Robbed in Buenos Aires

This isn’t a story about how I was robbed in Buenos Aires. This isn’t a story about all the horrible things that can happen in Buenos Aires. Telling every detail of my trip that includes all the bad stuff – would hurt some people I care about … and in the end, I don’t want to spoil the “Paris of South America” for people who might still enjoy it by unfairly slanting their viewpoint. So …

This is a story about how being robbed in Buenos Aires changed me, broke my travel cherry and shattered a bit of innocence I still possessed with regards to travel and being a traveler.

I had high expectations for my trip to South America. Together with my dear friend Abby, we were going to attend the wedding of Andi Perullo. Together, we were going to conquer South America. I was naive enough to think that it would be the adventure of a lifetime. Even on my limited budget. I didn’t think I’d need a lot of money. There was going to be easy to use public transportation that was safe at all hours of the day and night, great food, beautiful architecture, fascinating history. It was going to be the trip that would make my career as a travel photographer and writer. See? I didn’t expect much.

The expats I met on my first night in town, told me horror stories of robberies, crooked cab drivers and scams to avoid. It did make me pause. For a minute. By the next morning I was back to feeling like a naive, plucky, excited traveler fully basking in the glow of her rose-colored glasses. That glow lasted 3 days.

What I found on only my fourth day in the city [after my iPhone was taken out of my hands and after another pair of men tried to take my purse causing me to run for my life] – was a place that felt dangerous, unpredictable and seemed dirtier than anything I had imagined. In fact, exactly like the terrible place the expats described in the worst of their stories.

I’ve been through more bad things in my life than most. I thought I could handle anything. Especially when traveling. I actually believed that as a person who has been through the ringer in her personal life – surely there was nothing any country could throw at me that would ever faze me.

Yet the city became violent and unpredictable for me, made me imagine the worst things lurking in the shadows. There was an invasion of my personal space which occurred that would have affected me less if it happened on my last day in town. Instead, it happened before I could back up all the hundreds of beautiful photographs I’d already taken. It happened while I still had more than a week to spend in a place where I felt violated both on the streets and where I was to sleep.

Looking back, I overreacted. Or simply chose the wrong reaction to the things which happened to me. For instance, instead of being thankful for the 11 photographs I do have because I uploaded them to Facebook before my iPhone was stolen – I mourned the ones that were taken from me.

Since my return, I’ve been thinking about the lessons my trip taught me. Actually, it started in the cab ride to the airport where already the feeling of loss coupled with thankfulness was overwhelming me.

People like Abby, Nathan, Lea, Allan, Jonathan, Andi and Lucas … saved the trip for me. My moments with them gave me positive memories I’ll cherish forever now that the dust is settled. If it weren’t for them all I would have is a memory of unpleasant events and a feeling of intense insecurity.

Instead, I know that traveling is a yin/yang experience. You have to take the good with the bad. You have to own the fact that stepping foot on a plane is surrendering yourself to the unpredictability of our world but that doing so is what makes life worth living. You have to realize safety is, in the end, an illusion. You must choose to get over bad experiences so you can be fully present in the happy moments.

Well, maybe you don’t have to own those truths. But I own them now,

because … of being robbed in Buenos Aires.

So I’ll get a new iPhone and use it when I teach an iPhoneography workshop at TBEX and then at TBU. My rose colored glasses may have been replaced with aviators but I don’t intend to stop traveling or be intimidated to the degree that I change who I am. Life’s too short for that!

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  • http://twitter.com/KenStead Ken Stead

    Very thoughtful post, thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Thank you Ken. I try to make it a hallmark of my site, that my posts are deeper in some way than the average travel post. I appreciate your visit, and comment. Thank you.

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Thank you Ken. I try to make it a hallmark of my site, that my posts are deeper in some way than the average travel post. I appreciate your visit, and comment. Thank you.

  • jeannie

    Don’t feel bad. No matter how prepare you are of your travel destination, something may happen that may leave you feeling vulnerable. In time, you will rise above those feelings of insecurities. We had a similar situation in Rabat, Morrocco. Despite how prepared I was about being cautious who to engage with, we ended up getting ourselves into a situation where we were trapped by a person who we thought was being friendly and helpful but ended up trapping us and demanding money to be released. His friend appeared out of nowhere though he could have been following us without us knowing. It seemed scary at first but it was in the day time with other people about though not a lot. In the end, we got out safely after relinquishing a bit of money though not the full amount. We were both annoyed but especially me. Up to that point, i’ve been shoeing people away but for whatever reason decided to allow someone to “help” us. 

    To say the least, our visit to Rabat was spoiled and could not wait to leave the capital. Luckily this happened towards the end of our trip so at least our negative opinion of Morrocco is saved only for Rabat. I know we will eventually return and see the other parts of Morrocco but we will never set foot in Rabat.    

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Thank you for the comment Jeannie. Wow – it sounds like your experience would have upset me too. I think it’s the reality that man kind is not all good and not everyone is out to help you. Of course it’s one thing to know this rationally and another to experience it first hand. I am so glad that happened to you towards the end of your trip. Having a bad thing happen at the beginning just really changes things. Here’s to finding enjoyment from travel even with the bad in this world … it’s a great big globe we’re livin on and I don’t intend to stop traveling till I’ve seen it all. Good and bad.

  • http://www.thetravelchica.com The Travel Chica

    A nice piece of writing, and I’m glad you’ve recovered from the crappy experiences in Buenos Aires. 

    I think you should also be proud that the purse attempt was foiled.  Most travelers would not have reacted as quickly.  I hope that when the inevitable attempt is made on me, I’ll be as smart.

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Thank you Stephanie! Yes, I have recovered. I’ll always mourn the content I lost when my iPhone was stolen, like the pictures. But I’ve gotten over it. And I have an iPhone 3Gs that I am going to try and activate today. So we’ll see how that goes. Yes, I was VERY glad I was still so upset over the phone that I was thinking quick enough to simply run when the purse attempt happened. It was sort of a “you got my phone, there’s NO way your’re getting my purse” kind of deal. 

      REALLY good to meet you and Ayngelina and Rease when I was in BsAs. That’s definitely one of the experiences that helped make it a positive trip for me in the end. I hope we meet again somewhere in the world :)

  • http://www.hecktictravels.com Peter Heck

    Shitty deal that you got robbed, but you have the right attitude in that you have to take the good with the bad.  Life is too short to let an instance like this bring you down. The good news is that you are safe, you can replace the things.  Nothing like this has happened to us yet, but we fully expect at some point it will.  It is a risk/reward of traveling.

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Thank you so much Peter! I appreciate the comment and yes – I agree that traveling comes with both risk and reward. Also, I’m so glad you haven’t been robbed yet.

  • http://twitter.com/janross53 Jan Ross

    Wow…I just can’t imagine. I have been fortunate so far and hope to remain that way but, when you travel, you just never know. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • http://twitter.com/janross53 Jan Ross

    Wow…I just can’t imagine. I have been fortunate so far and hope to remain that way but, when you travel, you just never know. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Truly Jan, you never know. Now, at least, I am more prepared mentally in case it ever happens again. I hope it doesn’t happen to you for what it’s worth. Let delayed flights or something else be the worst that ever happens to you. Thank you for the comment Jan!

  • http://www.novacationrequired.com The NVR Guys

    Oh, that’s awful. That feeling of irritation and frustration is the worst. We got scammed in Prague, and were left feeling much the same way. Nice work rebounding.

    BTW – We’re heading to BsAs again, so we need to get the 411 on those scams to avoid :)

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Thanks for the comment gentleman!! Here’s my biggest advice – if you have a smart phone, don’t use it in public. If you do, hold onto it very securely and use it as on the sly as is possible to do. They LOVE stealing smart phones there, from portenos and travelers – anyone is a target there. Most portenos, even those with money, simply don’t own a smart phone and I now understand why. Also, don’t be caught in neighborhoods like La Boca after dark. Even the Argentinian I was with in that neighborhood couldn’t get out of there fast enough when the sun started to set. For what it’s worth – I hope this doesn’t happen to you or anyone else I know. But yes, try to rebound and know that bad stuff happens but it doesn’t have to define us.

  • Katie Hammel

    While I had the opposite experience in Buenos Aires (never felt unsafe, had no problems), I can related to your story. My travel innocence, so to speak, was taken in Cape Town, on my first night in South Africa.

    After a day of traveling and a great dinner, my husband and I were exhausted walking back to our guesthouse. We barely noticed how quiet and dark the street was, how loudly we were talking about the dinner and how cheap it was, or that we were quickly being approached from behind by two teenage boys. We didn’t even pay much mind when they walked up next to us and asked for money..until they started pawing at my husband’s pockets. I had fallen behind, so I didn’t see the knife they pulled on my husband; I just saw him turn around and start running towards me.

    We ran away down on alley onto a more brightly lit street, and they didn’t give chase but we were still really freaked out. The next morning when we told the guesthouse owner we’d had a problem the night before, he nonchalantly replied, “oh, you got mugged?” We spent six more days in Cape Town and though we had no more problems, we never felt safe there and took precautions that made us feel paranoid. The experience definitely changed my opinion of the city, but I also learned how to better cope with the city afterwards and learned lessons about staying safe that we now use in other cities too.

    I still think that there’s more good in the world than bad, but I also think that if you travel long enough, something bad is bound to happen. There are ways to reduce your risk, but there’s so much you can’t control or prepare for. The reward is still worth it.

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Katie, I could not agree with you more. Thank you for the comment. I am actually glad you had a wonderful experience in Buenos Aires, Abby (who I traveled with) did as well. It’s not a bad place, it just wasn’t a great place for me. Thank you for sharing the story about Cape Town. It’s a place I desperately want to travel to but I have heard bad things so I will be going there knowing I must take precautions and must be careful. Now I know one more thing to watch out for. Yes, the reward of travel is worth the risks that inevitably come when you travel as much as we do.

  • http://www.storiesofconflictandlove.com Roxanne

    I so value the way you marry honesty to positivity. I recently read a post about bloggers who only write about the happy stuff (by Susannah Conway – check out her blog, it’s one of the most recent posts) and it made me think. Here you manage to narrate unpleasant experiences that have left a sour taste and you still find light in it all. I am sorry for what you lost and left behind in Buenos Aires and I am excited for everything you will find ahead – for all the images you’ll capture, and for all the travels that are in your new iPhone’s future.

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Roxanne, thank you so much for yet another kind and encouraging comment. I treasure your comments so much. Thank you for appreciating my often sappy writing. I do think it’s better to be honest and yet positive rather than only being fake and happy. Certainly my goal for this site is to be an a-typical travel blog … but in a good way. XOXO

  • http://www.justinhamlin.com Justin Hamlin

    Kirsten - 

    So many times those rose colored glasses is what helps paint such a bleak photo of other countries to Americans.  They hear horror stories (like yours, as an example) but do not learn to look past those horrors, or learn from them either.

    You have a great attitude about taking off the rose colored glasses and learning that sometimes, things happen, and in life, it is not how you always handle those situations, but rather, how you learn from them.

    At the end of the day, so glad you are safe, the pictures from Andy’s wedding turned out great and you have a lesson learned story from the road. Glad to see that it will not deter you from traveling more, as we are all looking forward to the photos you take on your next trip

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      No, this won’t deter me from traveling. I start on another two week trip this Monday culminating with TBEX and I have India and Ireland and hopefully Australia still ahead this year. Thank you for the kind comment Justin. It really makes life worth living to be able to be a photographer so I appreciate knowing other people enjoy the images I capture. Thank you. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for the encouragement.

  • http://twitter.com/amandaelsewhere Amanda Patterson

    Hi Kirsten,
    I feel as though I am having a similar experience this week, although not while traveling. My car was stolen over the weekend and I can relate to almost everything you’ve said in this post, the mourning, the insecurity, the fear that danger is lurking in the shadows. The thing is, these things can happen ANYWHERE, whether you’re traveling as you were, or at home as I was. Victim’s guilt is the worst thing to overcome. But the thing is, you can do everything right, you can follow all the rules, and be a good person, but sometimes the nature of crime is that it is completely and utterly random and impersonal. Best wishes to you and may you one day find yourself in rose-colored glasses once more.

