Dripping wet from the famous Bio Bay tour, I anxiously waited to tip our kayak instructors while Kevin went to pull up the rental car with the cash. Everyone had started leaving the public park that was filled with hundreds of people only two hours earlier.
It was now approximately 10:30 pm in Farjado, a well-known city and ferry port about an hour East of San Juan, Puerto Rico. I was starting to get nervous when he didn’t return right away, but Kevin finally pulled up. As I walked over to collect the tip, all I could hear was the word “robbed“. Panicked, I pulled open the passenger seat to find scattered glass and a super pissed off fiancé.
“What’s gone? What’d they take?” I implored.
“I don’t know. Let’s just go, NOW!”
Kevin informed me that the right rear passenger window had been destroyed and the glove compartment was open. Like a travel rookie, I had placed my wallet in the compartment containing $80.00 in cash, my credit cards, my driver’s license, and a few gift cards.
Of course the only thing I was crushed losing was my new neon orange, Triangl Swimwear, sport bag it had all been in.
God, take my eyes but not the bag!
As I tried to cheer Kevin up, reality started to set in that I had taken quite a financial hit. What was worse was the overwhelming feeling of being violated.
We spent that night and the next morning trying to recover our losses.
We called the credit card companies, we called our auto insurance, and we called our parents to see if there was anything we could do when we found out I didn’t sign up for the rental company’s insurance.
Excuse me while I smack my forehead repeatedly.
The next morning we went to the police station to file a report for the insurance, returned the rental car, and tried to salvage the day by doing what we do best: nap and tan.
Instead of hiking the El Yunque rainforest and snorkeling through Culebra’s crystal blue waters like we had originally planned, we had to save our money as we were now responsible for the broken window. That, combined with the deposit and my deductible, we had lost $948 in 24 hours to enterprise.
Luckily, we will get most of that money back. As Kevin and I desperately research the cost of window repairs, some of my deductible will be reimbursed as well as the days that we didn’t use the car. However, I can’t help but think back on all the other times I have experienced bad luck while traveling.
For example, I once had a delayed flight in New York which caused me to miss my cruise departure to the Caribbean. Another time, my wallet was stolen right out of my purse in Nottingham London, leaving me with nothing. I had lost my purse and shoes in Las Vegas and had to hitchhike to my hotel (I swear I wasn’t that drunk). I’ve even had my computer and camera stolen right out of my dorm room in Uppsala, Sweden.
Clearly, crime kinda has a thing for me.
As I reflect these moments (and notice certain trends surrounding my missing wallets) I can’t help but conclude that I need to start taking the necessary traveling precautions that I’ve avoided for one reason or another.
I like to think of myself as a ballsy and adventurous traveler, thinking anything that happens is a story to tell. But the risky behavior that comes with being “ballsy and adventurous” only ends up hurting my own travel experiences. I had never once purchased traveler’s insurance thinking the purchase would mean missing out on an activity or two. But…