A few years ago I went on a road trip.
My old van-stacked with surfboards-brought me all the way to the south of Portugal, a good 1500 miles from the little town in Holland I grew up in. On my way down I surfed the French, Spanish and the northern Portuguese coasts.
I had a wicked time surfing about, and covered a lot of ground on Europe's coastline. After surfing Portugal for a while I had only ten days left of my surf trip. I decided to head back up north again. A new swell was going to hit the south of France and the ocean is much warmer over there, too. Nice!
Surfing France, I came out of the water one day and looked up at my van. I immediately noticed the door of my van had been forced open.
What a mess! My belongings were all over the show. My iPod and most of my stuff was still there, but my wallet was gone, along with the ninety bucks and my money card.
What do you do when your wallet gets stolen and you're in a foreign county? I didn't have the slightest idea. Or did I?
I had to block my card! I drove to the nearest Tourist Information Centre. In my best French I explained to the girl behind the counter what had happened. She let me use their phone and I tried to call my parents. They weren't at home.
So now what do I do?!
Why didn't I ever write down the phone number of my card supplier and bank?
While I was standing there trying to figure out what to do, the thief still had full access to all the money in my bank account!
In the far corner of the tourist office I noticed a computer. I went on the internet and found the phone number I needed to block my money card.
It's crazy how relieved I felt after blocking my card. My money was safe again and hopefully the thief didn't get too much money out of my account yet.
Nobody could get to my money anymore.
Hey, wait a minute. That's including me!
I had a little food left, because luckily enough I had done some grocery shopping in the morning. There was also 8 dollars and 12 cents in the ashtray. I always keep my change there, just in case. This meant I had enough food and money to live on for at least a few days!
With a solid week still left in my holiday, I really didn't want to go home. And I couldn't even get home if I wanted to! With that $8 and only half a tank of gas, there was no way I could make it all the way to Holland. It's at least 700 miles.