One of the biggest misconceptions about wilderness survival training is that it only applies to the woods.

But it can come in handy anywhere — even in one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the world.

This past summer, a student we’ll call Robert took the Survival 101 course at Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School.

Robert’s mother wrote us to tell a story about what happened next.

Robert took a trip to Europe and found himself in every traveler’s worst-case scenario.

His wallet, passport and driver’s license were stolen.

He became separated from his travel companion with no money, no map, no food, no cell phone.

To top it off, Robert didn’t speak a word of Italian.

Many people would panic in this situation.

But thanks to his Mountain Shepherd training, Robert knew, first and foremost, to maintain a positive attitude.

His optimism gave him the confidence to talk his way on to two trains with no money and then talk customs officials into letting him across the border into France, where he met his aunt.

Without the positive attitude and self-confidence that Mountain Shepherd emphasizes time and time again, Robert might have ended up much worse off.

“I think people need to know how valuable your training is,” Robert’s mother wrote, “not only for the wilderness — but for any emergency situation.”