By anyone’ standards, it had been an arduous journey back to Stockholm, Sweden, from the outer reaches of the Arctic Circle. Seventeen hours on a cramped, upright, hard board, that passed as a passenger seat, would tire anyone out.
So, it was no surprise to me when all my body wanted to do was go back to my hotel and relax. But, I faced the eternal traveler’s dilemma. Do I appease my travel weary body or do I make the most of my final day in Stockholm and explore the city?
As any devoted traveler would do, I chose to do battle with my fatigue and explore all that Stockholm had to offer.
The only problem was that my hotel was all the way in the outskirts of the city, and I just didn’t want to drag my luggage all the way out there, just to come back and explore the museums and cafes of the city center.
Therefore, I came up with the, not so brilliant, idea of storing my luggage in a storage locker in the city’s central train terminal. I mean, could it get any easier than this? Hop off my train, store my luggage, explore the city, and then head to my hotel. Easy right?
Well, I trudged with my battle worn luggage (my luggage had lost a war with the baggage handlers at the airport), across the terminal and found the largest storage luggage they had. I not so gracefully heaved my luggage into the tiny compartment that passed as a locker and closed the door. A red light when off and I pulled the door. It seemed shut, so I thought, “Okay. That was pretty easy. I should really do this more often.”
With my luggage safely tucked away, I made note of my locker number and went out to discover all that Stockholm had to offer. I didn’t even give my luggage a second thought, as I explored ancient shipwrecks and the iconic photographs of a variety of Swedish photographers.
After I had my fill of art and culture for the day, I made my way back to the storage locker, only to find the storage door open and my luggage gone. Fleetingly, I opened the door of every luggage locker on the entire wall, hoping against hope that I had somehow written down the wrong locker number. Nope. Nothing. No trace of my luggage at all.
Taking a deep breath, I tried not to panic and headed over to the nearest tourist help desk. They told me not to worry because I could contact the police, luggage lost and found, and even the storage locker company itself, who may have removed my luggage since the storage locker was, “improperly closed.”
Well, I went to all three counters and none of them were open. On top of that, there was no way I could come back the next day because I had an early morning flight back to New York.
So, the moral of the story, don’t be like me. I thought I was “too cool” to ask for help, when the locker directions confused me. I really believed that because I travel a lot, I would be able to crack the storage locker storage code on my own. I mean, people were easily opening and closing the lockers and English wasn’t even their first language. Surely I could conquer this locker! But I was totally wrong. Don’t do what I did and let your pride and ego take over. Instead, if you’re confused, ask for assistance and never give into the feeling that you know it all, because chances are, you don’t.
I loved this story so much I simply had to know more. So I went back to Kelly with a few questions:
No, I never got my luggage back. I went to the storage desk and the lost and found and the police, all of which were closed. And I couldn’t go back the next day because I had a flight to New York at 9:00 am, so I just had to say bon voyage to my suitcase.
Was there anything valuable in there?
Honestly, my suitcase just had some clothes that I really liked, but nothing other than that. I make it a personal policy to never travel with anything valuable, just in case something like this happens.
I thought of Stockholm as a pretty safe place, I can’t believe someone took your luggage?
I know. It sucks and I still think Stockholm is really safe. Sometimes you just get unlucky because anywhere you go, bad things can happen. I am just glad that I only lost my luggage and that it wasn’t something worse!
Were you pretty pissed off at this? Or did you kinda just take it on the shoulder and move on?
At first I was really upset and mostly at myself because I felt like I was somehow responsible. But I calmed myself down and told myself that thank god it was on the last day of my trip, and not the first! I then tried to move on because I didn’t want this to experience to ruin my trip and my opinion of Stockholm, which is still an amazing city.
I think Kellys answers show the heart of a true traveler! Thanks for sharing Kelly. Has this ever happened to you? Whats your thoughts on how you might react?
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