thing."
"It's almost like it changed something in me and the way my immune system processes generally," she added. "A lot of my friends did fine. I'm one of the few that really has seemed to have continuous issues."
And the disease didn't let go.
Thanks to some pre-existing immune system problems, the pain from dengue lingered. Long after the virus cleared that pain remained, settling, in her words, into "my new normal." Nevertheless, Ettenberg is still traveling, and dragging the consequences of dengue along for the ride.
She has no intention of stopping. Instead, Ettenberg has dedicated herself to writing about her journey and what it's taught her about how travelers can cope with chronic disease, food allergies and immune conditions. One thing she's learned?