You all may have seen my recent two posts from Nice — my full Nice Travel Diary from yesterday and the photos we took at the beautiful Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild that I shared on the blog last week. As you could probably tell from my millions photos, the South of France was everything I could have EVER imagined — so much so, that I was desperately trying to take it all in while documenting every single second. Striped blue umbrellas, the most beautiful pebble beaches with the bluest water, Parisian balconies and cute little shutters and flower boxes everywhere. It was serious photo HEAVEN.
While exploring the quaint little village of Èze — about 15 minutes outside of Nice (where these photos were taken), I accidentally LEFT MY PHONE in the public bathroom and didn’t realize it until we parked the car back at our hotel about an hour later. We frantically drove back to the village, trekked all the way up to the top (what seemed like 10,000 steps — you can see how high up we were), only to find that my phone was gone. We ran back down to the little police station at the bottom of the hill who had already left for the day (this was around 8pm). I was SO mad at myself. In all the traveling I’ve done, I’ve always been pretty good about keeping track of all of my stuff. I was even MORE mad because just a day before that, my husband realized that we could set a very simple international data and travel plan through our phone carrier for $10 a day — so HE went ahead and did it. I actually enjoyed not having data on my phone all the time and chose to forgo that option and stick to wifi. If I had data, I could have easily located it using Find My iPhone. But, my phone was on airplane mode at the top of a mountain, on about 30% battery. I knew it was gone.
I tried to keep it all in perspective… it’s JUST a phone, it’s replaceable. I was mostly worried about losing photos I had taken on my iPhone from Lebanon, from the family wedding we just attended. My immediate reaction was just to log onto iCloud and make sure my photos were backed up, but, because I had set up TWO FACTOR AUTHENTICATION for all my Apple accounts, it wouldn’t let me log in without sending a passcode TO THE PHONE. Ugh. Same with Instagram… I was completely locked out. I figured I was going to take a MAJOR technology detox for the next week and just planned to suck it up and deal with it when I was back in the states. We spent the rest of our time in Nice just exploring per usual and after a few hours, it started to feel refreshing to be without it. When you’re the one phone-less, you realize how many other people are GLUED to their phones, even in the most magical places. I remember looking across a restaurant and seeing people sitting right across from each other, each on their phone, barely talking without even glancing up. I looked on the streets and saw people trying to take a million photos to get that ONE they would share on Instagram (I’m totally guilty of this), and not even thank the person who took them. I was forced to look up and not look down at my phone any time there was a period of time I was waiting for Raj. No distractions, no cushion, no pretending to be busy. It was enlightening.
Later that week, we drove our rental car to St. Tropez (about 2 hours from of Nice) and checked into our beyond gorgeous hotel. I can’t wait to share more photos of it soon! While chatting with our concierge to plan dinner reservations for the night’s we were in town, the hotel manager came out from the back and said, “Did you happen to lose an iPhone by any chance?”
I’m pretty sure my mouth dropped. A man in Èze had found my phone in the bathroom right after I left and waited around to see if someone would come back for it. When we didn’t (we probably just missed him), he took it with him and planned to drop it off at the police station the next morning (since they were closed). The next morning, a CALENDAR INVITE popped up on my phone which said we would be checking into HOTEL BYBLOS in St. Tropez. This man had absolutely nothing else to go off of. With my phone on airplane mode, I couldn’t even activate the LOST PHONE feature which gives a contact number. He ended up emailing our hotel and told them that he had found a phone and the person was likely checking into their hotel that day. Our hotel had no name or any other information on the person, so they asked every single person who checked in that day and FINALLY found me. We called the man who found my phone — who of course wanted to speak with me. He said that he knows how hard it is to lose something when you’re traveling, wanted NOTHING in return, and just wanted me to have it back. His hotel connected with my hotel and they drove it all the way over to me. My iPhone 7 Plus took a nice little drive (in a JAGUAR car) through the countryside to St. Tropez. I was seriously so grateful to everyone who helped get it back, and I plan to pay it forward and go out of my way the next time I find the opportunity and someone needs something.
The rest of my time in St. Tropez, I left my phone in my bag. I didn’t use Instagram Story ONCE the rest of the trip and just tried to be in the moment and enjoy time away with my husband. I debating sharing this story with you upon our return, because, after all — it is just a phone. In the world we’re currently living in, where there has been natural disaster after natural disaster, and then waking up to the horrifying news of Las Vegas on Monday, it’s not even a comprehensible problem. But, sometimes it’s the littlest things that can restore your faith. I think it’s easy to get caught up in all the awful things going on in this world and to truly focus on the evil. This taught me that there are good people in this world — and there are a lot more good ones, than bad ones. It has also inspired me to be a better person — even in the little things, day-to-day. It allowed me to pause, reflect, and actually enjoy the moment — something I think we’ve all forgotten how to do.
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