Organizational Communication & Spanish Major
Fall 2016 Semester in Burgos, Spain
After a jam-packed weekend in Paris, I had to wake up at 5 am Sunday to catch my flight back to Spain. The night before, I studied the metro map and calculated the exact route we would take to get to the bus station to the airport. We arrived right on time, bought our tickets, and boarded. Everything went smoothly. Except one thing.
I didn’t have my passport.
My heart stopped as I remembered the locker where it sat. Knowing that Paris is notorious for its pickpockets, I carelessly threw it in, only to never take it back out. I gripped the bus seats to steady myself as I told my friend the news. She said she would contact our friend who was still at the hostel, but she was sleeping, and I don’t know what good that would’ve done. I asked her what happens if I don’t have my passport and she couldn’t give me a solid answer. I paced the bus back and forth and began to hyperventilate as the bus driver demanded that I find a seat. Everyone was staring at me. Not knowing what to do, I sat down and called my mom.
The bus began to move when she answered. As soon as I told her I left my passport at the hostel, she told me to get off. I ran to the front of the bus, making more of a fool of myself, and told the bus driver that I needed to get off because I didn’t have my passport. Luckily, a lady behind him was able to tell him in French. Even more frustrated with me, he stopped the bus and yelled at me to get my luggage. I retrieved it and watched my only reasonable transportation to the airport drive away.
I broke down for a minute. I couldn’t believe how stupid I was. I hoped that this was just a nightmare, but the cold morning breeze reminded me that yes, it was reality, and that I needed to figure something out. I ran over to the taxi rink and hailed the first one I saw.
I told the taxi driver my situation and to take me back to the hostel. I ran inside and told the receptionist, and he gave me a key to go back up. I got my passport, and when I came back down the receptionist didn’t have good news for me. He said that flights were more than 200 euro, and that my best option would be to take a taxi to the airport, which is an hour away. If I took a taxi, I would make my flight.
I ran back outside and asked the taxi driver if it was possible to take me to the airport. He gave me a hefty rate that I had no choice but to agree with. I arrived at the airport about an hour before my flight. I waited in security for about a half hour, and got to my gate. Luckily, they were behind in boarding.
I wish I could feel totally relieved, but I had to break the bank for one mistake. Unfortunately, that is the price of forgetting your passport. However, I am glad that I realized that I had forgotten it before I left for the airport. If there is one thing I learned, it’s to always prioritize your passport before anything.
I was hoping that something like this wouldn’t happen to me, but before I came, I made sure I had some cushion money for emergencies. I hope this doesn’t happen to you, but we all make mistakes, and they often come with price tags. It is always a good idea to set money aside for when you find yourself in a tight spot.
In terms of forgetting my passport, I think the problem was that it was far away from the rest of my things. Now I know to put my passport close to my luggage, in sight, rather than far and easy to forget, especially in the rush of getting out the door and having little sleep.
There is always a solution, and panicking won’t help. When I was panicking after I got off the bus, it hit me that standing at the bus station crying wasn’t going to get me home. So I cleared my mind, weighed my options, and found a way to get to the airport.
I hope you found my traveler nightmare entertaining and learned something from it. I sure did. I made it back, and that’s all what matters.