by Derrick Cruise
(Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America)
Traveling can be a lot of fun and it can be an enriching, rewarding experience. But, when things go wrong, it can be frustrating, expensive and time-consuming, with very little reward for you!.
Especially when you think you don’t need travel medical insurance, and you find yourself in a situation without it. Of course, not all travel gone wrong stories are funny. And from many, you don’t learn anything. Still,when you travel, you open the doors to the fantastic, which includes the good and the bad.
Travel Gone Wrong: Passport Stolen
For me, and the friends before me who had this experience, it was one of the worst imaginable experiences. When a friend of mine from Paris went to get ready to return to his home in Chad for his father’s funeral, he was unable to leave when his passport was stolen. By the time his passport was replaced, he decided that it would be better to stay in France, because he didn’t know when he’d be able to come back if he left.
My story is less traumatic. I was in Italy with my sister, getting ready to get my ticket to board plane and return home. Right before getting to the head of the ticket line, I began feeling in my purse for my passport.
Then my pocket. And then, finally I faced the inevitable: my passport was missing. We emptied out our suitcases and turned everything inside out. Nothing. We called the villa, hoping it was left behind on a bed, a table or a couch. Still nothing.
Finally, we made our way to the consulate, where we were told I could get a new one, but it was closed. We went to the police station and dealt with officers who didn’t speak English, didn’t speak French, didn’t speak Spanish and couldn’t understand my Italian (at least I tried).
Finally, I broke down and began pointing to words in my dictionary: communication at its finest. Then, we went back to the airport, got my sister on a plane and I checked into a hotel. At least I had the chance to explore a little bit more of Florence.
When the consulate opened two days later, I was ready with all the information, the photos for the passport and money to replace my ticket for the flight I’d missed. With a little money and time, I was able to make up for my mistake. My friend wasn’t so fortunate. It’s been three years, and he still hasn’t been able to return to see his family.
In the case of a missing passport, travel gone wrong can be devastating or it can be frustrating. To prevent this travel mishap, make copies of your passport and keep the original in the hotel safe, bringing only the copies with you.