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Blog Mishaps & 'Oops!' Moments

Everything I Owned Got Stolen Whilst Travelling – How It Was The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me!

reasons to travel

Passport, check, money, check, phone, check.. The holiday-is-nearly-over sadness is kicking in, and you’ve got to do the final checks to make sure you can still get home safe, just a quick look to check you’re not leaving your flipflops or your favourite bikini (but there might not be room for your newly acquired pool inflatable..) So, you can imagine my surprise when, just 45 minutes before our transfer back to the airport, we realise our little black wallet is missing, later to find out it got stolen. Little black wallet, I hear you say? Surely that can’t be a big deal? Oh but it can, it wasn’t just a ‘big deal’ it was a ‘we wont get home without it’ type of deal.

The Beginning

Let’s go back to the beginning of the story, while I was drinking prosecco by the pool, enjoying our last day of all-inclusive in our Zakyinthos hotel (that we managed to get for VERY cheap!) catching the last few sun rays before it was time to go get our bags ready to leave. We had been cleaver you see, having already packed our stuff, and what we had with us would simply go in our hand luggage that we had with us by the pool! Genius! So, me and my (now ex) partner, were completely unaware of the madness that was going to begin later that evening. We popped back to the luggage hold in the hotel, put our towels in our suitcase and went to wait with the rest of the people getting on our transfer. I was always a pretty anxious traveller, I really liked to make sure everything was in place and double and triple check we still had everything. So, I made my partner show me the little black wallet that had everything important in, he quickly reached into the hand luggage we had had with us by the pool all day and looked up at me, shocked. ‘It’s not in here’ he said, I knew he was teasing cause I always panicked about us getting home.

But he wasn’t joking. It wasn’t there.

I’m talking, passports, driving licenses, bank cards, EHICs, flight details & tickets, transfer tickets, and all the cash we had left over. We literally had NOTHING.

I couldn’t care less about the clothes we had in the suitcases at this point, they didn’t matter at all. I shouted and swore, then swiftly apologised to all the people I had insulted – I don’t ever really lose my temper, but this was an exception. It was nowhere to be seen, (we later realised it had been stolen) by this point we had enrolled help from the staff who were on their hands and feet around the hotel, trying to help us find it. An hour, went by, we had missed our transfer by this point, then it reached the point where even if we got to the airport, it would be too late to board the flight. We had no money on us, no bank cards, nothing, all had been taken. We had to call home, and ask our parents to pay over the phone via credit card for a room to stay in for the night – they weren’t very impressed, especially when getting a room that night was almost as much as our 7 night stay! However, we worked out if we had the night we could spend it figuring out what to do.

The Next Day

The next day we were up and out super early, and asked the front desk to call us a taxi – we could get money out from a western union on the way from our parents (or so we thought) to pay for our taxi before we got dropped off. WE had figured out we needed to go to the police station first to file a stolen report for our insurance (we needed someway to repay the debt we had got ourselves into back home!) and our taxi driver finally dropped us off very abruptly after three failed western union visits – we couldn’t get money out as we had no ID (Duh!? Didn’t think of that one did we…). We finally got to the police station, but they were on their lunch break… obviously.

This whole thing was such a farce – once we had found out the police station was on their lunch, we hurried to the British Consulate. There was a lovely woman who we had spoken too on the phone earlier that morning who explained how everything would work to us. We needed a passport photo, the police report, a credit card and we had to book flights. All seemed fine – until she explained everything but the flights needed to be payed in cash. How. How were we supposed to do all this, wait two hours EACH for the emergency passports to be created AND THEN get to the only flight back to England that day (not even to an airport near us!) that was leaving in 6 hours. Basically we ran around Zakynthos centre like a couple of mad people, trying all the ways we possibly could to get cash, police statements, pictures and the lot.

Why Was Getting Everything Stolen The Best Thing That Could Of Happened To Me?

Finally though, we managed it. We landed home, and I thought, actually, that was the best thing that could of happened to me. Why? Because I was an extremely nervous traveller up until then, I was always worried about worst case scenarios and the stories from the news you would hear of people stranded. But, I’d done it, I’d got through one of the worst things that cant happen (besides injury), and I was okay! I was safe, I was well, and yes I owed a couple of hundred to my folks, but to me, it was worth it, to not feel anxiousness about travelling like that again. So here I am now, planning a round the world trip, for a whole YEAR! Not something I would ever think I would be doing, but it’s little mishaps & ‘Oops’ moments like these that help us to shape who we are, and I wouldn’t of changed it for the world.

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Elle Louise




  • Lauren

    So glad you managed to find a positive out of such an awful experience. We got broken into whilst travelling and unfortunately it’s done the opposite for me. I was never an anxious travelller but now I’m constantly checking over my shoulder. Luckily, I always keep our valuables such as passports on us. Everything we owned got stolen though. 🙁

    • EleanorLGriffiths

      That sounds horrible, being broken into must be the worst! I don’t understand why some people would want to do that! I can imagine it’s tough now after such an ordeal, but don’t let it stop you from going out there and seeing the world x

  • Finlay grace Allan

    That’s crazy! I lovve how you found the positive in such a bad situation! Enjoy your world trip 🙌🏻

    • EleanorLGriffiths

      It was pretty tough at the time, but I look back and laugh now! I always try to find the good in bad situations, it can really help!

  • Lisa

    This was a wild read from start to finish! Like you I´m quite an anxious traveler so I totally get where you’re coming from! It´s the same with anxiety – you have to confront yourself with the situation to see that it´s actually not as bad as you thought and that you can manage it! I’m really proud of you for seeing it in such a positive light!
    xx Lisa | Following Lisa

    • EleanorLGriffiths

      Thank you! That’s so true, it might feel like the world is about to fall apart but actually everything is okay and fixable, you sometimes just need a quick step back to see that!

  • Ellie phillips

    So sorry to hear this but so glad you managed to get home! I feel like this is such a worst nightmare of mine and its just a reminder to always keep things safe!

    • EleanorLGriffiths

      Absolutely! We were fine and managed to get home safe, making me a more relaxed traveller these days, but I’m definitely more careful now, I could do without the ordeal!

  • Sabrina

    This sounds awful Ellie, so sorry it happened to you but I think it’s just amazing you have managed to find such positivity from it! I need to learn how to do this!x

    • EleanorLGriffiths

      It’s would always be easier to just be mad or upset when stuff like this happens, but it works out better in the long run if you’re able to take something positive from it! For me it was a few months later till I realised I’d become a lot more relaxed about travelling, so the positive isn’t always easy to find at first!

  • Melanie

    Goodness me what a complete nightmare- I suffer from anxiety and when it comes to checking and rechecking I’m terrible! So glad that you get through it and home safely and managed to turn a bad experience into such a positive one! Good luck with your year of travelling 😃

    Melanie |

    • EleanorLGriffiths

      I used to be the worst for that too! But now, after getting through something like that I’m super chill and see everything as an adventure, whether it was what was supposed to happen or not!

  • Tasha

    Omg why did I read this! I’m going on holiday next month and now I’m going to be super paranoid about my passport 😂 great post though and glad something positive has come out of the experience!

    • EleanorLGriffiths

      Hahah sorry about the girl! but in all seriousness, I’m sure you’ll be more careful than we were! Definitely ourselves to blame for the most part I’d say, shouldn’t of just left it near the pool hahah!

  • Anne

    I love the ending – it’s true that when you’ve been through your worst nightmare scenarios you realise that even if the worst does happen, you’ll still get through it! That sounds like such a stressful experience, but I love that you can see everything you learned as a result! Great post!

    Anne //

    • EleanorLGriffiths

      Thank you! It’s definitely made me a lot more chill now, I don’t worry about stuff half as much as I used to when travelling, because I’ve already been through the worse and got back safe and well (and a few hundred in debt to my parents but we’ll ignore that for the sake of the positive message 😉 )

  • Jess

    Omg I can’t believe you had to go through something so terrible but at least you turned it into a positive! I can only imagine how stressful this must have been for you I’d have been an angry and emotional wreck!!!

    Jess xx

    • EleanorLGriffiths

      Hahah, yep it was pretty and at first I was so stressed, but then realised that while I was stressed, I wasn’t being particularly productive! So just kicked myself into gear and coped, as much as I wanted to have a full blown tantrum hahah!

  • Perrine - Ola Banana

    We got a similar experience in Athens, we got out suitcases and other stuff stolen, but hopefully we had our passports and other important things in hand bags (unlike the other people we met at the police station!), may be that experience helped me not becoming an anxious traveller…


    • EleanorLGriffiths

      Hahaha at least it’s not just us! Yes, it definitely helped me with me travel anxiousness!

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