Planning to Forget Something Important.

Here it is, end-of-day-Friday, and I’m leaving on Sunday for the NARP meetings in Washington, so I’m in the last-minute drill for a trip that will keep me away for three weeks.

Basically, it’s a question of getting organized. The problem is, I always forget something. Always.

Business cards. Power cord for my laptop. Spare batteries for my camera and scanner. The scanner itself! Every trip it’s something.
I’ve never forgotten my passport, but I did lose it in the Seoul airport. And isn’t that every traveler’s worst nightmare!
There was a minor hassle deplaning in Seoul after my flight from Shanghai. The security people asked to see my passport and the boarding pass for my Hawaiian Airlines flight back to Honolulu. I handed them the passport and tried to explain I had been away a month and was going to get the boarding pass at the Hawaiian gate. I think they just forgot to hand the passport back to me and of course I was distracted by the boarding pass issue.

I didn’t discover the passport was missing until I was getting organized for the Hawaiian flight. After the panic subsided – Was I panicked? Your damn right I was! – I went to one of the Information booths and told the woman there my problem.

Of course, she realized immediately that the passport almost certainly was somewhere in the airport. Three or four phone calls was all it took, and a few minutes later, a young man in a dark suit came jogging up with my passport in hand.

That experience was enough. I’ll never forget my passport again. But I’ll forget something. It’s always something.