  • http://twitter.com/amandaelsewhere Amanda Patterson

    Hi Kirsten,
    I feel as though I am having a similar experience this week, although not while traveling. My car was stolen over the weekend and I can relate to almost everything you’ve said in this post, the mourning, the insecurity, the fear that danger is lurking in the shadows. The thing is, these things can happen ANYWHERE, whether you’re traveling as you were, or at home as I was. Victim’s guilt is the worst thing to overcome. But the thing is, you can do everything right, you can follow all the rules, and be a good person, but sometimes the nature of crime is that it is completely and utterly random and impersonal. Best wishes to you and may you one day find yourself in rose-colored glasses once more.

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      OMG Amanda. That’s AWFUL. My story is way less horrid than getting ones car stolen. I am so sorry you’ve had to go through that. I want to choose to believe that what was said above is true: “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” and that better days are ahead for both of us! Travel or no travel. Bad things are just hard. Heres to less bad, and more good.

  • http://twitter.com/Ayngelina Ayngelina

    I think Buenos Aires is a tough city for some people. It looks really modern and sleek but it is still South America and you need to take the same precautions as you would in any other country here.

    But I’m so glad you and look back, reflect and see there are so many other wonderful things here.

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Ayngelina – meeting you was one of the great things about BsAs so yes, there are many wonderful things! :) Thank you for commenting.

  • http://twitter.com/KatrinaMauro Katrina Mauro

    Great post! I like that you ended with why you won’t let this incident
    intimidate you from traveling again. Short story for you – When I was
    in 5th grade I almost got kidnapped right around the corner from my
    parents house in suburbia. I remember the cop we reported it to telling
    me I couldn’t let this make me afraid to go outside. I took that
    statement very seriously then, and still do now. No matter where I am I
    try to be aware of what’s going on, but not afraid. Because, it’s the
    absolute truth that anything can happen anywhere…and what doesn’t kill
    you, really does make you stronger. :)

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Katrina, thank you! It really is true – anything can happen anywhere. It’s one of the reasons I won’t stop traveling. And yes, one thing I know well is that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Lord do I.

  • http://theroadforks.com Akila

    Kirsten, I am so sorry that you lost your pictures but I am so glad that you are focusing on the positives.  Being robbed is incredibly scary and, personally, I think it always shatters the experience and that place.  A week before I got married and move out of my apartment (which I moved into because it was in a cheaper area), thieves broke in, stealing tons of stuff (including many wedding presents), and left a knife on the counter, apparently intended for me.  It took me a solid year to feel “secure” again . . . not because I actually thought that someone was going to rob me but because those people so drastically invaded my privacy.  I was “fine” within a day — and I had the most lovely wedding — but it forced me to take off the rose-tinted glasses in my attitudes toward strangers and the safety in this country and abroad.  

    It’s been almost ten years since that robbery.  When I read this post, I hear echoes of my own self.  I, too, thought I was overreacting and I was really embarrassed that I had to call my mom and husband to come help me.  But, the thing is, that I reacted exactly like I needed to react.  I was a complete mess for a day or two but then I picked myself up and was back up on my feet again.  Nobody knew what had happened at my wedding or that we moved everything out of my apartment early because I couldn’t stand to be in a place where thieves fingered my clothes and ate my food.  Nobody knew because I was “okay.”  For a year, I manically locked all the doors, waking up in the middle of the night to check them, until I finally started to feel secure again.  Even now, if the situation doesn’t look good, I get out immediately; we’ve left hostels intending to stay there and decided we didn’t like the area and walked out.  I take all this as a good thing; it means that I’ve learned something about how to be secure and safe without destroying my optimism.
    So, as awesome as it is that you have a positive attitude, remember to cut yourself a break.  The reason why you are able to move on in such a positive way might just be because you “overreacted” in those first few days.

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Akila, thank you for sharing this. It may be the most special comment I’ve received. Thank you for not belittling my fear but validating what I went through and yet still encouraging me to be brave from here forward. I won’t stop traveling. But neither will I live in fear. THANK YOU!!

      That being said, I am sorry you went through this. I cannot even imagine how hard it would be. Far worse than a camera phone being stolen.

  • http://christineinspain.tumblr.com Christine

    I’m just so amazed (and not surprised knowing your talent!) that out of only 11 shots, they all turned out beautifully! I imagine losing your pictures must have been so difficult, and really admire your ability to see the light of this unfortunate situation.

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Thank you Christine!!!!!! Very sweet of you to say. Certainly I could have done better and I did, which no one will ever know. But I have many of the images in my minds eye and maybe that’s all I really need. With or without photographs, I will always be glad I got to go to Argentina.

