What to Do When Your Phone is Stolen in a Foreign Country

  1. Don’t Panic- Take a note from Douglas Adams, and absolutely remain calm. You will do yourself no favors if you start freaking out in the middle of a crowded street- especially if you visually stick out the way I do in Costa Rica. My blondness does nothing to help me blend into the tan, dark haired population.
  2. Look for It- Take a moment to look around you. Go back to where you were just a few minutes ago. Look slowly can carefully. If you were able to download a “find my phone” application, definitely use it, maybe you’ll get lucky. Have a friend call your phone and see if someone picks up. Remember when I got my wallet mailed to me by the kind people of Iowa? Who knows? Maybe you’ll get lucky and your phone will be returned to you. Once again, do not panic. Once you realize what has happened….
  3. Cry a Little Bit- Go ahead. It’s a shitty situation. Let it out a bit.
  4. Resolve Yourself to the Reality of the Situation– You are now without your main source of communication in a country that speaks Spanish. Luckily, there are lots of options. Remember: people live here. People use cell phones here. Wifi exists in almost every part of the world. You are going to be fine.
  5. Don’t Beat Yourself Up About It- Yeah, sure. Maybe you should have made your phone more secure. Maybe you shouldn’t have brought your phone out to the massive rodeo street party nightmare of people everywhere. But you thought, “I should have it in case of emergencies, and I’ll be vigilant about it. It will be fine.” But it was not fine. And now you have no phone. It’s okay. You will be fine. This shit happens, and you can either get angry at yourself about it, or move on to what you’re going to do about it.
  6. Remember, It’s Just Money- When it comes down to it, you don’t really need a smartphone. Having a phone is a convenience for sure, but you can get by without one. Your life may have been held between it’s workings, but your life is also more than the working of a phone. At the end of the day, all you’ve lost is money, but you’ve gained some experience.
  7. Erase Your Phone, Suspend Your Service- Since you don’t want anyone using your phone while you are still paying for it, have your carrier erase the phone and suspend your service. The phone is gone, so you shouldn’t be paying for it. You will have to pay for keeping your number eventually, but again, it’s just money.
  8. Find a Burner- Since it’s pretty important to be able to communicate with other while you are abroad, it would be a good idea to find a very inexpensive phone that you can use with a SIM card in the country where you are. It will basically be a little internet machine for you to make phone calls via WhatsApp over the internet.
  9. Have Your Phone Numbers Memorized or Written Down- I have three essential phone numbers forever memorized, and I suggest you have them as well. You never know when you’ll need to know a number in order to call it.
  10. Move On- You’re traveling aren’t you? Go have fun, and maybe be a little more vigilant next time.



P.S. I am now without the ability to take photos, so my posts may be sadly devoid of photos for a little while. Oh, well. Pura Vida as they say down here!

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