Surviving France without your smartphone



You probably heard by now that I got pickpocketed upon arrival in Paris, on my way to meet my niece Ahnya in Beaune. Listen, I’m not  a newbie at solo travel and have been to more dangerous places in the world, so I know to be on alert. This was the first time in my life that I’ve been pickpocketed, and it had to be a doozy.

I was on the metro headed from Charles De Gaulle Airport to Paris. At La Courneuve, I stood up with my suitcases and parked myself in the handicapped area of the train to get space, and also to put my phone in my pocket (since it would be hard to do while sitting down). I noticed three African men standing in an odd formation near me, and they gave off a weird vibe, so I pulled my purse tighter in. Well, somewhere between La Courneuve and Chatelet les Halles, my phone was pulled out of my pocket. It didn’t fall; I have a hard case so whenever I drop it, it makes a loud noise.

Merde! They could have taken my wallet or my passport, but no … they took my life. All my trip notes were in my phone (easier access than a laptop) as well as all my, and my client photos. This essentially rendered me helpless — although, thank goodness I memorized Ahnya’s instructions on how to get to Beaune.

My phone was locked, but it also wasn’t trackable because it was on “airplane mode” and dependent on wi-fi.

In the end, though, it’s not as disastrous as it could be. I locked down my AT&T account, then reported the theft. Since I’m insured, they will send me a new one at a nominal fee. Ahnya happens to travel with an iPhone AND iPod touch, so I can borrow that for now. I need to get my own smart device, though, because at the end of this trip, Ahnya and I will part ways, and I’ll be alone in Paris for a day, alone in Qatar for a couple hours, and alone in Tokyo for a day. It’s not impossible, but will be very difficult to travel without a smart device.

So, as you read this, we are headed to Dijon to get an iPod. After looking around, it is the best value option for what I need to do. I also have papers from the (very handsome) police in Paris so I can file a police report in Dijon.

The biggest handicap? I can’t do work from France. I’m very lucky that my social media company, AdStreamz, has Russ, Crystal, Ricky and Rick to cover for me while I’m gone, but I was supposed to post things for clients, too.

In the meantime, you can follow my adventures in Beaune with Ahnya this week. Just follow my Instagram or Twitter!