A Bumpy Start

The greatest adventures sometimes get off to a bumpy start. Ours was no exception. As my mom and I prepared to spend a month in Portugal learning the language, visiting the historic sites and meeting the people, we worked to travel as light as possible. We had gotten our luggage down to two roller bags that could (barely) fit in the overhead bins of the airplane, and one backpack filled with our electronics - two laptop computers and a small digital camera. Perfect! Easy enough for two people to drag from the airport to the Metro in Lisbon. The forecast for Lisbon called for rain, so we tossed rain jackets in the back of the Subaru and headed out through the neighborhood to begin our trip. Less than a mile from home, we realized our mistake. The hatchback of the car had not latched and sprang open. Somewhere in the first two minutes of our trip, the backpack (and rain gear) had slipped out! No panic...we would retrace our route and find it along the sidewalk. We retraced our route through the neighborhood several times - and even several streets we had not gone down. No backpack. Now it was time to panic! After we were certain that the bag was nowhere along the route, we concluded that the only possibility was that someone had picked it up right away. Perhaps a neighbor or other good samaritan. I called my dad and told him what happened. He walked the route - no luck. He also dumpster-dived in the lots of the fraternities near our route - also no luck. He then knocked on neighbor's doors, papered the neighborhood with notices and posted to the neighborhood Facebook page - as of yet, still no luck. Meanwhile, Mom and I needed to get to the airport. We swung by her office and picked up her computer, then headed out. A few deep breaths later, we were back on track. We had our phones, our passports, our credit cards and our health. In the final analysis, we realized that was all that we needed to begin our adventure!

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