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I recently migrated from USA to Darwin, Australia. The weather went from living in a primarily cold place to a city which is extremely humid. Looks like the blood thinning may take over a year for my body to get really adjusted to the tropical weather.

In the meanwhile, without wanting expert medical advice,

  • How can I get adjusted to the new climate ?
  • What can one do to adjust to a humid weather coming from a cold country ?
  • The obvious answer seems to drink a lot of water but heavy sweating also means I am loosing essential electrolytes and salts. How to know what local people do to cool their bodies off ?
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Adjusting to the weather is mostly a question of getting used to it. Everyone is different in terms of speed, but how you live your life in the new country plays a major role in the process.

One of the main issues is that a lot of people who move to a tropical climate start off on a bad note by trying to simulate their home country's climate in their new domicile with the help of air conditioners and dehumidifiers, mostly while wearing the same clothes are they were used to.

So one of the first steps that I can recommend out of personal experience is to make sure that your bedding and clothing is adjusted to the local environment. If you wear a suit, make sure that you get a thinner one. Have thinner bed sheets so you do not need air conditioning while you sleep.

Secondly, get used to live in warmer temperature, since many places even in moderate climates have a too low temperature. Trying to simulate the same in a tropical county makes this even harder. For example, many offices around the world have 19 degrees as general temperature, whereas 22-24 degrees is definitely acceptable. So it's not about switching from the 19 degrees that you are maybe used to up to 25-27, but try to lighten up with clothing etc to have 23 at home is already a good start.

Lastly, personal fitness will be a topic. Depending on your current level, you might have a huge opportunity to lose some weight and therefore sweat less and to adjust also faster to the new climate by exercising in warmer temperatures.

If you can make yourself a plan to switch to warmer temperatures within a year, you can try to cool your home in the beginning to 20 degrees (is you come from 19) and then increase the temperature every 2 months by one degree, and you should have a good and not so difficult path ahead of you. The same goes for humidity.

  • "Have thinner bed sheets so you do not need air conditioning while you sleep." I cannot believe that the person who wrote this has ever lived in a tropical country. I have lived in both Thailand and the Philippines, and at night it is so hot that you cannot cover yourself with any kind of sheet, no matter how thin. Unless you have an electric fan blowing on you, you will wake up drenched in sweat. You take a cool shower before you go to bed, and another when you wake up. – user8275 Sep 26 '15 at 11:46
  • Cool showers make your body generate more heat to compensate. You better take a "skin temperature" shower than a cold or hot one. Same goes for drinks. And I live in tropical temperatures since more than 10 years, coming from a cool & dry place in Europe - if you believe it or not. – uncovery Sep 28 '15 at 8:55
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Plan your move to avoid strong temperature differences

i.e. Don't move from a Southern-Summer into a Northern winter, or similar.

I moved from Monaco (Mediterranean, Seaside) to Novosibirsk, (Continental, Siberia) for a year of study abroad. But I did it in the late summer, when the temperature difference wasn't so great. Thus I had the natural flow of the seasons to get used to the climate difference. In that year I experienced days of 45°C in the summer and -45° in the winter. I only got sick when I came back from being home for two weeks in March and I entered the plane in 20°C and left it in -20°C. That was a bit too quick a change for my body to handle.

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I was born in South Africa and lived there 16 years. I moved to Europe Poland and England.

It took me 3-5 years to acclimate, in each country. What this means, I had to catch up with all the strains of flu and bacteria that others are immune to. I got very sick, 2 to 5 times a year and landed up in hospital with meningitis symptoms but got better.

You are most vulnerable between summer-winter and winter-summer, when humidity and heat fluctuate, causing bacteria and virus to grow out of control.

If you have hay fever, you should prepare yourself before hand with prescription antihistamine. In Poland I was highly allergic to specific grass pollen that only grows in the region and had to use horse tranquilisers. In UK, most my sinus issues are gone and over the counter stuff works fine.

Other obvious things is check vaccinations you need, malaria maps, dangerous animals to watch out for, spiders, snakes, yeti. Sign up at your hospital and clinics, and make sure you know how to get there in case of emergency.

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Looks like this topic is couple years old.... don't know if anyone will see my answer. I went from Canada in the middle of an icy, snowy winter, to hot tropical Thailand in less than 24 hours. Back in 2013. Before leaving, I had studied "Acclimatization".... about the body adjusting to new climates. When I got to hot tropical Thailand, I bought light, thin, roomy clothing that "breathes" and wicks moisture away so to speak... ditched the shoes and socks and got a good pair of walking sandals with arch support and heel strap, so my feet would be exposed to the air and be cooler and dryer than they would be if cooped up in socks and shoes. Always had a bottle of drinking water with me. I bought electrolyte replacement powder, but did not use a lot of it.... mixing just a bit into the water.
Wore a hat in the sun... IMPORTANT: I did NOT use airconditioning....I only used fans in my residence room. Because I found out if you spend hours in air-conditioning.... you confuse your body's systems and you will perhaps NEVER acclimatize and NEVER get used to the tropical heat and humidity. For the first approximately three weeks... I was suffering in the heat, very uncomfortable, sweating profusely, constantly drinking water with a bit of electrolyte powder in it... (I didn't use as much electrolyte powder as it calls for, I don't like taking in a lot of salt which is in it.) But after about three weeks.... my sweating slowed down.. .and I started to feel a lot better. I still felt the heat but now I didn't suffer in it. I spent four months in Thailand.... and now... I swear off of air-conditioning for hot seasons or hot climates..

During the hottest part of the Thailand year, around the time of Songkran I felt okay in the heat, and sweated only a little. We had several days of 104 degrees F. (40 C.) Maybe it even went higher, I don't know. Temperatures in the mid 90's F, around 35 C, were normal.

It was funny seeing the tourists coming out from their pricy air-condtitioned hotels, and sweating and suffering in the heat, not dressed properly, over-eating, suffering and soaked in sweat, and I was fine, not soaked in sweat and used to the heat and humidity. Dress properly for the climate or hot summers at home, drink lots of water, eat smaller portion meals, lots of fresh fruits and vegatables, not so much meat.

I also lost about 25 lbs in weight in the four months I was there, walking a lot and eating like Thai people.... and I'm sure the weight loss also helped me. I ended up feeling a lot younger.... I was 61 at the time..

It took me about three weeks to adjust. Maybe a couple of days longer... and that's it. Study "Acclimatization" before you go.. and ditch your hot sweaty shoes and socks, let your feet breath and dry in the air, and get some sun, proper sandals, not cheap flip flops.

I warn you.. if you always use cool air-conditioning, your chances of acclimatizing will be slim.. to none. And you will always suffer in the heat. Nice while your in the air-conditioning.. then feel like you're in a blast furnace when you go outside. That's not for me.

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Moved from Eastern Washington State (US) to Indonesia in October, cold to tropical. In general, the humidity took some getting used to, but it gets hotter in the summer in Eastern Washington than it does in Jakarta so the heat wasn't an issue.

The first thing to do is to adjust as best as you know how to living in the new environment. Dress for warm weather, etc.

The second thing to do is to learn from the locals. Find out what kind of bedding they use and make sure you try the same, for example. You will still likely find it is too warm, but you can adjust that easily enough from there.

The third thing to do is stay hydrated. Heat and humidity lead to sweat which can dehydrate you. Eat a little more salt than used to (to compensate for sodium loss), and drink lots of water.

Finally, wait. You will adjust.

Now, having said this one thing I found I never adjusted to in Indonesia was the lack of seasons. On a recent trip to Amsterdam from Jakarta, I experienced spring and realized how much I missed it. You are likely to find that weather-related homesickness never really goes away.

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