We were moving around a lot on our trip in Israel. We arrived in Tel Aviv, drove directly up the coast to Haifa, a few little towns, the Sea of Galilee, Mount Carmel, down to Zefat, down to Jerusalem, and a ton of other stops before arriving at Tel Aviv again.
So, that meant we could leave stuff on the bus from time to time, which we all did and once time around day 4, I left my journal on the bus, or I thought I did.
And our bus was now gone for the better part of 2 days because of Shabbat.
We were all running on adrenaline for the better part of 8 days, so memories were a little hazy, and I was like, “It’s definitely on the bus!” But when it wasn’t I started to panic a tiny bit. I told all my new friends to stay alert for my journal when we got back to the bus, even asked my amazing roommates if it’d somehow had gotten into their stuff and they looked and said no.
I have a pretty good coping mechanism for dealing with loss – at least the loss of stuff. It’s not that I lose stuff often, but I’ve lost a couple of things over the years – mostly jewelry -and I’ve learned how to detach rather quickly. For better or for worse.
Probably for better because it’s just material shit, right? Right.
So, I went to that place where my journal was lost and gone forever. Annnnnd it was super sad. Because that was the journal that I’d started writing in 2015 when I went to Scandinavia for 13 days all by myself.
It’d seen me through my awful hostel in Copenhagen, spending way too much money in Oslo, the beauty of Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, and the heartbreaking, but amazing 10 days I’d spent in various cities in Poland. It’d seen me through my break up when I went on a trip to London and Dublin alone that I was supposed to have taken with my previous partner. I wrote in that journal when I was in Eastern Europe yet again last year in Budapest, Vienna, and Salzburg. It’d even been there when I was in Denver.
Though I wasn’t always consistent with my writing (especially not in the beginning), there were little momentos from each place and it was a special journal with me.
When I had 24 hours left to either spend worrying about where it was or trust that it was on the bus, I went with the latter. I pulled out the second journal I’d brought with me (SEE, it came in handy!) and wrote down my recent day’s shenanigans in there and also wrote that I was sure my journal was on the bus, likely rolling around the floor because I was now positive that I’d put it on my seat before we got to Jerusalem. It was just there. I knew it.
Flash forward to Sunday morning. I’m the first one on the bus as we board to leave Jerusalem and head to Yad Vashem on the way and ta-da, my journal is on the floor near the front seat. It must’ve rolled off my seat and down to the front of the bus while I wasn’t onboard.
To say I was relieved would be an understatement. I would’ve gotten over losing it, but I’m so glad I able to get it back.
My memories from traveling over the years will always be there, right inside my head, but sometimes it’s nice to have a written record of what actually went down, so I can go reference it when I feel moved to. Because our memories aren’t always the most accurate way to remember exactly what happened.
My point is: if you don’t keep a journal while traveling, you totally should.