I Lost My Wallet On My Birthday.

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

It was my birthday yesterday. I turned 25 – a quarter of a century! I love birthdays. Not for presents or attention, but for the simple excuse that when it’s someone’s birthday, it’s a reason to celebrate!

I was planning on taking inspiration from one of my blogging idols, Michelle over at Making Sense of Cents, and writing up a list of 25 life lessons I’ve learned. However, that will have to wait for another time. As you may guess from the title of this blog post, the day didn’t go as planned. At all.

We’re currently in Sokcho, South Korea.  It’s a beautiful seaside town famous for Seoraksan National park – and you can see why from the picture below; it’s absolutely stunning. One of the perks of being able to work from anywhere in the world!

Seoraksan National Park

Photo Credit: Kimchee Guesthouse

The plan for the day was to get up, have a leisurely breakfast, and then go hiking in the national park to a waterfall.

Sounds good, right?

Well, things didn’t quite happen as we’d planned.

As we were on the bus to the park, our wallet fell out of Pete’s pocket. Pete didn’t realise until we were off the bus and walking to the entrance of the park – he patted his pockets and asked if I had the wallet. I replied no. We both looked at each other in horror as the bus made it’s way back down the road and away.

Our shared wallet, with all our cash for the day, and three bank cards. Gone.

Fuck my life, right?

It was not the birthday we had planned for me. Pete felt awful. I felt awful for making him feel awful, and we both just felt just generally sorry for ourselves and my ruined day. Besides, losing your bank cards and travel card plus a considerable amount of cash in an instant is a bummer on any day.

We spent the day transferring our money out of those accounts, activating our back-up cards that we keep separately in our luggage, and talking to the bus terminal with the help of our guesthouse host to try to recover the wallet.

We were so thankful for having the sense to keep back-up bank cards out of our wallet. Without those, we would have been stranded in Korea with about £50 cash and no access to the rest of our money.

(Top tip for travellers: never go out with all your bank cards and cash in your wallet! Always keep back up cash and cards safely locked up in your accommodation.)

After a long, tearful day painfully aware of the irony of The Wallet Moth losing her wallet (on my birthday, of all days!), we decided to head out for dinner and try to salvage some of the day. We decide to wait until the next day, and if we heard nothing from the bus company, we’d cancel our cards and make do with our back up cards until we could figure out how to get replacements.

Dinner was nice. We were delighted to receive a three course meal with two beers each for just £25 total – talk about a bargain birthday meal!

You guys, this is when things got weird.

We got to the bus stop just as our bus home was approaching.

As I paid the driver, I realised it was the same driver who had taken us to the park that morning.

I looked around. Yep, same bus.

And at the back of the bus, wedged under the seat Pete sat on that morning?

Our wallet.

Untouched – our cards, cash, everything was still there, just waiting for our return!

Do you have goosebumps? I did.

Neither of us can get over the sheer luck that had to occur for us to get on the exact same bus we’d lost our wallet on that morning, and for it to remain unseen and untouched for the entire day…

Not the birthday we’d planned, but a wonderful way to end it nonetheless.

Is there a lesson to be learned?

I’m not sure what the lesson of this story is. Perhaps that sometimes things will go horribly wrong, but in the end you’ll look back and realise that was exactly how things were supposed to happen all along? Or maybe that sometimes, you’ll just get damn lucky and you won’t be able to explain it.

25 didn’t start the way I thought it would, but that’s life. You can’t always plan out every detail – but in the end? Sometimes things works out anyway.


  1. May 29, 2017 / 12:18 pm

    Sorry to hear that 25 didn’t go as planned. The optimist in me thinks “the great news is that you can do it differently (read: better) next year!” 😉

    I’m happy that you found your wallet and appreciate you sharing your tips to minimize the risk to all of us.

    Happy Birthday!

    Besos Sarah.

    • The Wallet Moth
      May 30, 2017 / 2:36 am

      Thanks Sarah! It didn’t go to plan, but at least it ended in some luck and a good story to tell! Next year can only go better 😉

  2. May 29, 2017 / 11:58 pm

    I think the lesson to be learned is that when things go wrong everything tends to go wrong.
    I recently injured my back and then I lost my wallet as well

    • The Wallet Moth
      May 30, 2017 / 2:37 am

      Sorry to hear about that, Troy, sounds like a rotten day! Fortunately in my case, the day ended in some luck – so a bad day, but a good end. Sometimes when it feels like everything is going wrong, something will suddenly turn right.

  3. June 6, 2017 / 10:33 am

    Wow that’s awesome that you were able to find your wallet. What are the chances? Sounds like a happy ending and definitely a memorable birthday. I’m sure you’ll remember that story for a long time. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • The Wallet Moth
      June 7, 2017 / 5:46 am

      I know, I can’t even find the words to describe the relief when I saw it just sat there on the same bus 8 hours later!

      Definitely a memorable birthday, even if not the one we planned for! Thanks for commenting 🙂

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