By Shefa Ali
I am currently on my annual summer vacation which started in Greece 10-days ago. The finale of Greece sector was three-days on the island of Santorini.
Last Friday afternoon we left Kefalonia, had a quick stop in Athens and were then headed for the beautiful Santorini. My husband had already booked dinner, so the plan was to go to the hotel, shower, change and go straight to the restaurant. After waiting at the luggage carousel till all our fellow passengers had left, our suitcases still hadn’t arrived. Not a good start to Santorini, but the airline staff seemed sure the bags would arrive on the next flight.
We were slightly annoyed that evening, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t the end of the world and the bags would be here on the 9am flight the next morning we were told.
In the morning I began to make numerous phone calls. When I finally got hold of the responsible person, I was informed that our bags had not arrived on the expected flight. Not to worry, there were another three flights that day.
By 7pm, there were no updates about our bags. I made more calls. The employee assured me that our bags would arrive on the final flight of the day, and that she would call at 11pm when they did. The hotel provided us with toothbrushes and toothpaste because the bags didn’t show up that night.
I always look upon these happenings in life as an opportunity to ‘practise what I preach.’ I frequently teach and write about changing your thoughts, perspective and attitude, now I was being put to the test in life and so I chose to respond the best I could.
I went out for the third day in Santorini in my travel clothes, I didn’t buy new clothes since I was constantly assured that my suitcase would be on the next flight.
The situation wasn’t ideal and I didn’t feel great, mishaps aren’t fun, but the experience still had me feeling very grateful, because I know, there are a lot worse things that could happen. Sure, I was not happy that I packed all my favourite clothes in that lost bag (lesson learned – don’t do that again!). But at least me and my husband were happy and healthy and have great memories. Yes, even the ‘lost luggage’ memories can be good. Because in retrospect, it makes for a better story that way. Right?
These experiences also give me more inspiration to write and teach about and it was also another powerful reminder that I have zero control over anything outside myself and that I don’t need much ‘stuff’ to have a good time.
After spending three nights in Santorini our bags were still stuck in Athens, so I left Greece and now I am in London waiting for our bags to be delivered to us.
I’m hoping in a couple of days the drama of the lost suitcases fade, but the lessons remain sharp and clear.
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