My Unfortunate Events

Most of my Malaysia trip had been satisfying. Except the part when I got cashless and without ATM and my wallet got lost together with my identity and credit cards.

The trip was my least fun ever. But, undoubtedly most enriching, personally.

There were many unexpected expenses which went way over my budget. We didn’t discuss the itinerary we wanted with our friends and ended up following an entirely different itinerary. The amount we spent on our first day in Penang was a shocker. More that 50% of my budget was spent. But we couldn’t complain because we really had a blast around Penang.

How did I survive the last 4 days with only about RM200?

I had to start making use of my Bahasa Melayu (Malay Language) ability to suck up to taxi drivers, cutting fees RM10-15. I spent wisely on souvenirs. Oh, I ate instant noodle in Malaysia for Dinner. 😌

Traveling in a group also brings risk of conflict. Yep, you guessed it. I travel with many groups of people before and rarely had any awkward situations. Whatever happened, though, I tried my best to give in for the sake of the entire trip. It didn’t go to worst, thankfully. I know a trip by a group of friends who didn’t go that well, they had to go their separate ways and only met each other for their pre-booked flights.

Lastly, I lost my wallet. This was the peak of the unfortunate events. I thought being cashless was the worst situation I could get into. I always have my wallet in my small bag. The one time I decided to put my wallet in the back of my shorts pocket, I lost it. I probably lost it at the bus terminal during toilet break, or in the coach, or in the taxi. It could be everywhere. I called the coach company, taxi company (they were really nice to take time to call their friends), but there was no luck.

The panic I experienced was like the end of the world. I never lost my wallet before. The last time I did was when I was 8 years old, when I wasn’t ready to have one anyway. So to have lost it while traveling in a foreign country, I felt like giving up, honestly.

But then, I wish to have longer trips to countries more foreign, I could only communicate with hand gestures. If I couldn’t handle the difficulties I faced on this recent trip, I better not dream of bigger and longer trips in the future.

That realisation makes me feel a different kind of gratefulness. The kind that scares me when bad things happen but would definitely make me a better traveler. I feel so much better after seeing the bigger picture.

So have you any tips for me to prevent any of such things happening while traveling?

What do you think?

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