If your idea of a tropical adventure is positioning your umbrella in your Mai Tai so it doesn’t get in the way as you drink or shopping for a new pair of black socks to wear with your sandals, this post might not be helpful to you.
But if you’re the kind of person that loves a good dose of adrenaline with a beer chaser and likes to see how much crazy fits in one day, then you might find a tip that will make your first or next tropical adventure even more of a blast.
Avoiding Pain That Has Nothing to Do with Fun
1. Sunscreen up: If you haven’t been out in the sun lately, heaven help you if you try to spend a whole day in it with no protection. Especially if you’re fair-skinned. Sunshine in the tropics will fry your skin to a shocking shade of red that no one looks good in. Then you’ll peel. And cry. It will put a serious damper on your fun. Not to mention skin cancer risks! So purchase lots of sunscreen. My favorite is
Doc Martin’s of Maui. I make sure to put it on not only on my face and ears but also the backs of my hands. And if you want to wear some sort of footwear without excruciating pain, then use it on the tops of your feet too, at least for the first few days.
2. Protect your eyeballs: Yes, your eyes can get sunburned! There are short and long term risks, and The American Optometric Association states that “The longer the eyes are exposed to solar radiation, the greater the risk of developing later in life such conditions as cataracts or macular degeneration.” They recommend protection and have some handy guidelines for sunglasses that will properly protect your eyes.
3. Wear a rash guard: A rash guard is not only for guarding against rash but also for keeping your upper body protected from the sun while doing water sports. I personally like to avoid yum-yum yellow or sea turtle green. Bright colors are great if you’re stand-up paddle boarding or windsurfing so you can easily be seen if you get in trouble and start to drift in the ocean. You can find them in any local shop that carries water sports equipment.
4. Make a first aid kit: This could include an antiseptic, some antibiotic ointment, and band-aids in a Ziploc. If you’re in the water, forget the band-aids. It will just become ocean pollution. I’m a huge fan of a product called New-Skin. Think antiseptic meets furniture varnish. I really can’t tell you if it’s got some scary ingredients, but from experience with staph infections that almost resulted in a lost limb, I’ll go with New-Skin. Getting staph is no joke and New-Skin has worked for me to keep infection away several times.
5. Drink up: Hydrate and then hydrate some more. Take water wherever you go. That includes hiking dormant volcanoes, through a bamboo forest and in the water! Just because you’re in the water doesn’t mean you don’t need it! Make sure when you’re done your session you have water waiting.
6. Lotion yourself: Flaky is never good in any form. Exposing your skin to harsh elements can cause it to get, erm… icky. I love organic coconut oil personally. But remember if you’re a kook someone new to water sports don’t put it on before your surf lesson!
7. Eat for maximum adventure: If you showed up to the adventure with a couple of extra pounds, it’s a perfect time to get rid of them. It’s also a great time to clean up a diet that’s been seeing too much sugar and sodas. I’m all for a beer at the end of the day of fun in a friend’s hot tub (that’s for my friends who shared their beer and hot tub ) but eating crappy food won’t help you keep energy high or help you recover from hours of fun. Take advantage of fresh seafood in the tropics and the abundance of fruits and vegetables available. Hopefully the clean eating will carry over when you get back home!
And most importantly…
What say you? Any tropical adventure stories to share or any adventure tips? Snark is always encouraged!
*Any products I mentioned above were purchased by me and I was not compensated in any way; in fact, they most likely will never know I or this post exists but I still love their stuff anyway!*