If you’re a travel freak and you spend a lot of time wandering around the world, sooner or later you’re going to wander right into a foreign hospital. If it hasn’t happened yet, just wait. And when it does happen it’s going to happen to be your weirdest injury on record. You’ll see. There’s no way this is going to be easy, but it’s a traveler right of passage, and it’s a way to add another badge to your backpack. I know, it’s tough, that’s why I’m giving you a heads up, at least you’ll be a little bit prepared. Here at the seven stages of visiting a foreign hospital… yikes!

1. Yep, about time.

Your mates back home have a running bet on how long this would take. You knew this was inevitable, and frankly you’re impressed with yourself that you’ve lasted so long.


2. Where is check-in?

If you really bit the big one and have to head over in an actual ambulance, the hospital will be a lot smoother, but if you however, can manage to begrudgingly limp in on your own, have a blast finding the correct entrance, and then even more fun figuring out exactly which employee you need to address. You might assume it’s the one behind the counter, but good luck finding the counter in a medical tent.

check in

3. Tell me where it hurts.

When at a foreign hospital, hope for a visible injury. The kind where you can simply point and the non-English speaking staff can just infer that you’d like the bleeding to stop. If your illness is internal however, and you do not speak your host language, prepare yourself for the most physically and emotionally uncomfortable game of charades of your life.


4. Wait what’s in that IV?

All they can manage to communicate to you is that it’s something for the pain… and you’re going to have to accept that at the end of the day that’s all you really need to know.


5. Emergency contact numbers.

We all carry them (well you we should), but if you think whatever aliment landed you in the hospital in the first place hurts, just wait until you have a 5,000 -mile-away panicked Nana on your hands after she got a phone call in broken English about your damaged pancreas. She is on the first flight and she ain’t happy about it.


6. Who wants to play “Operation”?

Not you! Not after seeing that operating room, and by “room” I mean “hut” and by “hut’ I mean “under the tree in the doctor’s front lawn.” Where’d you get your degree again? Do I have to go to sleep for this? Isn’t that the same tool I just saw your gardener using? But wait, I thought it was my left knee that was shattered?

saved by the bell

7. Oh, wait, so like it’s fine?

After all the fear and anxiety you realize that while the medical situation in some places might not meet the standards at home, it doesn’t change the fact that people still get hurt there every day and their doctors find a way to fix them. They’ve done this before. Just say thank you, and from now on, stay out of trouble.


All GIFs via Giphy 

Feature image via Flickr/Rudolf Vlček

Why did you have to visit a foreign hospital?

American by chance, but Roman by choice, Sarah is currently feeding her adventurous soul with expatriatism and pizza. Her finest moments are always on the wrong bus with a backpack and an upside down map, waiting to see what the world’s got for her next, so long as she can blog about it. She likes writing more than talking, dolphins more than humans, old movies more than new, and Rome more than anything else.



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