I knew it. At some point in my life I was going to experience that travelling is not always pure bliss. There will be moments where you get lost, have a fight with your travel buddy or in my case, get robbed. I must say, I have been very lucky with all my travels so far. Whenever I am on a trip, I feel at peace and nothing can disturb me. I’d say I am a complete optimist when it comes to exploring the world. I don’t mind getting lost or experiencing that a trip didn’t turn out the way I planned it. Those moments are usually the ones that I remember afterwards and which distinguish travelers from tourists. I guess I can be lucky that I have this attitude – even though I got robbed in Athens last week, I still feel like this journey was so worth it. Not only because I still managed to enjoy Athens, I also learned some things about myself.
But let me tell you the story. Being the globetrotter that we are, Corrie and I decided to leave Athens for an overnight stay on one of the Greek islands. We were on our way to Hydra. All packed up with our backpacks and a purse each. Everything was planned perfectly. We got ourselves tickets and were waiting for our metro when a women came up to me and started talking to me in Greek. As soon as I signalised her that I didn’t speak Greek, she left. However, she left us with a weird feeling. So it was no surprise, that a few minutes later I realized that my phone was gone. Being a clumsy person that has lost several things over time (I am that kind of person that leaves her leather jacket behind in a plane) I thought I’d lost it. But when I found out that not only my phone but also my wallet were gone, the situation was obvious: I had been robbed.
I don’t want to bore you with the details of freezing my credit cards and making sure that no one was able to access any personal data. I’d rather like to tell you that reporting the incident to the police was absolutely useless. For me it was an invasion of my privacy, for them it was pure paperwork. I can only be grateful that I had an amazing friend taking care of me and making sure that I was able to organize everything that had to be done. Also, I again realized that I have the most caring mother I could ever ask for. She was literally my knight in shining armour – she immediately took care of the situation and ensured that I was able to take my mind off the incident and enjoy the trip to its fullest.
For a moment I felt that I just wanted to go home. How was I supposed to enjoy the rest of this trip? But this thought literally only crossed my mind for about a second. These people had already intruded my personal space and disrupted my vacation. Was I going to give them the power to make me regret this trip? Certainly not. Again, I can only be happy that I was blessed with incredible people that were taking care of me. I am still trying to wrap my mind around the idea of what it must feel like to be robbed when you’re travelling on your own and how I would have coped with that situation. What are you going to do without a phone AND a wallet when you’re on your own?!
I’ve lived without a phone and working credit cards for one week now. And let me tell you, it is not too bad. I am not even missing all my apps or the idea of being available 24/7. It’s more these little things that you don’t immediately think about. I do not own a watch let alone an alarm clock. How am I supposed to get up in time for work in the morning? I discovered that there are alarm clocks that you can set online! Pretty cool, ha? And again, Corrie helped me out and lent me her watch. So I am back to looking at my wrist for checking the time and not reaching for my phone every few minutes. It feels a little weird but hey, people have lived like this for so many years! I know, I am beefing on a high level here. But I guess that’s the way we act when we loose a part of our luxurious life that we have become so used to. It is more an attitude of constantly laughing about myself and the fact that I am sort of counting down the minutes until I have a new phone and working credit cards.
But what I’d really like to say is this: Even though I am used to using my phone abroad to find my way around and to keep in touch with friends and family, you really don’t need this. Going on a trip is about exploring and opening your eyes to what’s in front of you. Don’t get lost in your habits or your anger when someone intrudes your habits. You know that you are truly in love with a place and the sheer idea of travelling when you can deal with these little perks that travelling entails. I am pretty sure that this is not the last time that a trip is not as perfect as I envisioned it. If you make sure to take control of the situation and the mood you are in, you are going to have blast – with or without money and a phone. After being robbed, I was even more determined to relish every second of the vacation. And I was blessed with moments that I will never forget. My favourite memories of Athens happened after the incident. Travelling to a cape in the south of Greece to experience an indescribable awe while facing an ancient temple on a cliff that is thousands and thousand of years old. Or, driving into the Greek mountains to explore a monastery and getting the chills while watching farmers pick an olive tree and making your own hands dirty by helping them. Travelling can be pure bliss, you only have to put your soul into it.