  • http://twitter.com/100Mileshighway Katherina

    Buenos Aires is not as developed and fine as it may look in some neighborhoods and I guess, some people may feel more or less secure in it. When I went there, 2 days, all my experiences were good – even though I got myself into trouble by going to La Boca on a match afternoon and ended up in a huge fight involving stones and glass bottles. Funnily, I still felt safe. I was “protected” by some of the locals, who had locked me in their empty bar – for more than an hour. While I sat in the dark, I only heard glass crushing on the floor, people shouting, punching and insulting each other. I no time did I feel scared…

    My boss (who’s originally from Buenos Aires) has told me terrible stories… not only about robberies, but gun shots! So… I guess its a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.I’m glad you are ok after all. An iphone is replaceable… and you can always find the courage and go back :)

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Katherina, as brave as I think I am – clearly you are more brave. Perhaps it’s good my courage and faith was tested with this experience. Clearly I needed it. Thanks for the comment!

  • Anonymous

    So sorry to read this – it’s tough to handle when you’re so far from the familiar as well – you’re already putting yourself in situations that stretch the bounds of comfort, so to be robbed topples some of those “the world is inherently a safe place” platitudes we spread as travelers. The world is largely safe, but there are still always precautions to take and expectations to manage….

    Glad you are safe and that you were able to enjoy your friends and the wedding! :) 

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Thank you Shannon!! I won’t stop traveling and it’s good, if anything, that this has prepared me for other countries. And maybe safety is a bit overrated?!

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  • http://twitter.com/KenKaminesky Ken Kaminesky

    As you said, stepping foot on a plane is surrendering yourself to the unpredictability of our world. In most cases, that unpredictability in travel is associated with the good things, the beautiful experiences and the amazing places that add up to all those wonderful memories you get to take home with you.

    Sadly bad things like this can happen too, but I know I speak for all when i say that I’m glad you’re ok, weren’t physically harmed and in the end have taken this as a learning experience. The school of hard knocks is not kind, but it is a good teacher. I hope that Buenos Aires is lucky enough to welcome you back one day, so that you can finish taking all the beautiful photos that you were meant to take.

    Big hug for you Kirsten :)

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Ken, thank you so much for this kind comment. My friend you are always an inspiration. And at a time when you have your own pain to deal with. Yes, life = unpredictability. That’s certainly what I’ve owned more than anything from this.

      I am glad I am ok too and yes, one day I am sure I will return to BsAs. For now, I will just enjoy your photographs of the city. I remember being in La Boca, seeing the spider and thinking of you. 

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Ken, thank you so much for this kind comment. My friend you are always an inspiration. And at a time when you have your own pain to deal with. Yes, life = unpredictability. That’s certainly what I’ve owned more than anything from this.

      I am glad I am ok too and yes, one day I am sure I will return to BsAs. For now, I will just enjoy your photographs of the city. I remember being in La Boca, seeing the spider and thinking of you. 

  • Ceri

    I am so so sorry that this happened to you, Kirsten. That’s horrible. But I’m so glad that you’re refusing to not let this be the end of you. If this was an experience that had ruined your thoughts about travelling and the world, it would have only meant that those thieves won.

    I always think to myself that I’m prepared for any big city where robberies occur because I’ve lived in big cities all my life and my hometown is run-down and polluted, full of junkies and thieves – in fact I live on one of the most dangerous streets. But I know that that’s the naive part of me too that we all have to kind of push to the side.

    Once again, I’m sorry this happened, hun. But I’m so glad you yourself are okay and unharmed. *hugs*

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Thank you so much for the comment Ceri! Yes, it was horrible but it could have been worse and no it won’t be the end of anything. Not travel certainly, for me. No thief is winning on my watch :)

  • http://twitter.com/CailinONeil Cailin O’Neil

    I’m glad that you survived and nothing else was taken! See you in a few weeks! :)

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Thanks Cailin. Yes, it could have been so much worse. Can’t wait to see you at TBEX!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/JacknJillTravel Jack and Jill

    Being robbed must’ve been such a scary experience and I can totally understand that the gut reaction is the feeling of fear and violation. Glad to hear that you’ve managed to rise above it and learned from it. Cheers and safe travels from now on!

