Start Living Your Dreams

I had a 7-hour layover in Stockholm for my flight to Barcelona. It was enough time to visit the old city and come back to the airport. I was on my way to purchase a train ticket when I realized my shoulder bag was missing... I have never been so scared in my life. I felt stuck. Without a passport, I cannot go back home to the US and I cannot move forward to my final destination in Spain either.

Stockholm, Sweden

I froze. I could not breathe. It did not make sense how I could have lost it. Whenever I travel and get on the plane, I usually carry two bags. A big hand bag or a tote, and a small shoulder bag. The small shoulder bag is where I put the important stuff, like my passport, so I could take it with me wherever I go. The only thing I could think of was to go back to the arrival gate. I went back to the sitting area and looked around, but it was nowhere to be found. I saw the lady who sat beside me on the plane and asked her if she has seen it, and unfortunately, she said no. There was a deli stand right next to the waiting area, so I asked the deli clerk if he has seen anything and to my surprise, he said yes! He said he has given it to an airport personnel though. I explained to the first airport employee that I saw what happened and she immediately called someone for me. As if, she was already aware of the situation.

Soon, I saw two men in uniform walking towards me and one of them was holding my bag. He asked me a couple of questions just to make sure I was the right person and after I answered correctly, he handed it back to me. I was so grateful! I could not stop thanking him. I realized the reason why I lost it was because the strap broke off and the bag fell on the floor. I went back to the deli clerk to thank him too and to ask how he found it. He said someone picked it up off the floor right in front of the stand and gave it to him. I could not believe the honesty I just witnessed. I understand them returning my passport out of pity, but they did not have to return the $500.00 cash that was in it too. Three different people had a chance to take it and yet none of them did. There was no way for me to know who could have taken it if one of them did and it probably would not matter because I would just be so grateful that my passport was returned to me.

Once again, I was reminded that when I reach a dead end and it seems like there is no way out ― there is always a way out. I made it to Barcelona, where I came across the most helpful and friendliest people, and where I discovered one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen in my life. In the midst of that magnificent view, I noticed the twin towers. I realized they reminded me of Venice. When I went back to my hotel room, I searched for it online. I googled “twin towers barcelona" to be exact. I was surprised to find out they were actually named after Venice and are called "Venetian Towers." Once again, this coincidence appeared to suggest that this journey was meant to be. Barcelona was on the bottom of my list of places to visit. Actually, I wouldn’t care if I did not visit it at all. Where I was originally planning to visit did not work out, so I decided to visit Barcelona instead. Things happen for a reason. I ended up exactly where I was supposed to be.

I decided to look at my old pictures from Venice on my cell phone. I saw a picture of this shirt I bought when I was there. It had this writing on it, "Today is a perfect day to start living your dreams." It grabbed my attention when I first saw it at St. Mark's Square and I just had to buy it. The message reflected exactly what I was experiencing at the time. I thought my dream came true when I traveled to Venice, little did I know it was only the beginning.


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