I wake up to warm sunlight cast over freshly laundered sheets on a hostel bed. My friends are already awake, bent over their beds, packing their bags one final time. We’re ready to return home after having spent the last half month traipsing through jungles, climbing Mayan pyramids, swimming through underwater caves with water so clear you could see the 15 meter-deep bottom, cracking jokes over 3 hour dinners of lamb steak with handmade tortillas and tea-wine concoctions, hiking volcanoes, and engaging in other such adventures as we traveled across Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala.
The airport “colectivo” bus is arriving at noon, sharp. After breakfast, we have just enough time to make the walk across town to send off some postcards, and walk back for the bus. But wait! There is still one thing I have yet to investigate, and it’s not the post office…As we’re walking across the cobblestone street, the sign of the building catches my eye. I stop in the middle of the street and almost get run over by a tuktuk taxi. “Hey, the Medica Bioclinica is open!” I point excitedly to my friends.
An hour later, we end up having our blood drawn for lab tests at a huge discount relative to U.S. rates, in lieu of sending postcards. By the time we make it back to the hostel, the airport shuttle is waiting for us.
The cost for a panel of 6 hormone tests was $111 USD, when it would normally cost more than twice that much in the United States ($242 at mymedlab.com and $277 at directlabs.com).
The cost for half a month’s worth of vacation in South America or Southeast Asia is less than rent where I live in Silicon Valley: $700 USD (excluding airfare, which is free with frequent flyer miles).
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