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Thank you so much!!

  • http://www.MyBeautifulAdventures.com/ Andi Perullo

    I wish I had time to comment more, but I’m already in trouble for using the internet over the 5 min I promised I would use it.  I will just say that being robbed SUCKS, but I’m so happy that you were not hurt in any way.  Thank you for being such a big part of my special day.  I’ll never be able to express my gratitude.  What a gorgeous post!

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Thanks love! I’m still glad I was there for your wedding and got to experience Uruguay. Now, I’m working on your video and it’s harder than I thought. I don’t want to let you down. But I can’t wait for you to be able to share it with the world!!

  • http://www.stevenelmer.com Steve Elmer

    Yup, that is a shitty deal, gettin robbed and all. Having the rad memories of the smell, sights and sounds of a new country and culture.. and sharing them with your mates, now that is worth it all :) Glad your safe though :D

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Awh!!! Thanks Stevo. Yeah, it was a total rub. However, it was great to have such awesome moments with some new (and old) friends. Hoping to do that soon with you in Australia!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/travelcanucks Traveling Canucks

    Never fun to have this kind of travel experience but at least you are taking the good with the bad. I was robbed in Thailand, and remember that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Glad you are okay!

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Nope, never fun. But yes – I am ok! Thanks for the comment!!

  • http://www.stayadventurous.com/ craig zabransky

    Kirsten,

    glad to see you receive so much love and comments on such a post. I actually was robbed in Buenos Aires too six years ago on my “RTW.” I lost two weeks of photos (and my camera) all from my adventures in Brasil… perhaps some images (evidence?) better lost than in my possession. But in all the experience made me feel much as you describe. Not to mention, I miss those photos…

    I also rebounded too, A few people I met saved the trip too…In fact, because of them, I even extended my stay in the city itself. In total, I spent another 6 weeks there… now its one of my favorite global destinations. It is always how you react, and how you view the world, it’s attitude….and no doubt you’ll look great in those aviators, just like you did in the rose colored glasses…

    stay adventurous, Craig
     

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      I’m sorry you were robbed there also. I’m glad you grew to love the city though. I think I could do that if I gave it another try. However, there are so many other places I haven’t seen at all, I think I will give those a try before I give Buenos Aires her second chance. The world is so big and who knows how much time we have to see it all. I’ll move on and cherish the few good memories I do have from my trip. Oh, I did mean to tell you I finally had a steak towards the end of the trip that was SO good. Made me understand why people rave about the meat. However, I also had some meat that I thought was nowhere near special. So it was quite a yin/yang trip! Thanks for the comment.

  • http://theresnoplacelikeoz.com Heather

    Kirsten, I’m really sorry you had this experience, but I love that you’ve reframed and can look at it in such a positive way — and that you shared with with us. <3

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Thank you Heather. I really appreciate that. And thank you for commenting.

  • http://www.wanderingtrader.com WanderingTrader

    I have been telling ppl to be careful in the city after I lived there and no one believed me… there is an economic collapse coming and it will get much.  Im sorry you didn’t have a good experience there Kirsten but if you manage to stay out of trouble while you are there it really can be a great city

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Sure wish I had talked to you before going Marcello. Everyone I talked to made it seem to be a far different place. Especially Andi, whose wedding I traveled down there for. I just didn’t know before I went. And yes, it does have its charms … but it is far from a safe city. The robbery was not the only thing that happened which made me feel ill at ease. I don’t think I’d travel there again for a long time. There are other places I want to see where I wouldn’t feel so off balance and unsafe. I think I’ll give those a try first! Thanks for the comment!

  • http://twitter.com/o_midgett Oksana Midgett

    Having things stolen from you tends to ruins the experience of the place regardless of the monetary value of the items. Losing the photos along with the gear makes that hundred times worth. I am sorry this has happened to you and I can understand why you didn’t want to talk about the robbery in your post. However, it left me intensely carious about the details of what happened and I think many other readers feel the same way.

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Hi Oksana! Thank you for the comment. I told the story about a dozen times on twitter and on FB so when I wrote this post, I simply didn’t want to rehash the story yet another time. Also, I felt it was beside the point. Basically, my iPhone was stolen out of my hands while I was sitting in a taxi, at a stop light. I thought taxis and hotel rooms might be the one place I’d be safe there. I was wrong & it was quite a violation. However, the point is I am ok and stronger, in a way, for it having happened.

