As much as traveling can be an incredible and rewarding experience, it can also be very unpredictable. For example, what would happen if you lost all your belongings that you had carried with you and were left with only the clothes you were wearing? I’ll tell you what – that is exactly what happened to me at Gare du Nord in Paris.

It had been the first time something had gone so terribly wrong during my travels. Although I don’t want to compare it to missing a flight, losing a passport, accidents or any other physical harm, losing my luggage which had been with me for nearly six months from Western to Northern Europe was still quite a shock. After all this time I felt very attached to my things and the unique memories I had collected in each country and stowed away in my bags. I had brought truly personal gifts and carefully chosen presents for my loved ones at home, and there was no way to replace these special souvenirs as they could only be found in the locations where I had bought them. And frankly, as a girl, I adored some of my favorite pairs of shoes, irreplaceable outfits and cosmetics. It sounds too ridiculous to be true, but I loved them so much that I would rather pay for extra luggage than leave them behind.

Regardless of how emotionally painful the experience was initially, I came to realize that perhaps it was supposed to teach me a lesson or two. As the old saying goes “it is either a blessing or a lesson”, which could not make more sense in this case.

Here are six things I learnt from losing my luggage while traveling.

Loosing your luggage can ruin your entire trip; or it can be a blessing - it depends on how you look at it!

1) How to travel worry-free

The first thing I noticed is that I could truly experience the hassle- and worry-free way to move around a new city without heavy luggage – traveling has never felt more free. I have to admit it was a major relief in that I didn’t have to worry about how tired I would be when I arrived at my hotel from lugging around my heavy bag.

2) Why one should make use of logistics companies

Thinking more about how to deal with my luggage in the future, I finally understood that paying a lot of money for excess baggage is a totally ridiculous expense. Unless the content of your luggage is needed urgently upon arrival, why not make use of a reliable logistics company instead? That way you can transport new purchases and fragile souvenirs back home without having to worry. You pay for your peace of mind, instead of paying to carry an even heavier bag.

Loosing your luggage can ruin your entire trip; or it can be a blessing - it depends on how you look at it!

3) How to shop in a foreign country

Losing all your stuff means that you have to replace at least a few items, no matter where you are. Often that means browsing through small local shops, speaking to their owners and discovering peculiar items on the shelves. This is also a great chance to give the local language a try and to expand your vocabulary. Once you are home and holding that hairbrush (or anything else you had to buy) in your hand, it will always remind you of that specific place where you bought it.

4) How to reset your closet

Losing the clothes you have been wearing for the past weeks or months while traveling is a great opportunity to reset your style and get an entirely new look. Perhaps you can’t even remember when and why you purchased the clothes you initially took with you – that’s how I felt anyway. After purchasing a few new outfits I feel very content with the small wardrobe I’ve got now. It used to take me ages to get ready in the morning, but now I pick and choose much quicker and I actually like everything I own.

Loosing your luggage can ruin your entire trip; or it can be a blessing - it depends on how you look at it!

5) Less is More

As a natural consequence of restocking your wardrobe, you will learn to use your fashion creativity to the maximum. How many outfits can you create out of 9 basic pieces and a few accessories? I learnt that often the less choices I have, the less time I waste contemplating and the more time I have to enjoy my trip.

6) ‘She who buys what she does not need, steals from herself’

This Swedish proverb, which I honestly could not fully understand for a long time, has turned into my personal motto when it comes to deciding whether to buy something or not. I am much more aware these days about my budget and how frequently I would use a product, and additionally I love my new lifestyle with less possessions. Being in my twenties I am not ready to settle down yet, so the lighter the luggage, the easier it is for me to move on to a new destination. Quality comes before quantity, and while this is really refreshing it is also better for our environment!

Loosing your luggage can ruin your entire trip; or it can be a blessing - it depends on how you look at it!

When we travel and things go wrong, it’s easy to think ‘If only I had stayed at home, nothing would have gone wrong’. However, the life lessons I have learnt from the experience of lost luggage (and consequently being a few possessions lighter) easily outweigh the initial stress and headaches this brought to me. Sure, a life of travel is full of surprises, challenges and tests, and this visit to Paris was definitely one of these moments. 

And yet I’m grateful – grateful for the opportunity to learn what it truly means to find yourself by getting lost!

This is a guest post by Galaxy Nguyen.

Loosing your luggage can ruin your entire trip; or it can be a blessing - it depends on how you look at it! While wandering in charming European lands, Galaxy is on her way to finishing her bachelor degree in the Netherlands after living both in Denmark and Barcelona. She loves connecting people, getting lost in either new or old town. She is a nature lover on sunny days and glamorous city lights fan on rainy nights. She believes that going out of your comfort zone will eventually amazingly bring you another kind of comfort. Find out more at or Twitter @galaxynguyenA.