Getting mugged is no fun you want to experience. I’ve had my share of close calls. I even had the wonderful adventure of being mugged at gunpoint once, here in NYC. The guy got my wallet with over $200 in it, my phone, and my prescription of drugs (don’t be snoopy, you don’t need to know what drugs). I know what it’s like to be at the bottom of the barrel, pulled free from your high of adventure.
There are 2 situations where you are most likely to be mugged, and so I have 2 tips on how to handle them so you don’t make the same mistakes I made:
Never get Sidetracked by the Gypsies
The gypsies, and others throwing tricks like the gypsies, are all about the distraction. They’re exceptional magicians that way. I was in Amsterdam with my family. This man was trying to show us something in a plastic bag. There wasn’t anything in the bag, so we tried to look harder. Another man came up from behind and tried to roll away with my father’s suitcase. He caught it in time. We stood and watched as the two men scattered, and then met up a few blocks down the way.
My father ran into gypsy trouble another time. He was pickpocketed while watching a street performance. He noticed a flash of green under a stack of newspapers a little gypsy girl was holding. He immediately realized that while he still had his wallet, there was no money in it. He chased the girl and her mother down, and eventually got his money back. Don’t ask me how.
My advice when you’re in a crowded place is to always check your possessions and to never focus too hard on one thing. Absorb all of your surroundings. Besides keeping you alert, it will be better for experiencing everything a new place has to offer.
Never Stumble in a Dark Desolate Place
My first tip is about watching yourself in the touristy areas, but your adventure may lead you to the less beaten trails of a place. The time I was mugged at gunpoint, I had had a few drinks and was walking back from a friend’s house. I was wearing these stupid pale blue pants and I stood out like a bleeding thumb for a good mark. The guy got me against a wall, took what he needed, and scrammed.
My advice is that, in your travels, you will be overwhelmed by all of the new and exciting places you’re seeing. You’ll often be tired. Don’t stand out. Don’t doddle, unsure of where you’re going. Have a planned route or destination. Always be moving.
Anywhere you go around the world, there is the opportunity of danger. It can happen in a crowd as easily as in a dark alley. The better you blend in, the less likely you’ll be endangered.