3 countries and only robbed twice, not bad hey? I must be doing something right! Theft is one of those things you kind of just expect and prepare for when traveling. We hope it doesn’t happen to us, but there’s always that chance. If you’re like me, you think, “I know how to not stand out and make myself a target.” As i stroll around in designer shoes, chain hanging out, looking like a straight tourist; but that’s beside the point. You hear about the various tips all the time and then you get complacent. All it takes is one slip up and they get you. Mistakes happen, you live and you learn and I didn’t let it ruin my vacation.
I was carrying too much stuff around, this is the start of my many mistakes. This is something I couldn’t really avoid because I wanted to carry my photography gear with me, all 25lbs of it. Pack light or only carry what you think you’re going to need that day and lock up the rest. As you can imagine, carrying around 25lbs on your back isn’t fun. I tried to put it down any chance I got. When I did put my backpack down I was smart enough to loop the shoulder strap around my leg. If I had only been carrying around my camera and one lens on my shoulder strap that day I wouldn’t have put the rest of my gear at risk. I don’t even think I used all my gear that day so I could have easily left most of it at the hotel.
I trusted that my stuff was safe in the rental car. I was done with my gear for the day, it’ll be safe in the rental car. Wrong! Wrong! Almost 10k worth of photography gear in a rental car that’s in a not so busy parking lot. At least I had the good sense to lock my stuff in the trunk, most of it anyways. We left my girlfriend’s watch, her camera and my Osmo mobile in the passenger area of the car and headed off for a nice dinner in Fira. It wasn’t even until that night we realized our stuff was stolen, luckily not the 10k worth of gear in the trunk. They took the stuff that was in the passenger area.
This one’s so easy guy’s, which is probably why I over looked it. After you press the lock button on the remote, pull the handle to make sure it’s locked. I could have sworn I pushed that lock button. There was no visible sign of entry in the rental car, I didn’t even realize we had been robbed until that night. What’s more likely, they somehow opened the door without breaking a window or I forgot to lock the door?
That concludes my mistakes in Greece, now let’s look at my mistakes in Mexico.
Remember in the first paragraph about not standing out and making yourself a target? Well my carry on is this bright red Gucci duffel bag. I don’t normally check it but I had liquids in it and it was my only bag since this Mexico trip was only 3 days. I broke the golden rule of traveling, don’t be flashy or keep an eye on it. Don’t worry, they didn’t steal my bag though.
I didn’t keep my eye on the bag and to watch it be put on the conveyor belt. I’m not saying the guy who checked my bag is the one who went through it, it could have been anyone down the line but if I kept my eye on it, I could have eliminated one suspect. They were good though, when I got home after Mexico I was unpacking and looked in my sunglass case and my sunglasses were missing. My favorite pair of Chanel sunglasses stolen right out of my bag but they had the decency to leave me with the case.
Learn From My Mistakes
Wow, that’s a lot of mistakes I made. Hindsight is 20/20 though, and if we let ourselves be consumed with the would haves and the could haves, we’d never move on. Sure it sucks being the victim of theft but at the end of the day it’s just stuff. Stuff can be replaced. You’re on a vacation which you worked hard for and saved for, don’t let it ruin all that. It’s easier to swallow if you have insurance but if not, you’re just going to have to eat the loss and be more careful.
Hopefully that helped you guys out, let me know what you think by leaving a comment.