Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Memory #17: My Lost Backpack


Going along with my backpacking trip to Europe... Another favorite memory is when the airline I was traveling with lost my backpack.  Sounds funny, right?  I was en route to Athens from Milan and had been in southern Germany where the temperature was a little chilly.  I was dressed in pants, a sweatshirt and sneakers and I had only my camera, passport and money with me.  I confidently boarded the plane dreaming of hot weather and a summer dress.  When I arrived in Athens and learned that my backpack had not made the trip with me I was beside myself.  I didn't speak a lick of the language, nor did I have my hostel reservation or any maps with me.  I was terrified.  To make the long story shorter, after hours of roaming through the city dripping with sweat, I ended up stumbling on my hostel after a few hours.  And, I made some new friends who helped me out with soap, contact solution and a towel.
The next day I went out in search of cooler clothing (it was scorching hot!) and found a small shop where the store owner was heaven sent.  Little did he know that polite conversation would lead into my travel nightmare.  He immediately called the airline and gave them a piece of his mind (and translated their response for me).  He promised I'd get my backpack back within the week.  I decided to purchase a dress there and then, god bless his heart, the man gave me some underclothes (yep, didn't have those either), a small knapsack to carry my things in, a pair of sandals and a beautiful blue scarf.  He was so kind and compassionate that I left the store with renewed faith in the universe.  I went on my way to explore the Greek islands.  And wouldn't you know it - a few days later I got a call (on the island pay phone) that my backpack would be arriving via ferry at 3am the next morning.  I went out to the dock to meet the boat and while I couldn't have been more happy to see my belongings, I was dreading the heavy load.  I definitely learned the value of traveling lightly those few days.  And, the sense of accomplishment, empowerment and perseverance in a bad situation did wonders for my outlook.  It was a really tremendous experience.

I saw this photo outside a cafe on the first island I went to after my backpack was lost. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...