As 2018 comes to an end, I’m reminded that even with the best of intentions mistakes can be made that lead to frustrating and embarrassing situations.

When it happens, you go through the cycle of confusion, disbelief, realization, and shame. Followed by a sense of vulnerability and despair when reality sinks in.

And as much as I wish, there’s no “ctrl-z”, no “reload from saved point”, absolutely no way to go back and changing things.

As they say, hindsight is 20-20.

When I think back to that moment and recall everything in detail, there are so many “I should’ve…” & “I shouldn’t have…”. So many moments where I could have said something else or made a different decision.

How could I have been so stupid and allowed myself to be scammed. How?

But I also remind myself that when it happened, for some unexplained reason, even though nothing the scammer said made any logical sense I still went with it and trusted a stranger.

And now I see it as an expensive lesson learnt: To do proper research before travelling, to ignore and avoid all strangers who approach me, to be rude for my own safety, to be suspicious of everyone, to never again allow myself to think that it’s just a kind stranger helping a tourist, to never trust anyone speaking perfect English in a non-English speaking country, and to never ever give someone cash to help pay for something when I can do it myself.

Thankfully my family reminded me that sure it’s embarrassing to be tricked and painful to lose hard earned money, but I’m safe and it’s not the worse thing that could have happened to me while travelling.

So lesson learnt.