In this article I would like to share with you my stupid mistake during my trip to Paris in January 😀 My phone got stolen at Champs-Élysées because I left my pocket open =))))))
Everyone probably knows Paris is one of “lucrative” lands for pickpocket except me 😀 I traveled to The city of Lights (‘La Ville-Lumiére’) with no precautions. I am a kind of adventurous traveler, so normally I don’t do much research about my destination. And that is the source of my problem.
During the trip, I did Couchsurfing to save money on accommodation and have better contact with local life here. My host is located closed to The Place de la République which is very convenient to move around. As usually, I decided to walk to explore the city. My first journey included City Hall, Notre-Dame de Paris, Louvre Museum, and Seine River. Because it was still early, I then took a long walk from the museum to Arc de Triomphe.
Paris is one of my dream destinations. It always appears flawlessly beautifully in books and movies… and yes it is true. For me, every corner of Paris is so gorgeous and peaceful. Maybe that is why I became so careless.
I engrossed to take pictures with my camera and totally forgot about my phone. Not until I wanted to check the time, did I touch my pocket. And…..it was not there anymore. Suddenly I felt suffocated. I quickly checked my backpack; it was not there either. I was scared. I tried to go back to see if I dropped it on the way. J Stupid thinking I know but I could not do anything better.
This was my first time. I was in panic because everything was in the phone: maps, pictures, flight tickets, and the address of my host..!!! I found a corner to check my other belongings. Luckily, I just lost the phone.
I tried to ask others to call my number, but it was not helpful because they could not call my UK number, and … many were not willing to help. They were afraid of being cheated.
I was thinking to report to the police but I could not locate where is the nearest station and few people spoke English L And the worst thing was I did not remember my Apple ID (sound stupid again – I know). IMEI? – Absolutely weird to me. I never notice to this number haha.
Therefore, I sadly walked home. At least I still remembered y host’s address. I tried to apply my little French to ask for the way. It was so fun. I was like.. Gosh, save me please!
Finally, I arrived home safe but with really bad mood. I talked to my host and he was really surprised. He said that “I think you know it perfectly, so I did not warn you”
Yeah, that was how my first day in Paris. I almost cried. I feel like I was a bullied child in the city which I have wanted to visit for a long time. I still had 4 more days. What I should do without phone? It was time for my notebook to shine. I searched for the way to the attractions, and then drew a map. Yes, I could use metro and busses but when travelling, but I preferred to walk around. I received a lot of help from local on the way, and some of them were really excited about my hand-drawing map =)))))))) although it was a bit hard, I also explored all the places in the city. I also did a tour to go on top of Eiffel Tower. It was awesome experience.
There will be a separate writing about saving money on attractions in Paris for international students. Back to the topic, from that disaster, I learned a lot. Here are some tips which do work when travelling to anywhere I think especially for solo travelers:
- Do some research before you go especially about weather conditions and street safety
- Bring a notebook and a pen with you
- Write the name, address, phone number of your accommodation
- Write any helpful contacts number (your best friend, your boyfriend/ girlfriend,..)
- Print out all of your tickets – nowadays, we prefer to use e-ticket to save the environment; however, you can also write down the ticket reference number if you don’t want to print out
- For those who use IPhone, always learn by heart your Apple ID- don’t be like me hahaha It is also good if you can turn on your Find my IPhone app
- Use phone holding chain which is really popular in Asia
- Always keep your backpack in front in the crowd
- Don’t put money and phone in the same place
- Be super careful on tube/metro and buses
- Write down your social media accounts and email
- Write down your bank account information just in case
- Use jacket/ clothes with inside pockets for safety
- Never put silent mode when travelling
- Pay attention to things around you, it may save you
I was in Paris for 3 days, then I went to Le Harve. There will be one more article about my cycle experience from Le Harve to Étretat. 😀
I hope the information is helpful and please share with me your personal tips to be safe while travelling.