The advice in this article should be obvious to anyone with life experience or anyone who is older than 21 more or less.
Still, for some, life lessons take longer to learn.
Back when I was traveling around South America, I did not consider the simple lesson in this story.
At the time, I was living in a Bolivian city called Cochabamba.
I had just began a time in which I’d basically be travelling from one Latin city to the next.
Either way, I was set to travel for a quick trip to Peru.
Specifically around the southern part of the country around Cusco and surrounding regions.
More photos of my trip to that part of Peru in this article I published here.
Anyhow, I remember having initial problems travelling to Peru during those days.
As you can read here, the bus I took to Peru from Bolivia broke down on some rural part of a mountain in Peru during my trip.
Well, I was asleep anyhow during most of the incident.
Still, by the time the next bus came for us, I remember eventually arriving to the Peruvian city of Cusco late into the night at maybe 1 or 2 AM?
And, thankfully, the ATM machine was working at the bus station.
If it wasn’t, I would’ve been fucked as I didn’t have any of the local Peruvian currency.
Anyhow, I remember having to withdraw more currency soon after my arrival to the country.
It was during some point in which I went to some nearby ATM machine and it happened to not work for me.
“Huh, that’s odd” I thought.
So, in that moment, I tried other ATM machines that I could fine.
None of them worked either!
Ultimately, I found out that my card was simply blocked from working.
Now, in those days, I actually did have some data on my phone.
Though, as you can imagine, being as expensive as you can imagine being anything international.
But I had to make a call to my bank because my card simply wasn’t working.
Still, despite having data for it, the call wasn’t going through well.
And I had to dick around making several calls to finally getting the shit resolved.
With me standing in some Peruvian parking lot in broad daylight outside some banking building in Cusco as I try to get my card to work again.
All the while having connection issues and saying loudly into my phone…
“Can you hear me?!?”
You see, I was a little more novice in international travel back then.
For some reason, I forgot to notify my bank that I would be going to Peru.
So, in hindsight, that was the issue.
Though, on the other hand, I had other banking issues during those days even when the bank was notified.
In part because, I suppose, they were not used to an American traveling around the world from one country to the next?
So, out of precaution, they blocked my fucking card in Peru and in other countries also.
Anyhow, I’m glad in hindsight that they didn’t have my card blocked when I arrived to Peru that night.
Because, as I said, I would’ve been fucked as I had no local currency and I arrived at around 1 or 2 AM.
Still, it was an annoying occurrence to have the card blocked that afternoon as I tried to resolve the issue afterwards.
And, though you would think my bank has gotten used to someone who likes to travel to Latin America, I guess you can say not?
Bank Issues in the Initial Days of CDMX
Well, not the same bank in this case!
Years later, I remember moving to Mexico City and living in Roma Norte.
During that time, I did have two bank cards!
One from my local bank back home and one from Paypal.
Anyhow, Paypal was having issues.
Between my local bank and Paypal, it has been much harder to resolve issues with the latter than the former in my experience.
And, with Paypal, they also limited more strictly how much money I can withdraw per day than my local bank.
Fuck Paypal – little faggots.
Anyhow, during those days, I remember Paypal being an issue.
Ultimately, I decided to get around dealing with them by just transferring any cash I got deposited into my Paypal account into my local bank account.
Yeah, it costed me an extra few bucks per transaction but it got me around from having to repeatedly call Paypal to tell them that YES IT’S FUCKING ME WITHDRAWING THE MONEY YA DUMB CUNT.
Anyhow, Paypal has always been an issue.
I still have them but my card with them is expired and I definitely don’t withdraw money from their card anymore.
My current local bank card does work and hasn’t had issues yet anyhow over the years living down here.
Not yet anyhow….
Well, to be fair, my bank card is about to have issues.
I’ve been having to notify them online that I’m still in Mexico every 3 months.
I have to do that again before some random day in September.
I think September 10t?
Something like that.
If one of you can notify me that I’m supposed to notify them before September 1st at earliest, let me know.
I’m surprised that I haven’t forgotten about any of the previous incidents where I had to notify them.
Anyhow, the broader point is this….
And it’s a pretty simple one for the traveler looking to spend time in Latin America or anywhere else…
Which is that, if you plan on spending significant time abroad, make sure to have at least two if not three cards you can use.
Yes, make sure to notify your banks and all that about your international traveling plans!
But also make sure to have multiple cards that you can use.
One being a local bank…
Another being the dreaded Paypal that you can connect with your local and most favorite bank…
And, if you want, a third card from a second local bank.
That way, if you are in a Peruvian parking lot, you will have another card that you can use if you happen to find yourself getting ass fucked without lube by your first local bank.
Trust me, I been there!
Granted, they only fucked me with 4 inches and not the full 9.
So I was lucky, I guess.
But, living down here in Mexico City, I’ve realized how vulnerable I am to getting fucked.
It’s hard not to realize.
Even for the foreigner living in a place instead of travelling from one to the next constantly.
I work online.
Literally all of my money that I get comes from my one card.
If that card gets stolen…
Or shut down by the bank…
And it can happen easier than you think!
When, years ago, I was travelling around Patagonia of Argentina, I remember that someone managed to steal a few hundred bucks from my bank card.
Thankfully, my bank returned literally all of the money to me.
But I was without a card for a tiny bit and had to rely on help to carry along for that brief period.
The motherfucker who spent my cash supposedly, on the record, used it on some tourism clothing shit.
So, if I had to guess, it was some faggot at a store in Argentina who recorded my info and bought some Patagonia coat or shit?
I don’t fucking know.
That same shit could happen to me now though!
Thankfully, it hasn’t.
But I will be having issues soon.
By the time this next December comes, my bank card will be expired.
Again – have multiple cards? Won’t have logistical issues with staying out of the country.
So, for me, I don’t know if I’ll be forced just yet to go back in December.
I’m 80% confident that I can pull it off.
Just pull enough money out of the ATM to cover my cheap cost of living for some odd months more.
I’d like to stay here until summer of 2022.
And I think I will.
But, regardless of what happens, it again illustrates how having multiple cards, for obvious reasons, is beneficial.
Maybe less obvious to the young traveller who began living abroad at a much younger age…
Well, no excuses now, huh?
I’m a little bit older now.
And that’s the broader point above all here…
Have multiple cards!
When I do finally return to the US, you can bet I’ll definitely be expanding to two or three bank cards just in case for future travels.
Along other things like spend more time with family, apply for Turkish citizenship (side story) and more.
Anyhow, there is nothing more to say than that.
Just a very simple tip for the long term traveler reading this.
Or even the tourist who is only going to be here for a few odd months and nothing more!
Very simple and obvious shit to keep in mind.
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And thanks for reading.