For Dean Mancuso, an American traveling in Thailand, a lost passport was more than just a temporary inconvenience. It actually left him stranded in Thailand, begging from other Americans in order to support his Thai wife and his two daughters.

How could this happen? Well, for some reason, after he lost his passport, Mancuso didn’t go to the embassy to get a new one. Without any identification, it was impossible for him to go home, to get a job, or to do anything other than beg from other Western tourists visiting Phuket, getting them to loan or give him money based on false pretenses. However, earlier this month, a beachfront resort on the island called the police after he was warned about begging from their customers and persisted in doing so. In an interview, Mancuso described life without his passport to

”I have been so afraid. Because I have my two daughters to take care of. I want to live as a normal person again. All this time, I have been fighting with the devil, and fighting with the good…’I wasn’t trying to be a bad person. I just lost my passport somewhere. Call me a coward, but I just didn’t have the nerve to go to the embassy. I was ashamed.”

The moral of this story? If you lose your passport overseas, you need to replace it immediately. As in, forthwith. To do so, simply go to the nearest US embassy. They deal with lost passports all the time. It’s their job, and they aren’t going to think any less of you. The process will be somewhat quicker and easier if you have a copy of the information page of your passport, but even if you don’t, go to the embassy. They will still find a way to help you.

If you’re still in the US, the process for replacing your lost passport is even easier. See How to Replace a Lost Passport for details. And remember, kids, if you are still in the US, RushMyPassport can help you get that lost passport replaced in as little as 24 hours!