Travler Spotlight: Katy Zimorino / “12 Travel Safety Essentials from Dr. Diva aka Katy Z”

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I went to high school with Katy in Phoenix, Arizona and we are lifelong close friends. She has a passion for altruism and has spent time living in remote Tanzania to spread medical knowledge.

 KATY:

SAFETY FIRST, THEN TEAMWORK!

Here’s the top 12 essential items that every adventure-seeker should carry with them at all times for their wanderlust companions.

As much as I would like to say I’m a trained professional, I am far from your Bear Grylls survival expert.  Honestly, I am just an adrenaline junkie with some accident-prone friends, so I’ve listed below some of the items I recommend for a First Aid Kit.

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Let’s be honest. I’m no Bear Grylls. This is the closest I’m ever getting to a wild crocodile.

1.     Compression Dressings: What does jungle trekking in Indonesia, hiking in the Outback, and exploring ancient Buddhist temples in Burma all have in common?  The potential for a bloody mess, given the group of flat-footed hooligans I travel with! Compression dressing is critical for any major blood loss trauma, cleaning sensitive lenses, passing love notes on an airplane and creating a MacGyver-rigged tampon in extreme cases. Literally, compression dressings could be used in a million different ways- each one as important as the next.

2.     Sunscreen: A sunburn is a sure fire way to ruin your delightful beach nap after a hard day of drinking bottomless Mai Tai’s on a secluded beach in Thailand.  Plus, sunscreen insures keeping that fresh face fit for a television show 😉

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Sunscreen was a must at the Marina Bay Sands infinity pool in Singapore.

3.     Water purifying tablets and water flavoring packets with sugar:  I know this sounds extreme to carry around water purifying tablets but water is the key to survival.  The tablets take up very little space, are easy to find, and reasonably cheap.  The water flavoring packets are a refreshing way to change it up from the bland water taste.  Carrying flavoring packets that contain sugar are for ‘just in case’ moments where someone you are traveling with needs a sugar lift.  ‘Hangry’ is a real thing.

When you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both.
– Urbandictionary

4.     Motion sickness tablets: All amazing travel destinations are pretty much guaranteed to have some sort of unsightly mode of public transportation.  In our first episode of Chasing the World the cast and I spend two and half hours in the back of an “open air off road vehicle” … an old pick-up truck equipped with a metal cage mostly there to transport animals (I’m assuming)… however, in our case budget-friendly travelers. The only thing worse than being motion sick is being stuck in a vehicle with someone who has just projectile vomited over you because they were motion sick.  #gross #holdthevomit

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I secretly wanted to blow it up and walk.

5.     Hydrocortisone cream: There are a million different bug repellents sprays, home remedies, and what-nots to try and prevent bug bites, but at the end of the day (unless you are willing to travel completely wrapped in saran wrap from head to toe) carry copious amounts of extra-strength itch cream.  This is not an item I go generic on either… it’s well worth the extra couple of bucks to get the name brand.

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Itch free is the way to be!

6.     Band-Aids and moleskin: Honestly, I only use Band-Aids on my feet to help against blisters. I’m a firm believer in the “let it breath” method of cuts and scrapes as long as they have been properly cleaned out.  Moleskin is also an amazing way to help heal and prevent blisters and tends to hold better than Band-Aids.

7.     Chapstick: I would take a broken arm over having chapped lips while traveling.  I HATE chapped lips.

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This is what happens to The Diva when she has chapped lips. Does that look like a happy face to you?

8.     Scissors:  Standard First Aid Kit and basic travel necessity.  I will probably write my next blog post on twenty different ways a scissor will save your travel trip, scissors are that important! Just don’t accidentally bring them on a plane.

9.     Zip-Ties: Odd for this to be in a First Aid Kit, but it’s guaranteed that this will be the number one most used item in your First Aid Kit.  Zip-Ties can be used for almost everything, from locking the zippers shut on your bag to protect from thieves, or even having to use it as a tourniquet in the case of major blood loss.

10.    Aspirin: Again standard First Aid Kit item, I get the extra-strength ones with caffeine mostly because when I’m hungover, it gives me that extra boost to continue on with the ridiculous travel itinerary Danny, Arielle and the crew have set out for the day.

