If You Don’t Want To Loose It, Don’t Take It

In all my travels I have only had a few incidents of getting things stolen.  I don’t write this to scare anybody, this is just what happens when on the road sometimes.   It’s just part of nature.  What goes up, must come down. Henry David Thoreau once said that

“a man is rich in proportion only to the number of things he can afford to let alone”.

Therefore, my advice is to laugh it off and not loose any sleep over it.  After all, it will teach you a valuable lesson on how to not become attached to material possessions.

Ever since I began backpacking I have always adopted the policy that whatever I brought, I expected it  not to return with me.  What this means is that I didn’t want to become attached to anything that has significant sentimental value, or things of extreme value.  It’s not a good idea to bring grandpa’s lucky watch with you when you travel, even though it is “lucky” if you can’t handle the fact that there is a good chance that it will get stolen or broken and then make someone else lucky.  Sharing is caring after all.  Does this happen all the time? No, definitely not.  Can it happen? Yes of course, you can in fact get struck by lightning.  The only thing that matters is how a person deals with it.

In all my travels, more than a couple of years worth, I have only had a couple of incidents.  Both of them were break-ins to my room at night.  Both of them resulted in me loosing cash and electronics.  They always left my dirty underwear, strange. These I believe are probably the most sought after of the two for a couple of reasons: 1) they are usually untraceable 2 ) the turn around on these items are extremely high.  Therefore it is important to understand just exactly what you are willing to part with.  If you return with it, then it is a bonus.  If you are uncomfortable bringing an ipod touch, then settle for the ipod nano, and save a couple of hundred dollars.  Don’t bring your macbook if you know that you wouldn’t be able to replace it.  Maybe get a little netbook for travel use and then donate it at the end to a school or friend if you don’t want to keep it.

The biggest things are the cameras.  I don’t even want to think about all those souls who have gotten a camera stolen and have donated pictures to some random person.  I have been victim of that twice.  At least you would think that these crooks would have enough integrity to at least leave the memory card behind.  Take the camera, but please leave me the pictures and the memories.  Is that so much to ask for?

So obviously if you can’t handle something getting stolen or broken don’t bring it.  If something does happen, then laugh about it and shake it off.  If you are lucky you might be able to get a police report and then claim it on your travelers insurance if you can, or if you are lucky enough to have.  I think true travelers insurance is only found in Europe or Australia.  In the states I feel it is non existent. Also,  getting the police report can be a whole other issue depending on where you are and a whole other set of hoops to jump through. I try to avoid dealing with the police at all costs no matter what the incident.  That’s just how I roll.

That is a lesson worth learning for any person.

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