  • http://www.facebook.com/o.midgett Oksana Midgett

    Having things stolen from you tends to ruins the experience of the place regardless of the monetary value of the items. Losing the photos along with the gear makes that hundred times worth. I am sorry this has happened to you and I can understand why you didn’t want to talk about the robbery in your post. However, it left me intensely carious about the details of what happened and I think many other readers feel the same way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/o.midgett Oksana Midgett

    Having things stolen from you tends to ruins the experience of the place regardless of the monetary value of the items. Losing the photos along with the gear makes that hundred times worth. I am sorry this has happened to you and I can understand why you didn’t want to talk about the robbery in your post. However, it left me intensely carious about the details of what happened and I think many other readers feel the same way.

    • http://www.facebook.com/o.midgett Oksana Midgett

      Sorry for duplicate comment. Slow African Internet connection L

      • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

        No worries! Thank you for visiting Oksana! A little jealous you are in Africa. That’s yet another place I am dying to go.

  • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

    Such a shame that you had such a bad experience and I remember speaking to you about it while we were there. We were pretty uber-cautious in Buenos Aires and probably stayed in a safer neighbourhood so had no trouble, but I’ve heard all the horror stories too and am so sorry that you were the one to have THAT experience. Hoping your next round of travels are worry and trouble-free and hope to see you again sometime in the future =)

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      I totally understand Andrea, that this doesn’t happen to everyone and I am sorry too it happened to me. BUT – I am glad there were people like you to spend time with and get to know. It made a horrible experience worthwhile in the end! I too hope we get to meet again!!! Perhaps, next time in Australia or another country where I don’t have to be quite so guarded! It was wonderful to meet you and John!!

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  • http://waywardtraveller.com/ Annie

    I have had my car broken into 3 times and had lots of valuables stolen. Those things are replaceable but you are exactly right that it’s the personal invasion that is the hardest thing to deal with. It is the fact that some people in this world think it’s okay to scare someone so much and to take things from them that they have worked so hard for. 

    Sounds like a learning experience, even though I am so sorry that you had to go through it. I’m glad you had good friends around to help you feel better in the city. 

    Looking forward to your iPhoneography session, sounds super interesting! Now, I just need to get an iPhone… 

  • http://waywardtraveller.com/ Annie

    I have had my car broken into 3 times and had lots of valuables stolen. Those things are replaceable but you are exactly right that it’s the personal invasion that is the hardest thing to deal with. It is the fact that some people in this world think it’s okay to scare someone so much and to take things from them that they have worked so hard for. 

    Sounds like a learning experience, even though I am so sorry that you had to go through it. I’m glad you had good friends around to help you feel better in the city. 

    Looking forward to your iPhoneography session, sounds super interesting! Now, I just need to get an iPhone… 

    • http://www.kirstenalana.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Thank you so much for the kind comment Annie! I am so sorry you have had your car broken into THREE times?! That’s awful. I think I’d stop driving a car if I was violated like that multiple times :( However, I am encouraged by you. Things like these experiences don’t have to break us. We get to choose how we respond. Hope to see you at TBEX!!

  • http://www.pausethemoment.com Ryan | PauseTheMoment.com

    Sorry to hear about your bad experiences in BA Kirstin. Just glad to hear that you’re okay! 

  • http://www.gobackpacking.com Dave

    Kirsten, so sorry to hear about your experience getting robbed, and thanks for the recent comments on Twitter after it happened to me.  

    I just finished drafting an account of what happened to me this week, and at 2,000 words, it’s about as detailed an account as I could give. It’s interesting to see how you took a different approach. For me, I think I had to get those details out of my head, otherwise I’d be reliving them more than I already am. And like you, I had no idea Buenos Aires was a dangerous city. Like Ecuador, everyone seems to go there, but I’d heard far fewer bad stories until just recently.  I hope the fact that I was robbed in a city I’ve lived in and loved for 3 years doesn’t turn others off from visiting, but at the same time, I feel the need to warn them of the dangers — they’re real, and they should not be ignored or brushed aside.

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