I wasn’t wise enough to take advantage of the unique opportunity that studying abroad offers. However, my desire to travel abroad was resolute and upon graduating from Florida State University this past May, a friend and I took some time to travel across the pond and backpack around Europe.

We knew that we had to be careful, especially in a strange a foreign land; and be sure to protect our valuables, such as our phones, wallets and passports. Since we were already rather vigilant individuals, we weren’t too concerned about losing or having our possessions stolen.

Our first stop on our European Excursion was Dublin. After arriving at our hostel, within the first 10 minutes of meeting some fellow travelers, we were inundated with stories of others who had either their phones stolen, passports stolen or both. We couldn’t believe it. We had assumed the warnings that we received to be mostly hyped up propaganda to make us extra cautious; but no, the warnings were completely justified.

After hearing about these terrifying ordeals first hand we decided to take the possibility of losing our valuables very seriously. Whenever we were in crowded areas I would move my wallet from my back pocket into my front pocket for better protection. Meanwhile, our passports were safely guarded back at the hostel in a safe that conveniently came with each bunk.

After about a month, we had been to several countries and even more cities, all without incident. Then we arrived in Rome, the New York City of Europe. I have to be honest, at first Rome was not all that impressive, certainly not as amazing as everyone made it out to be. We were wrong though; you definitely can’t judge a book by its cover. The ancient sites were breathtaking and Vatican City was more remarkable than I can put to words.

We tried our hardest not to resemble the typical touristy persona, but however hard you try, it’s just not possible. We were targets whether we liked it or not. You can be as careful as careful can be, but no one is 100% safe from pickpockets, it is what they do for a living after all. The whole time were in Rome all of our things remained in our possession, it wasn’t until we were on our way to the train station that disaster struck. My passport was missing from my front left pocket.

Now I am typically a very calm guy, but I knew that without my passport I wasn’t going anywhere. The freaking out began relatively fast. After my friend had calmed me down a little, I sat down and hopped on the free Wi-Fi and began searching on Google for “how to replace a passport”. I clicked on the first link I saw, I had no patience for scrolling through Google’s endless search results. The site I had chosen happened to be the exact site that I needed. www.RushMyPassport.com offers the fasted U.S. passport expediting courier service.

I could have gone through the State Department, but that would have taken anywhere from 1-2 months, and although I would have loved to been able to stay in Europe that long, my bank account had other ideas. Rush My Passport cost a little more to get my passport quickly, but when I say quickly I mean I got a replacement passport within a few days. I couldn’t believe how fast it was. After getting my brand new passport, for the rest of the duration of our trip, I held on to it as if my life depended on it.

This situation could have been much worse, but luckily that wasn’t the case, and I have Rush My Passport thank. Although this disaster was quickly averted, don’t let it happen to you. While traveling abroad, no matter where you are, always keep an attentive eye on your possessions. Hopefully my unfortunate experience will help prevent others from experiencing similar situations. 

This is a guest post from RushMyPassport.com.