Here is what you do if your passport is stolen
Step 1: Panic
Immediate disbelief and panic set in. I touched my hip and felt the empty space where my bag would sit, I looked up and saw the strap of my bag flailing in the air right before the thief tucked it in between him and the getaway driver. All I could muster was, “he took it! He just took it!” Kris and I started running after the motorbike and quickly realized it was pointless as he was already gone. Not only were our passports in this bag, but my iPhone, about 1 million dong, and all of our debit and credit cards as well. It was a huge blow to say the least. The bright side was we didn’t have our USD cash on us, it was back in the hostel, which is the thing that saved us during the recovery time.
I started to cry as I watched our belongings fade into the distance. I am in shock for a while feeling so many mixed emotions; anger, disbelief, guilt, sadness, embarrassment… What happens now? What about our New Zealand plans? They’re going to use our bank cards, how do we cancel them? Why did this happen to us? How could I be so stupid to let this happen? Why are there such mean people in the world?
An added bonus was that our visa would run out at the end of that week, we only had about 6 days to leave the country. This was not possible anymore.
Kris was much more put together than me, assuring me that everything will be ok, and was just happy that the thieves didn’t hurt me. We were both a bit disoriented and tried to find our way back to the hostel. We got there and immediately got on the computer to cancel our bank cards. Depending on your bank, you might have to call them, but most of ours were as easy as an email or a click on the website.
Then Kris thought… “wait, you have ‘find my iPhone’ don’t you? Let’s try that.” We logged in and my heart raced as it was searching for the location. Yes! It’s been found. We were new to the area so we didn’t know where this was. We pulled up google and found that the phone was right here, exactly where we are now. How is this possible? What we realized was it found the location of the MacBook I was using in that moment, not my iPhone. My heart sank. My phone was offline and there was no way to track it.
Takeaway: Give yourself some time to panic, don’t hold back these emotions you are feeling because it does no good to you to keep them inside. But don’t overdo it, allow yourself some freak out time in order to get back to reality.