Travel Link Up: The Time I Lost My Passport

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When I heard that this month’s travel link up was all about things we’d never do again whilst travelling, I rather felt that karma was kicking me in the proverbial behind. You see, when I saw the tweet announcing the topic I had just gone through a rather stressful weekend. A weekend that was meant to be fun, as I had a housewarming party in London to go to, I was going to a great restaurant and I was catching up with one of my best friends from university.

Perfect, right? Wrong. Until the end of this month I’m living in France, finishing off my year abroad, so the one thing I really need in my life is my passport. So imagine the rather large face palm moment when I discover I’ve lost my passport, and my debit card, a week before I fly back to France for my final final exams.

Oops.

Let’s start from the beginning…

I’d decided I wasn’t going to drink that much as I had aforementioned exams to study for (how long was that really going to last anyway?), but I did at least attempt to be sensible. I had a great time catching up with Kirsty, having a good old chin wag and generally catching up over a few drinks. The night progresses and we start to think about heading out clubbing. I dive into my wallet to get my drivers licence, only to realise I’ve left that in France – good one Lauren. Oh well, I’m sensible on a night out – I’ve never lost so much as a hair bobble before so Kirsty reassures me that I’m going to be absolutely fine with my passport, cause I’m the sensible one.

12 hours later the scene is rather different. I wake up, roll over to grab my phone from my clutch, knowing for a fact I won’t have been sensible enough to have charged it, and get an almighty surprise. My phone’s there, yes, but my debit card isn’t.. Huh, that’s strange, I know I took it out and paid for drinks… Keeps digging… Ummmm so my passport isn’t here either…

“ANDY – WHAT DID I DO WITH MY PASSPORT WHERE IS MY PASSPORT?”. Jumps out of bed, runs round room in cartoon style throwing everything around the room because I’m convinced I’ve put them in one of those magical safe places.

They are nowhere to be found.

So I cancel my passport, which you really should do if you ever lose yours, only to discover the next morning that it’s been found… This is Monday, I have a flight on Saturday, and exams start a week on Wednesday. The passport office can’t reinstate my passport, and it’s going to take up to a week to get a new one. Cue many tears. Oh my god, it’s all a disaster, after everything I’m not going to make it back to Rennes in time for my exams. Oh god. What is life. I’m the sensible one.

Tuesday
6am train from Suffolk up to the passport office, to meet my loving best friend who has said “lost” passport to dash into the passport office, cry a little more and beg them to get me a passport as soon as possible. Here is the slightly amusing part – you can’t use the same passport photo twice. My “lost” passport was only made 6 weeks ago. Hilarious. So I had to take a new photo at the passport office – please imagine what I looked like after 3 nights of little to no sleep and a hell of a lot of stress.

Well that’s what I’m going to look like on my passport for the next 10 years. Oh the joys.

I have to say, the passport office were great, even though my passport wasn’t guaranteed until the next Tuesday, it arrived on Thursday evening, and I honestly thought I was going to kiss the man who gave it to me.

All’s well that ends well, right? Silver lining: at least I didn’t have time to stress about my exams too much!

Never, ever, ever am I taking my passport out again. Ever. Especially if I ever live abroad again!

Thank you to all the supporting actors in this story, including my parents, boyfriend and friends for being actual heroes and helping get me back to France. And also, some really lovely blogger ladies who were amazingly supportive and offering to help however they could – Angie, Polly, Jasiminne, Jaime, Catherine and Suze, you are all wonderful blogger friends!

Have you ever done anything whilst travelling that you wouldn’t do again?

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  • Oh bless you it's a really horrible situation. I going away with an ex-boyfriend and his family a couple of years ago on an Egyptian cruise, we were taking his grandmother and she was so excited but left her bag on the bus the day before and lost her passport so she couldn't come. She was really gutted 🙁

    I 'm so glad it turned out ok for you and fingers crossed with your exams.

    Lots of love,
    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

  • I always am paranoid about losing my passport, I travel so much with work and it just kicks around in the bottom of my handbag… The thought of losing it (and its visa's) terrifies me! I did once forget my passport – I was in Reading for a morning meeting then had an evening flight from Heathrow… spent a fair amount of the afternoon driving up and down the A33 and M3 to collect it… made the flight but didn't get to relax pre flight! Thank god you got a new one quick smart and good luck with the exam results!!

