Europe is a zero, met a Russian girl in Venice, etc. But hostel life is rather bad.
I think he best way to travel in Europe would be to get a room with Schools that teach Language, maybe even take Spanish or French, German etc classes. Rent rooms by the month, Hostels are fun, but for the most part, the people living in hostels live like pigs, not me, but the normal ones. It really does make one aware just how much people can live like Hobos. Most do not take showers daily. The are willing to have sex in the most disrespectful ways of other people.
Europe is like a business trip for me, I come here so I have the right to complain about it.
Andy, you get a lot of things right. You get a few wrong. Yeah, pretty much most diarrhea is because of a new area, new climate, change in eating habits, just in general things that disagree with you. You are dead on right about this. It doesn't have to be contaminated water. A study was done of one group of Vermont residents vacationing in Mexico and another Vermont group vacationing in Florida. Both groups got sick at the same rates, and Florida had the same water regulations as Maine. It was just change of climate and activities.
However. Drinking water that a sign says not to drink means that water didn't comply with whatever regulations are in force. Now, it then becomes a statistical issue. The water is lot choked to the brim with bacteria it just has more in it than regulations allow -- sort of like irrigation farm water. That water doesn't have to comply with drinking water regulations on what can be in it and drinking it is moving out into statistical risk.
Another thing seldom thought about is antacids. Acid in your stomach is the second line of defense (the first is your brain choosing not to drink uncompliant water) and if you have indigestion and pop a Tums or a Zantac, you just changed your odds for the next sip of water.
The mouth is supposed to have about 3 billion bacteria inside it. My math brain tells me that people get sick because the body is overwhelmed at times with too many contaminates. The immune system kicks in, reacts slower than the onslaught of bacteria, viruses, etc. Therefore I have been spitting often, blowing my nose often, and stop eating when I get sick. I do not add more contaminants to the body. Plus sugar feeds these little bacteria.
I believe for most traveler maladies, sickness, from Diarrhea to colds to infections. I believe we must give the body a break when overwhelmed, But allow all the contaminates to work on us normally, so we build up our immune system
Plus, don't be a pussy, just because you got a cold, or diarrhea, this is small fry problems.