As you know travel has been a huge part of my life but even more so in the past 6 years. During this time I have flown from one end of the globe to another numerous times, I have experienced delayed flights, been stuck in transit, flown over active volcanoes, squashed in-between strangers for hours with no elbow room, had strangers snoring and drooling on my shoulder, had the luck of being seated in front of the only broken TV on the entire plane and I have even been upgraded to first class on one occasion!
Only a few days ago I flew from Ibiza to London via Barcelona. Why you may ask, did I not go direct? I could have, yes, but instead I chose a Spanish airline which in my opinion are more relaxed about cabin luggage allowance and they don’t make you feel as though you are part of a cattle herd when boarding the plane. The first few times I flew with them was a few years ago and it was fine, but in June this year I flew with them from Santorini to Barcelona via Rome and both flights were delayed so I honestly thought this time would be ok.
To my surprise my intuition was wrong! Our first flight was delayed by 40 minutes and the second flight was delayed by 1 hour as they were waiting for the first flight. Crazy right? So finally we reach London Gatwick and to my surprise my bag was nowhere to be seen on the baggage carrousel. So we filled in the forms and was told the bag will be on the first flight out of Spain the following day and I will receive a phone call to confirm the time of delivery. Ok, I thought not too bad but with the delayed flights what were they doing if not loading the baggage onto the plane?
So fast-forward 4 days and I am still wearing the same clothes, my precious luggage has not been delivered nor has anyone called me. Their customer service number has a constant queue and their website is not much help either.
I travel a lot and I am used to making use out of what is available to me but for the last 4 days I don’t have anything apart from my computer and leads, a few pairs of clean underwear, two scarf’s which were gifts and some aromatherapy oil. No yoga mat, no cosmetics, no favorite pair of leggings, no books, nothing. It is a very odd place to be in feeling like I have been stripped of my belongings.
This is the first time my bag has gone missing ever and to be honest I am pretty stunned at the fact of how unorganised, unreliable and inefficient business can be. Especially ones that we trust our lives to as they transport us through the air from place to place. I can only imagine what my bag has seen during this time and wondered if anyone has opened it to look inside and may be even rolled out my mat for a few sun salutations. I gave up padlocking my bag shut after a trip to the States when customs actually cut my lock open, put a letter inside telling me what they had done and taping it back together again. Very odd.
So when we are literally stripped of all our belongings and everything we own what does that leave us with? Not much expect the clothing on our backs, flip-flops on our feet and hairy legs!
My 18kg bag is my life, my home and all that’s in it is my sanctuary. What happens if I never get it back? Of course everything can be replaced in one way or another but I don’t want to replace everything. I just want my stuff back!
I have meditated on being non attached to this situation but in this time and place, having stuff and being attached is a very normal emotion to feel. I think anyone who has had something taken from them which is out of their control has felt this. There is literally nothing I can do. But I can choose how I let this experience affect me, I can choose how I react each time I try and speak to someone on their customer service line and I can choose to see this as a blessing in disguise.
How frustrating it is to want something you know you have but it is not with you because of someone else’s mess, which was a repercussion of something else. Giving up control to others is challenging especially when you are so used to being independent and self-reliant.
Who knows what happened that day which resulted in this event. But I do know I am grateful for the little I do have and really miss what I don’t have. It is the simple things sometimes which mean the most but right now I would love to make my super simple existence right now into a more complex one which involves clean clothes, my yoga mat, a few pairs of earrings, my books and I think I will have some chocolate in there too.
PS: If you have been following me on twitter you will know this picture was posted by @vuelingair and not my doing!