My brother Steven and I arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark about 11 hours ago (11:30am local time on Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 or 5:30am EST). We have done our fair share of exploring in that time, but the journey here was anything but smooth.
A Travel Tale: Lost and Found
Rewind to 9:11pm EST on Tuesday May 10, 2016 when I received a text from Steven asking me if I knew where his passport was.
O. M. G.
We are leaving for Denmark in 20 hours and no one in my family has any idea where Steven’s passport is!!!!!!
Needless to say my parents, myself, and Steven were trying to remember where we saw it last. I’ll save you all the stress, and fast forward a few hours to when we finally declared his passport to be officially LOST.
So being the resourceful traveler that I am (humble brag, I know…) I turned to a Facebook group of 42,000+ girls who love to travel, and pleaded for any help or advice on how to get a passport in less than 24 hours in Chicago. We were driving from Cincinnati and flying out of O’Hare in Chicago, much cheaper that way. 😀
A few awesome girls came through for me and we had a couple options. With the help of our amazing Mom, and ultimate problem solver Pam Kent (for real, it’s totally her super power!), we were able to get an appointment with the Chicago Passport Agency. Great news, but there was no guarantee. Luckily he was able to get a new passport in just 2 hours!!
Finally Steven had his brand spanking new passport in hand and we had several hours before our flight was going to depart for Copenhagen! With a group effort we FOUND a way to make our original flight.
Major win: getting on the plane!
Resourcefulness Tip: Reach out to anyone and everyone who can help in a stressful travel situation. I called my Ohio 1st District Congressman Steve Chabot’s office for back up, my friend Dana had a friend who’s sister was in a similar situation, and reaching out to the Girls Love Travel Facebook group all added up to a successful ending.
After a relatively easy 8.5 hour flight from Chicago to Amsterdam, the Captain told us our gate was still occupied and it should only take a couple minutes. Well a couple minutes turned into 30 and time was eating away at our 1 hour and 5 minute layover. Steven and I grabbed our backpacks and booked it to find our gate number and clear customs in Amsterdam.
As soon as we got our stamp from the Netherlands, we were back to booking it to our gate. We made it right in time for our group number to get called and we boarded the plane, only mildly sweating. If you’ve ever met me or my family, you know that just ain’t true. The Kents are sweaters, no two ways about it. 😊
Resourcefulness Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask the nice ladies working at the cafe where the departure gate screens are located. Wandering around in a foreign place trying to find it on your own just wastes precious moments when you are trying to make your connecting flight. To all the men (and ladies) out there, don’t be afraid to ask for directions. 😉
Making the flight was just a minor win compared to what the travel fates had in store for us next.
Our flight from Amsterdam to Copenhagen was a quick 90 minute ride in the sky. We exited the plane knowing we now had no reason to rush. After taking a much needed bathroom break, y’all know the feeling, we headed to baggage claim. We found our flights baggage belt, and waited for our checked bags to make their appearance. I’m sure you can guess what happened next. No suitcases. So we made our way to the service desk and filled out a baggage report. Our bags were LOST. Well not officially, but the theme here is lost and found. 😀 With such a short connection and getting delayed, our bags were left behind in Amsterdam. We were told we should have them delivered to our hotel hopefully within 24 hours.
This really didn’t feel like much of a set back after going through the passport fiasco earlier that day. Or the previous day…time change right?
So went to rental car counter, with just a minor IT malfunction and delay during our pick up. LOST connection. Really?! At this point it was just comical.
After we had the keys in hand we drove to our hotel. No issues with check in. Hallelujah!!!
We then went off exploring Copenhagen and had the most amazing lunch, saw some stunning sights, and breathed in a city that I wasn’t sure we were ever going to see.
Then we got back to our hotel in the evening and still no suitcases. Steven and I both felt completely gross, and just wanted to take a shower. We are going budget friendly with our hotel and the showers are shared like a college dormitory. Normally not an issue, but we didn’t carry on any toiletries.
Resourcefulness Tip: It doesn’t hurt to ask. The lovely lady at the hotel front desk let us have some LOST and FOUND shampoo and body wash.
I’ve never longed for a shower more in my life. It wasn’t the best, but it got the job done. Then I realized I didn’t have a brush. Luckily I’m the daughter of an engineer and a hair stylist and I thought use my small hair clip that I use to put my hair half up and half down as a make shift brush.
Resourcefulness Tip: Get creative with your problem solving when things are just not going your way. You’ll be amazed what you can come up with.
Oh yeah! As I was in the middle of writing this, the phone rang and our bags were FOUND. It made lugging them up the stairs to the 4th floor that much sweeter.
Don’t let setbacks ruin your travels. I know it’s not pleasant to deal with, but a positive attitude and resourcefulness can go a long way.
Check out some photos from Day 1 in Copenhagen on the Travel Is My Everything Facebook page.
Cheers and happy travels!