  • Kam

    This is my worst fear! I'm always so scared to take my passport out as a form of ID for fear of losing it, especially in a foreign country. I've been to bars/clubs in the US where they refuse to accept foreign licenses so there's no alternative aside from your passport. Had a friend lose her passport, debit cards etc on a night out in Vegas – was horrible for her but we managed to get an emergency

    So happy it worked out in the end – not a nice stress to deal with before an exam!

    Kam xo
    A Married Couple & Their Travels

  • I'm glad you got your passport back just in time, Lauren. I've been in two similar situations, and each time it was very traumatic! In most other situations there's a quick fix but with passports you just have to hope the new one will be ready by the time you need to travel.

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

  • Oh god, this is really worst case scenario stuff. Another good thing about having two passports I suppose, though I don't want to jinx myself and lose one! Glad you got it all sorted in time for your exams. 🙂

  • Oh noo! That's terrible! Thanks love! Have a great weekend in Bath! xx

  • Thanks Anna! I can imagine if you're travelling for work it's something you would be careful with! So strange as it's so unlike me – I always know where my passport is! Ah well, it makes a funny story now! xx

  • Thanks, Kam! Haha well at least it stopped me worrying about my exams – got to look to the little positives sometimes! I tried to get an emergency passport but apparently they're only for coming back into the UK and not leaving – who knew! xx

  • Eeek, glad to know it isn't just me! Yes you're right – it was just a waiting game after we'd been to the passport office. All's well that ends well though! xx

  • I seriously wished I had 2 passports that week!! Lucky you! Thanks, Frankie 🙂 xx

  • Aw what a disaster! I do always get so paranoid about my passport. I do have a couple so if I need one for ID I tend to take the one for the opposite country I'm in (NZ vs UK!) just in case. Glad it got sorted though and you dont miss your exams! xx

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

  • My heart really went out to you (again!) reading this post. It's such a horrible, stomach-sinking position to find yourself in. I had a similar-ish experience, but I will wait for you to read my post in a couple of day's time to find out what happened. Let's just say I can fully empathise with passport-related woes!!

    Pleased it all worked out in the end.

    Polly xx
    Follow Your Sunshine

  • Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

    oh Lauren, this must have been so stressful especially just before an exam – so glad things turned out Ok in the end and you had good support from the passport office! We had a similar situation in Tanzania during our honeymoon when my hubby thought he'd lost his passport so much so that we booked a separate flight from the island we were on back to the capital to go to the passport office – and then it turned up after all! Obviously a relieffective but was quite stressful at the time!

  • I can imagine! My boyfriend is dual nationality and he does exactly the same thing! I'm so paranoid about my passport usually too – no idea what happened to me! xx

  • Such a sweet thing to say, thanks Polly! It really is horrible isn't it? Oooohh poor you love, seems you very much know what it's like..! Looking forward to reading your post (but not hearing about your sadness/bad experience!). Thanks again for being there for me, Polly! xxx

  • Oh my gosh! You got to the stage of booking another flight? eeek! Glad it all worked out in the end for you! xxx

  • I'm so glad you managed to get your passport back – I actually don't think I could have coped in your situation – we were burgled a few years ago, and more than anything I was petrified they'd snaffled my passport (much to the police's amusement!) Luckily they didn't get anything else either, bar a jar of pennies…

  • They just took a jar of pennies? How strange!!

    It was a bit of a stress but I'm lucky that my dad is so well traveled and very calm – so he got me through it! xx

  • i think i'm the only person who wouldn't mind losing my passport as my photo is so hideous! haha, stuck with it for another 2 years! glad you got it sorted in the end

    from helen at thelovecatsinc.com

  • Ohhhh I hear you on bad passport photos – the one I now have is absolutely hideous! xx

  • B.

    This was my biggest fear while on vacation in London a few weeks ago! Glad you were able to get it sorted out!

  • It was honestly waaay more stressful than my actual masters exams!!x