months ago, I found myself sitting on the edge of bed staring out
the window of a cozy bungalow in Sayulita, Mexico. I'd just arrived
earlier that evening and was finishing unpacking when I hit a wall,
of sorts. I was surprisingly exhausted from a day of travel, and
was having a difficult time figuring out what to do with the envelope
of traveler's checks and cash in my hand. While most trusting or
naive tourists would simply drop it in a nightstand drawer or slip
it into the underwear drawer, I was apparently not one of those
normally don't travel with cash, but Sayulita is such a small town
that they do not accept credit cards. Opting to be prepared, I brought
cash and traveler's checks. Having traveled to Mazatlan, Tijuana
and Oahu in the past, I had a distinctly jaded view of locals. Rather
than take my chances, I prefer to prepare for the possibility of
theft. Visualization has worked well for me in the past.
created a mental picture of a local kid sliding a credit card (stolen
perhaps?) between my doors and entering my room while I was out
at the beach. Where would he look first? Probably nightstand drawers,
I figured. I ventured to guess he would hit a jackpot in half of
the other bungalows, but he'd be snake eyes in the Lewis abode.
Next stop? Dressers or closet with clothes. No dice? I could picture
him trying the bathroom shelves and my toiletry bag.
uttering a few choice expletives, the intruder would head back out
to the living room and kitchenette to find hidden treasure. He wouldn't
find anything under the cushions, in the cabinets or drawers. Perhaps
there's time for a second look in the bedroom. The kid would look
under the mattress and through my empty travel bags in vain. If
he's in a good mood, he'll leave everything as-is so I can return
from the beach without being worse for wear.
he had half a brain, he would have used his 6-foot plus frame to
step up onto the window sill and lift up the empty bird cage on
a shelf above the window to reveal an envelope with my passport
and cash. He could have also pulled out the nightstand drawer to
reveal a second envelope with traveler's checks. My extra effort
worked, and I'd outsmarted the local thief!
course that's not exactly how it turned out. The locals were friendly,
the hotel staff was fantastic and I was too lazy to maintain my
secret stashes for more than two days. I did manage to enjoy the
sun, surf and food over the following week. Next time, I'll spend
more time on the beach and less time in my room visualizing.