When we pulled into the hotel parking lot with our U Haul and all my belongings for the next few months in tow, I felt an uneasiness and asked Tom to park the car somewhere where we could view it from our room. Later that afternoon when he wanted to shut the blinds I requested them left open to view the car. While eating dinner in the room, as we are being so careful in distancing, wearing our masks and cleaning our hands, I heard an electric saw and I observed a man by our car facing our hotel window. I immediately texted Tom “Go to the car NOW!” I was not sure what was being done by this guy but my gut told me something was wrong. I opened the window and we made eye contact and I yelled “I am calling the police”. At that the guy ran off and Tom arrived and say nothing amiss.
However, when Tom went to start the car to move it to the hotel enterance away from the field behind the parking lot, the car sounded like a race car and he knew immediately that the catalytic converter had been stolen.
Here’s what I learned to share with you, always trust your gut and when traveling never let your guard down. I was unable to accurately describe the man except that he was Hispanic and wearing a bandana on his head. It wasn’t enough. Train your mind to remember details.
Other reminders as I’ve pondered on traveling safely are:
Don’t wear anything flashy and if possible wear something with hidden pockets. I have yoga pants with a pocket on both sides of the leggings. I can keep my mask, hand sanitizer and a credit card and hotel key and my hands are free.
Next time I travel I will have copies of documents and not the originals. Because I’m moving this trip is different.
Know where you going. Don’t let others see you on Google maps and let someone know where you are going.
Before this trip I had no idea what a catalytic converter was. Now I know it is a nonessential part of my Honda that thieves commonly remove to sell for the metal. Without one the car sounds like a race car and so far three local auto shops are unable to supply what we need to get on our way and so I am taking this time to do stress management. Perhaps you find yourself in a stressful situation as well. Here is what I do: take deep inhales and exhales, focus on all there is to be grateful for, pray and then take the next step.
Today is a gift and I will choose to find joy in it. I often ask locals while traveling their thoughts on mechanics, places to go and maybe even what to watch out for in the area. Yes, we can get a later check or spend another day. Please use this as a reminder to travel safely because adventuring brings new life to our weary souls.
And you know what? Your adventure today could be a Utube video to a destination of your choice or a local park. Sometimes to have a beautiful place to go to in your mind for 5minutes, may be the safest adventure in this day.
Be healthy, Be safe and just Be.
Please leave additional traveling safety tips in the comments that you find helpful.