When you are a travel blogger you document everything. You take pictures of street signs, your hotel room, your food, the locals… When you are a travel blogger AND a mother, you have pictures of all of those aforementioned things plus 4,000 pictures of your child on any given trip. It is very easy to fill up even a large memory card fairly quickly. And those pictures are priceless.
You probably already know where this is going, and many of you are probably cringing as you wait for the next sentence confirming what you already suspect.
I lost our camera.
Somewhere in route home from Belize and Guatemala, our camera disappeared. Stolen? Maybe. More likely though, it fell out of our carry-on luggage under the seat of the plane when my ever-curious toddler decided to dig through the bag. I didn’t realize this until we returned home around midnight Wednesday morning.
I put our cranky, exhausted toddler to bed while my husband started unpacking our bags. (We hate to leave bags packed until the next day…We are just weird like that.) As I walked out of our daughter’s room, my husband asked the question that made my heart sink.
“Honey, what did you do with the camera? It’s not in any of our bags.”
Ugh. I had to fight back tears as I thought about the hundreds of pictures and videos we had taken. All of the special memories we made with our daughter, Avery, she will have no record of now. She is still too young to remember much of anything, so at this age pictures are even more important.
Of course, we’ve taken the appropriate steps, contacted the airline and the airports, hoping and praying an honest person found our camera and turned it in. It’s been 18 hours and we haven’t heard back, so I’m not holding my breath that we will see our camera, or the pictures on it, ever again.
Sure, we took a few pictures on our smartphones, but not many. In retrospect, I should have brought my laptop and uploaded the photos each night. I should have triple checked the area of the plane where our sneaky toddler probably discarded the small, yet expensive piece of equipment containing all records of our trip. I should have guarded that camera the way I guard my child and passport. But I didn’t. I didn’t do any of that, so now I’m blogging about my mistake. I’m blogging about it so that maybe you can learn from our misfortune. No matter how stressed you are trying to wrangle a squirmy, tantrum-throwing toddler on a plane. Regardless of how tight your connection is, and how quickly you need to get off the plane to dash through the airport, make sure you take a peak under the seat and in the seat back pockets. Make sure you don’t step away from your luggage in a busy airport ever, which is hard sometimes when chasing after an active 16 month old.
Moral of the story for all my fellow travelers: your camera is your best friend. It is your reporter notepad. It is your professional colleague. It is your lifeline. For travel bloggers, without your camera, your blogs are just words. Don’t lose it.