For those of you who have followed my saga, or those of you who know me personally, you have most likely heard the story of how my luggage was lost on the highway in the West Bank during my Taglit trip. What's that you say? You haven't heard it? Well let me tell you.
In 2013 I went on a Taglit Birthright trip to Israel. I was so excited to finally explore the place that held so much of my passion. I shopped endlessly for just the right hiking backpack, proper attire, and supplies for what was about to be the adventure of a lifetime. On the 4th day of our 10-day trip something extremely out of the ordinary happened. Our bus was driving on the highway that takes you to the Dead Sea, the Bedouin tents, and other attractions of southern Israel, when some men were oddly following our bus and trying to alert the driver. As a precaution we stopped and our security guard spoke with the men. All was fine, minus the fact that we were running late (classic birthright) to ride camels. So we rushed ourselves to the camel rides and the issue was not discussed. As soon as we finished riding camels our Madrichim (guides) told us that the men saw luggage on the road and suspected it might be from our bus so we should all take a peak in the luggage compartment to check our bags were there. I did what I was told...and that is when I discovered my bag was not there. Amazing! I came for a 2.5 month trip to Israel, traveling in a foreign country for the first time ever, and my luggage was now floating around somewhere. Needless to say I was in shock. 2 other people also lost their bags, but because their passports were in their bags they were returned to the US Embassy. Mine was lost seemingly forever.
Fast forward to this week when I get an email from the US Consulate in Jerusalem asking if I had traveled to Israel in 2013 because they had a bag with my name on it. Could I describe the bag and its contents in order to claim it? Um, yes, duh I could! Another email and phone call later and this happened: