Last week I was drugged and robbed whilst I was in Cali, Colombia. As it is still really fresh and my anger level is still pretty high, I’ll save the gory details for another time but I will share enough to help the lessons make more sense.
I met a girl at a bar near my Airbnb. From the get-go, I had no interest in her. She was not my type and she was exhibiting behaviour of a young, crazy girl.
I understand women very well and my Spidey senses were tingling from the get-go in this case. We had two beers each and I just wanted to get out of there but the voice in my head kept saying, “Don’t be rude.”
That is the last thing I remember as I awoke 18 hours later in a bush a couple blocks from my apartment with no phone, no cards, no money and no keys.
When I got back to my Airbnb it had been cleaned out. My phone, both laptops, all of my cards and my back pack were gone. The only valuables she / they didn’t get were my two passports that I had well hidden.
I add “they” because someone had taken the time to enjoy a few beers while they were in my place and there were two glasses on the table.
Almost all of my passwords were changed including those for my emails, Google accounts, Paypal, Wise, and online bank access. I was able to login to Facebook and Instagram and change those passwords.
So those are the embarrassing deets and here are the lessons I’m choosing to clean from this experience.
Always Trust Your Gut
As a Canadian I was raised to be nice to people. FUCK THAT. My gut was telling me to get out of there and I suffered because I chose to ignore it.
From now on I am only being nice to people that earn it. But this doesn’t just apply to personal relationships, I’m applying it to business as well.
For far too long, I have been passively growing my businesses and the results have been less than stellar. Now I am going to be much more assertive in going for what I want.
Check the AirBnb Keys
My keys had the building name and the apartment number on them. Duh.
Keep Important Docs Backed-Up Online
I lost all of my writing samples (over 50 of them for sure), videos, personal pictures, Whatsapp back-ups and passwords because they only existed on my laptops. I will never get most of these things back and I know I’ll never be able to reach the majority of my Whatsapp contacts because that is the only place I had their contact info.
Be Careful with Google
I have spent the last few days working with banks, Paypal, Wise, Apple, hosting companies, etc. trying to regain access to my accounts. All of them have been surprisingly good except for Google.
They have been absolutely useless in helping me get access to my main Google account that was used to access my Chromebook that was stolen.
I have spent hours on the phone getting passed from one knob to another without anyone accepting the severity of the problem. You can’t reset a Google password without receiving a security to a phone number.
In this case, the phone that was stolen. It is a complete disaster and the level of apathy Google employees show is ridiculous.
The only bright-side to the Google scenario is that I run Google ads and since all my cards have been canceled, I am willing to bet that Google will fix this problem when they don’t get paid in the next few days.
Track Your Devices but…
I had an Apple Air Tag locked inside my backpack. If you’re not familiar an air tag allows you to track the location using your iPhone. That is all fine and dandy except when your iPhone is stolen along with the air tag.
Today I will go to the Apple store to see if there is a way to track the air tag from any other device.
Keep Your IMEI Number Written Down Somewhere
Each device has a unique number issued by the manufacturer and the device can be tracked using that number. But same as above, it isn’t very helpful if the only place you have that number is on the device that is stolen.
I happened to buy this iPhone from an awesome seller on Ebay. Ironically, I used my Google account to login to Ebay and guess what? Without access to my Google account I can’t prove to the seller that I was the one that bought the phone to request the IMEI number.
I’m sure we’ll get that figured out but it would be infinitely easier had I written the number down somewhere.
Keep Hard Copies of Important Contacts
It gpes without saying that I wish I had saved contacts somewhere other than on my phone or computers. Even an online storage would have made a difference.
I didn’t even know my own mother’s phone number or email address and it was only through Facebook that I could reach her to let her know what happened. So dumb.
I always believe that everything happens for a reason but I’m still too angry to see the forest for the sleaze in this case. But I am sure I will eventually.
It is too soon to see what the ramifications of all of this will be over time but had I taken some of the steps above, I know it would be a lot less troublesome.
The most important is to listen to your gut. Human intuition is an amazing thing. Don’t ignore it for some stupid reason. Like not wanting to appear rude to someone you don’t know and have no intention of ever seeing again.