A few weeks ago I took a trip to London. It was for a couple of purposes- to see doctors and to visit one of my best friends.
In the event that you need to see a specialist that you are unable to see in the city that you are posted, you can be go on medivac to the regional city closest to your post. In our case, the medivac city is London. When on medivac, airfare and per diem are paid for, provided that there is urgent need to see a specialist in your regional medivac city. Since there was no urgency – I was just being proactive about establishing care and wanted to see doctors more frequently than the annual visit recommended by doctors back in the U.S. – I chose to self fund this trip.
Since one of my best friends lives in London, I was able to stay with her for free, and my flight was super cheap (about $100 USD). The only real expenses were the out of pocket costs for doctor visits, one night at a hotel, and spending money for food and souvenirs. Our health insurance stipulates that we to submit reimbursements for my medical costs and pay most costs up front, so I saved up for months to do so.
Most of the reputable doctors are based on or around Harley Street in London, so I chose some highly recommended places and made appointments all within a couple days of each other. The doctors I saw were top notch and I was impressed by private healthcare in London. I was able to get in for some additional recommended tests straight away.
The only downfall for my trip was the timing. I decided to book the trip a few months ago, prior to knowing the start date of my job. My trip ended up being the week after I started my job, so I had to take time off without pay. Luckily my supervisor was completely fine with me taking time off work so soon after starting the job.
My trip was great- I got to spend time with my friend and her family, the doctors were wonderful, and I had the best time getting acquainted again with London, since I had not been there in over 11 years. I explored Regents Park, the West End, went shopping at Harrods, and had high tea at the Shard. I was craving Indian food, Starbucks, and Steak and Ale Pie, so I got my fill while I was there. I was also able to buy some Christmas gifts for my husband during that time.
London is magical at Christmas time, and I am already looking forward to coming back again. It ended up being a way more expensive trip than I had originally planned, but I have no regrets in going – it was much needed for my mental health to see an old friend and to have peace of mind about my physical health as well. Without further ado, here are some pictures of my London trip!