11.    Anti-bacterial wipes, sprays, and pills: Germ-free is the way to be.  I am such a huge fan of any sort anti-bacterial no matter if it comes in liquid or pill form.  Always use antibiotic hand wash before and after each meal and antibiotic spray to coat a hostel room.  In extreme cases, I use an everyday body mist spray to de-germ myself.  As a precautionary before each travel adventure, I visit my family practitioner and get a prescription for a wide spectrum antibiotics in case of emergencies. It could be days before you are able to receive proper medical attention and this precautionary insures a bit of comfort and will potentially save your life.

12.    Latex Glove for the Love Finger (Condoms):  Traveling the world finds you in the most romantic spots around the globe, so don’t miss out on an opportunity to get bit by the love bug! Best to be safe and prepared…cue sexy mood music: bow chicka wow wow!

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Check out the link below to the page for the American Red Cross First Aid Kit suggestions:

http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/get-kit/anatomy

Xoxo,

Dr. Diva aka Katy Z

Traveler Spotlight: Patrick Gooing / “How I Left Hollywood to Work in Sydney’s Film Industry”

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Stack dat cheese!
Patrick Gooing has been a close friend of mine since freshman year of college and he is a very talented film, TV and documentary producer.

PATRICK:

Upon graduating from film school, I had already interned at multiple production companies in both film and television in Los Angeles. I knew I wanted to produce and fully commit to my career in film, but I wasn’t ready to settle and plant my feet in LA until I had tried something a little daring and outside the box first.

 

So…I said f*ck it – I decided to move to Australia! Honestly, the way I looked at it, I had nothing to lose – I didn’t have a job, a girlfriend, or any other obligations, and the worst I could do is fail. I knew gaining international contacts and relationships in a foreign film industry would be invaluable and would help me stand out when/if I returned back to the states. Also, Champion was already living in Sydney and he assured me that Australia’s economy was Re-Donkulously better than ours. He said finding a regular job that pays better than most mid-level business jobs in the states would be easy to find. SERIOUSLY, I got a job working at a telemarketing agency making $27 after taxes with two days of looking – HA!

 

So I gathered as many contacts as I could from my colleagues in LA, and I prepared to make my move. It’s crazy when you realize what it takes to move to a foreign country when you have no idea if you’ll ever move back. I had to cancel my cell service, modify my credit cards, and I had to obtain Australia health insurance– which really paid off (I’ll get to that later).

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My documentary filmmaking experience in India was mind-blowing.

 

Right before I was about to buy my ticket, my friend Mike Tacca asked me to produce a documentary in Calcutta, India about a non-profit organization called Operation Straight Spine while also focusing on differences between private and public healthcare in India. It’s an organization run by orthopedic spinal surgeons who perform life saving surgeries for families who cannot afford the treatment. After filming for two weeks, I flew straight from India to Sydney where I started taking meetings everyday with executives in both film and television– it became very clear they were a little resistant about hiring non-Australian employees because of visa restrictions. Within two weeks of being in Australia, I had to have my appendix removed, which was awesome because it was all free and I stayed in the hospital as long as I needed. PLUS if it had been two weeks earlier, I would have been in India. And if it was two weeks earlier, then I would have been in the U.S. where I had no health insurance whatsoever hahahaha for the win!

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Free healthcare hurts so good.

 

It took me a few months of searching to find a job working in film. I reached out to a friend of mine who knew a veteran Australian actor named Jack Thompson #Legend – HUGE FAN (if you haven’t seen it yet, go watch BREAKER MORANT…now!). I read an article the day before we left to start shooting our CHASING THE WORLD pilot. The article informed me that Jack was producing and starring in a film in Sydney and it started production in a week. As I was waiting to board our flight to Singapore, I made a call to my friend and asked him if there was anything he could do to help me work on the film. He came through big time, and he arranged for Jack Thompson to come and pick me up from my apartment the day I returned from Indonesia. He took me to the set, introduced me to the producers and director, and I was working as an Assistant Director for the rest of the film! From that moment on I had consistent work working in film production (commercials, short films, GREAT GATSBY, etc.).

 

My overall goal was to make industry contacts in Australia and everyone thought it was a pretty daring thing to do, so I was happy that I succeeded. I ultimately decided to move back to the states because I had been trying to find an assistant job working for a producer at a production company while I was down there– I had no luck because of visa sponsorship issues. One of my dream jobs was and STILL is working for Emile Sherman at See-Saw Films!

 

Look for my follow up article about transitioning back to life in the states.

Until then, safe travels and…try to break out of your comfort zone every once in a while – you’ll be thankful for it later.

Patrick AKA The Goo