If you were expecting a post with photos and stories of our three days in Prague, you will have to wait. That comes next, but first, an unfortunate but true account from the trip.
“Well, I may not have left my heart in Prague, but I did leave my wallet.”
It was a huge eye opener how fast my secure/safe/confident-that-I-have-been-responsible-traveller self turned into the panicked-and-vulnerable-feeling-“I-might-as-well-have-been-pickpocketed”-fretting tourist asking shopkeepers who don’t speak English if someone has found or turned in a wallet. That happened on our last morning in Prague. I bought a bag in a store, walked about a block, went to pay for lunch, and my tiny travel wallet was gone.
The language barrier is never so great than when you are in a high-stress situation. I realized how much I took it for granted that I would have been able to explain myself and my situation in French had I been in Paris, but where Czech is spoken, I was hopeless. The ‘important phrases’ quick-lists in guide books are actually useful, and I wished I had a few to work with in even broken, awkward Czech so I wouldn’t have felt the added stress of the isolation of being a foreigner due to language.
What a stress-filled moment it was, when I realized my emergency-if-I-need-to-cancel-my-credit-card-and-important-documents plan was faulty. The note I had saved on my phone with the number to call MasterCard was incorrect, my email with my credit card info was buried in a travel email folder (that had come to include vacation photos, and membership activation emails for hostel and tour websites), and I didn’t have my bank card number anywhere- just a photo of the card that turned out to be too pixelated to see. What did we learn, everyone? Have your (correct!) in-case-of-emergency info in a better place.
I am SO grateful to be able to call home and get the correct card info from my mum and was able to cancel the cards within 45 minutes, so grateful be travelling with my sister who still has all her necessary cards (and means of paying for things), grateful I have a second (backup) credit card in a separate place, grateful the only other items in the wallet were about $20 worth of cash and my drivers license- and that my passport is also safe. I’m also grateful I only have a week of this summer adventure left so I can sort things out in my home country.
Here I was thinking I had it covered, and would never have something like this happen.
I was almost too embarrassed to write about this because I felt so stupid, but I wanted to share this story, because I’m sure this has happened to other people.
Has this ever happened to you? Did you lose your important documents? Get pickpocketed? Have you been scammed by someone saying ‘you dropped your ring’ or ‘sign this petition’? I am here to say, you are not the only one.