Janelle's Blog

Lost in Spain

I returned a couple of days ago from a trip to Europe. The beautiful city of Barcelona was one of my stops in Spain. My two sons and I had traveled from Madrid by train and arrived in Barcelona at 3:30 in the afternoon on a 75 degree day. As we reached the hotel, we encountered a confusing unloading of our luggage. Instead of the bellman bringing a luggage cart, he separated our 10 bags, one or two at a time while he grabbed them and ran into the hotel. A hurried cab driver rushed to unload and drove away before we could identify our bags.

A perfect day was interrupted by a feeling of shock and dismay as I realized my laptop bag was still in the cab. I had a receipt from the cab driver, so I knew the name of the taxi company, but not the number of the cab. Our hotel did everything they could to retrieve my bag, but all of the taxi companies had a central area for lost and found where they piled up the belongings that others had left in their cabs.

Did I mention that I had purchased a new iPad the week before my trip? This was two days before iPads were delivered to Spain, so the findings in my bag were enticing. Two things I wanted to personally accomplish on my trip were to develop my skills in photography and to spend time writing. I had taken about 100 pictures in Madrid and uploaded them to my iPad. The camera was in the missing bag.

I had taken plenty of writing paper for my Levenger’s notebook. My paper was gone, too! Adapters, cords, video camera, international converter—all gone. The remaining electronic item was my iPhone, but only because it was in my hand.

There were two important things that were not in the bag, but had been the day before. One was my prescription glasses. The other was a photocopy of my passport and credit cards—a travel tip I had read about in more than one place. The first thing I did when I got back to my hotel room was tear up the copy of the credit card sheet into tiny pieces, leaving only the passport section, then flushed them down the toilet.

Despite all of my efforts to be cautious about my belongings, in one brief moment, things that I treasured were gone. I wanted to go home. As I sat slumped-shouldered on the footstool at the end of my bed, I was too sad to even cry. My son came by my room and prayed for me, which lifted my spirit, then I lay down on the bed and closed my eyes to rest and think.

Times of Turmoil

Whether you are facing breast cancer or any other tumultuous time of your life, you have to mentally grasp some important things to recover.

First, you must clear your mind and remove yourself from the feeling of panic. Calm yourself. Learn how to relax from tension.

Next, assess your situation. With me, there was nothing more that I could do at the hotel to secure my bag. I immediately had the passwords for my email accounts changed back home. I had to realize that everything could be replaced.

Then, the most important thing I had to do was the most difficult. I had to let go in my mind of everything that had disappeared from my hands onto the streets of Barcelona. Isn’t that our most challenging task, to release bad things that happen to us and move forward? As I let go of the bad, it was as though a heaviness on my shoulders flew away. We were only in Barcelona a night and a day, so I made up my mind to enjoy my time in one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. It became the best day of my travel. By releasing the negative, I could see the beauty of the people and the city with an innocent freshness.

Determine the View of Your Future

You have crossed a new threshold of your life. Perhaps you are trying to decide what you are going to do after your diagnosis of breast cancer. Will you remain bitter over your experience or let go of the pain and hurting inside? Live life. Open your eyes to new things. Allow your future to brighten by your view of it. There are good people everywhere who will help you. Don’t lose your faith in God. He is your number one source of strength and guidance.

I have returned home without my laptop bag. Everything lost is being replaced. Life goes on. Memories in Barcelona will live forever–not the bad, but the good.

Thought for Today:

Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different.  ~Katherine Mansfield

Live Life,


Reader's Comments

3 Responses to Lost in Spain
  1. Gerri Elgar
    June 3, 2010 | 3:10 am

    Realy agree with everythink!

  2. Cancer Support Community
    June 3, 2010 | 10:46 am

    Your point about simply living life is a great thing to remember. Focusing too much on the things that we cannot control can really hold us back. Please help others by sharing your experiences and additional coping techniques that you have found helpful in a national movement of breast cancer survivors. To learn more and join go to http://www.breastcancerregistry.org.

  3. Cuthbert Ward
    June 6, 2010 | 3:03 pm

    ?Hello, this is interesting reading, few moths back I published something related on my blog, but your article is much better.

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL http://janellehail.wpengine.com/2010/06/lost-in-spain/trackback/