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Make Tropics Next Destination

Vacation in the tropics is an invariable term for holiday in a foreign country. After making a choice, you’d be justified to be a little bit curious about the character of your intended destination. A plausible question to ask would be: how feasible is a relaxing, trouble-free stay in a region whose atmospheric attributes exhibit profound dissimilarities? That addressed, a key pending issue prior to departure is put to rest.

Basically, elements within the tropics tend to operate as a significant variant of that of temperate regions. The signpost description of the tropical environs is that they are, on average, warmer than the rest of the habitable parts on the planet. On a typically hot day, one may notice some changes in one’s conspicuous bodily routines. The same holds true for other personal convenience issues common in areas with high levels of atmospheric saturation. For example, you may have to cope with instances of sweat building up on your hair scalp, trickling down through soaked up clothing to the further reaches of your body!

That being the case, it is fortunate that the human body has the capacity to withstand exertions from naturally occuring stressors without appending detriment.

Avoidance of the negative brings to mind a pivotal subject pertaining to leaving safe shores of home: health. It becomes all the more important for individuals with little or no history of presence in an exotic locale for a good reason. Introductory discomfort could come by way of the various bugs that flourish in hot areas of the world. Their inkling to be particular about their victims may just be an incovenience not factored beforehand. It boils down to biological factors – blood group, metabolism and other features of one’s biometrical profile play a role. Some people tend to attract more (unwanted) attention of vectors. Generally, individuals with blood group O are more susceptible to insect bites than, say group A. However, that is not to infer a blanket suggestion of selective advantage, merely a scientific observation.

Malaria is an insect borne infection that is endemic to the tropics and so is the risk of water borne diseases such as dysentery, diarrhea, enteric fever including cholera. Recently, virulent hemorrhagic conditions, namely ebola and dengue fever along with another mosquito-transmitted virus, the zika, have been in the news.

Transmissible infections are basically handled by controlling their hosts, which is a publicly funded initiative. At a personal level, observing simple hygiene practices and adhering to prophylactic regimes is strongly advisable. Paying attention to health alerts also helps keep abreast with latest developments on that front.

With the above in mind, it is generally safe to travel to areas that are free from an outbreak of public infection.

Another critical aspect of foreign travel involves local customs. Unlike the norms and practices of different social groups within national boundaries, traveling a thousand miles or so beyond the borders of one’s country not only avails alien legislation, but outlook on life, too. Politics remain a sensitive area for any prospective holiday maker as it eventually incorporates security. Admittedly, matters of public office are universally contentious and even paternalistic in some parts of the world. The spill-over effects are sometimes rather intense.

Ordinarily, local courtesy makes allowances for visitors’ ways. It would also be prudent to use discretion at all times.

Caution should always balance zest when picking your destination.

Otherwise, the call of the tropics are well worth heeding. Below are some information that may be helpful to prospective visitors to the area.

DESCRIPTION OF DESTINATION

The tropical region is a belt of space which, by geographical design, stretches in between two specified latitudinal lines (latitude: imaginary lines that encircle the planet in lateral or east to west fashion) on either side of the equator (the chief line of latitude that sort of bisects the planet roughly into two equal parts). On the northern half, the defining latitude is named ‘tropic of cancer’ and is located about 1600 miles (2560km), or by angular measurement of the globe, 23.5 degrees north of the equator. To the south, the tropical limit line is termed ‘tropic of capricorn’ whlch shares the same values of distance south of the main latitude as its opposite number in the north. The two latitudes are said to be equi-distant (same distance on their respective sides) from the equator. This narrow space (only in comparison with the dimension of the planet, of course!) or equatorial zone runs right around the globe and since water is the planet’s major constituent, most of it is made up of the oceans of the world. The main feature of the area is its climate whose impact is visible on the landmass traversed by the phenomenon. Areas in the vicinity of the equator are home to the famed tropical rain forests which are to be found in parts of Indonesia, Malaysia, Congo, Brazil’s Amazon region, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica among others. Here, the rains fall all year long and average temperature generally stay above 65 Fahrenheit.

Further away from the main line of latitude, the weather settles down to regular pattern of alternating seasons. The main distinguishing feature is the wet and dry seasons with freezing point temperatures largely non-existent in low lying areas.

The landscape is dominated by varying landform and drainage systems that sustain a plethora of vegetation ranging from the evergreen jungles to deciduous savannah lands. Some of the physical features include towering mountains, gorges, plateaus, scenic undulating plains, caves, valleys, archaeologically important sites to name but a few. A home to rich and diverse flora and fauna, the area exposes hidden treasures that hold the attention of all social groups.

In terms of patronage, there are unlimited outdoor activities to enjoy in a perfect setting away from it all. From the nature sanctuaries, game, ecosystem, water sports to summits, camping grounds, sights to behold or just clear waters on pristine beaches against a backdrop of unspoiled nature at its best.

WHEN TO VISIT

Rainforest areas experience a homogenous weather pattern with warmer temperatures, year-long precipitation and the resultant humid atmosphere. Resplendent in greenery, it is an environment to be seen and not heard, with anytime of the year suitable for a visit.

Elsewhere within the tropics, dry seasons are generally more pleasant, obviously for less muddy outdoors. It is also a time when mosquito breeding cycles abate somewhat.

WHAT TO CARRY

Sombreros, sun cream, light change of clothing, cosmetics and toiletry, ample supply of sanitary towels, bandages and plasters, methylated spirit*, insect repellent, loafers, bed time gear, treated collapsible mosquito net, anti-malarial tablets, ORS (oral rehydration salts), solar powered or dry cell- operated torch (electricity supply may not be consistent so carry your own supply of dry cells), area maps, shades, binoculars, camera etc.

WHAT TO PACK AWAY

Travel boots, light footwear, tripod stands – if convenient, light cotton-based clothing, raincoat etc.

ON SPECIALTY PACKAGES

Equipment involved in planned activities as part of your vacation should be forwarded to ensure timely availability. Delays in delivery of accompanied baggage affect schedules.

OFFICIALDOM

Passport and visas, health certificate requirements, reciprocal health plans (if available), import/export restrictions (customs), currency regulation, pet restrictions etc.

PASSAGE

Air tickets, travel agency, MCO (miscellaneous cash order – in case you want to bring back a souvenir big enough for stowage in transport), excess baggage, travel insurance etc.

THINGS TO NOTE

  • General fatigue, body aches and morning lethargy are common in hot countries. Should you suspect more, however, consider seeing a doctor.
  • Prevalence of higher atmospheric temperatures means a break in the skin may take longer to heal.
  • Purchases in the streets may result in acquiring of counterfeits or items falling below CITES (convention of international trade in endangered species) standards.
  • Likewise, changing money at unauthorized spots carries stiff penalty in some countries if found.
  • Go easy on homemade foods for sale on the stalls. Standards are sometimes not enforced.
  • Memorize the local emergency toll-free number.
  • For electricity, carry an adapter in case the mains plugs are of a different standard. Also check the voltage rating for your destination country.
  • Bring along an international calling plan in case you’ll have to call back home while away. Local calls are normally expensive.
  • items may be restricted in public transportation.

Irrespective of taste, a visit to the tropics holds promise to life-enriching experiences. A treatise on an excursion that has nature for its theme would undoubtedly make heartfelt entries. Life can never be the same.