Travelers Tales: The thing with cars and safety

Traveling is fun and exciting and wonderful. But even when you are traveling (or maybe especially then…) shit can happen. Let me tell you about one of those stories, maybe you can learn from it just like I did.

In March 2013, me and my friend Laura decided to go on a little roadtrip. We went to visit our friend in Bordeaux, because she did her Erasmus there, pick her (and all of her stuff) up to take her back to Munich with us and make a quick pit stop in Geneva to visit another friend. So far so good.
(I’m not gonna go into detail about how I hit a pole in Bordeaux, just minutes before we arrived after a 13 hour drive, and we had to go french garage without really knowing any french. Fun times.)


View out of the window in Bordeaux

Bordeaux was absolutely beautiful and even though it was March and pretty cold, we also took a few trips to the beach. Because, I mean, sand between your toes and salt water in your hair is just as soothing in March as it is in the summertime, right?


Lacanau Beach


After a few days in Bordeaux we made our way to Geneva. We stayed in our friend’s tiny little place with 4 people, which was an adventure itself already, but it was still fun and only for a night. In the morning, we all decided to go and visit the UN, because that’s what you should do when you are in Geneva, right?
In order not to have our friend’s tiny apartment stuffed with our suitcases (like I said, my one friend brought all her stuff back home so she could swap her winter clothes with her summer clothes and already move some not so important stuff back home before she left Bordeaux for good in June), we put them all into our car, which was parked right outside our friend’s apartment in the University quarter.


The UN in Geneva

When we all came back from our visit to the UN an hour or two later, I remember how my friend walked up to the car and said “Where’s my suitcase? Somehow my suitcase is not in the car anymore!”. I thought she was joking but when I checked the backseat for my backpack, it was gone as well. Someone robbed our car!
Luckily, when you go to the UN, you need your passport and we obviously all had our phones and wallets with us as well, so those things were safe. Other than that, all my clothes, toiletries, my shoes, my glasses… everything was gone! Worst part was, though, that my friend’s suitcase was stuffed with her GoPro, her laptop, important papers from her university and her bank and literally all her winter clothes! You can imagine how it felt like driving all the way back from Geneva to Munich with nothing but our handbags.



So, guys, NEVER leave all your stuff in the car. No where. Not even in rich Switzerland. There are so many ways to break into a car and people don’t even care if it’s in the middle of the city. Lesson learned.


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