Avatar photo

By Marizka Coetzer

Journalist


My lesson of losing baggage

This past weekend I learned that not only is life full of uncertainties, but it’s how you handle them that determines the outcome.


Sometimes leaving behind your baggage or luggage is a good thing. Besides, you would be surprised at how a laptop bag can double as luggage in trying times. This past weekend I learned that not only is life full of uncertainties, but it’s how you handle them that determines the outcome. We travelled through five provinces from Johannesburg to Cape Town and back to Johannesburg as part of Ford South Africa’s Travelogue to launch their new Puma range. ALSO READ: Five remarkable sightings you won’t believe you can experience from Africa’s rivers! There were a lot of firsts during this…

Subscribe to continue reading this article
and support trusted South African journalism

Access PREMIUM news, competitions
and exclusive benefits

SUBSCRIBE
Already a member? SIGN IN HERE

Sometimes leaving behind your baggage or luggage is a good thing. Besides, you would be surprised at how a laptop bag can double as luggage in trying times.

This past weekend I learned that not only is life full of uncertainties, but it’s how you handle them that determines the outcome.

We travelled through five provinces from Johannesburg to Cape Town and back to Johannesburg as part of Ford South Africa’s Travelogue to launch their new Puma range.

ALSO READ: Five remarkable sightings you won’t believe you can experience from Africa’s rivers!

There were a lot of firsts during this three-day trip for me: my first time to Cape Town, my first road trip through the Karoo and my first experience not only driving a new car, but also an automatic car.

It kicked off on a shaky note after I nearly didn’t board my 6.20am flight on Saturday because my bag was “too big” for hand luggage. I only had a few minutes to spare before boarding the plane to Cape Town.

“You will have to buy a new ticket,” the woman booking my luggage in said – an no amount of bartering or pleading could change her mind.

Time was running out: I had minutes to spare to board another plane. She said it couldn’t be done, but I had to try and make a plan – so I turned around with my big purple luggage and started sprinting for the parking lot where I had dropped off my car.

ALSO READ: Warning: Amsterdam wants tourists with ‘new eyes’

I was grateful I signed up for Parkrun earlier this year because the sprint to the parking lot was surprisingly not hard.

My only option at this point was to empty my luggage and pack everything into my hand luggage (a much smaller bag) and my laptop bag.

At the parking lot entrance I dramatically throw down my bag, unzip it and start repacking the contents while other travellers pass me with confused looks.

I couldn’t care because there was no way I was going to miss this flight or leave behind my pair of secret socks that nearly got lost in the process.

Nothing could stand in my way as I frantically shoved my clothes and toiletries into the two bags and left behind the empty purple luggage at the door.

ALSO READ: Santé! A toast to life in France

To the ticket lady’s surprise, I made it back in time to join the queue to board the plane.

This was also the first time I was the last person to board a plane – in a panic-induced sprint – but all that mattered was that I made it in time, with or without my luggage.

The lady who stood between me and my flight said it couldn’t be done – but I did it, much like my experience learning to drive an automatic car with all these bells and whistles.

Another first I experienced over the weekend was how load shedding sabotaged my coffee breaks in every town, every day.

From the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape and even in the Free State, we experience load shedding. At least something was consistent.

NOW READ: Lost in the metro? Paris translation App aims to help visitors

Like they say: rather the devil you know than the demon you don’t.

I realised sometimes it was worth getting to know something you were scared of doing or simply haven’t been exposed to – in my case, it was driving an automatic car.

It was as easy as a quick crash course about the car and a quicker test drive in a dusty town while the group had lunch.

Back home, I was sad to return the key to the host and climb into my car, which felt like skedonk after driving a Puma Ford for a whole weekend.

But my skedonk had one surprise the Puma did not have: my purple luggage. Never have I been so happy to take back my luggage or baggage – even after my GPS took me home the scenic route to avoid Monday afternoon peak-time traffic.

I still had my luggage and the priceless memories I made on a road trip…

Read more on these topics

Ford travel travelling

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits