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Jab. Jab. Jabber...

My eldest child hates needles. I don't know where he gets it from. I've never been bothered by them – I don't mind injections. Which is good, as I have to get a whole heap of them as part of my trip prep.

Heading to South America means making sure I'm been suitably immunised and vaccinated before going. There's the multi-function diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and polio vaccine that I'm pretty sure I had as a child. Typhoid, TB, Hepatitis A and B… even rabies. Then there's the biggie – Yellow Fever, as I'll need a certificate for some of the border crossings – and one I'd never even heard of: the meningococcal vaccine, designed to guard against meningococcal meningitis.

Essentially it sounds like I'm going to swallow a pharmacy or have it jabbed into me. But, as I say, I don't mind needles.

So why have I been putting it off?

There's no rational reason, but I think at the back of my mind has been the fear that my sketchy planning could all still come crashing down around my ears. That real life (or a global or at least UK economic collapse) could scupper my plans to ride off around the world – and getting the jabs would have somehow been tempting fate.

I can't delay it any more, though. There's an eight-week wait on some of them and that's pretty close to the earliest I could possibly go – subject to selling the damn house (see: global economic collapse scuppering my plans). If everything does tick through like clockwork, that'd be more-or-less the earliest I could go. That suddenly seems awfully close.

So I've stopped dithering and booked the vaccinations...

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