Flying into Rome was great. I was on my first trip to Europe, having spent a few days in Paris and explored one of my favorite cities in the world, Brussels, just a few hours prior. We arrived at Leonardo Di Vinci airport (FCO) and approached the luggage turnstile. My sister’s bag came through then my mom’s. Then we waited. And waited. Mine did not. We went to the service desk to inquire and start a missing bag claim.
“What did it look like?” “How big was it?” “What color?”
Uhh… normal look, average size, grey. Pretty much zero distinguishing characteristics.
During this time, our shuttle car left and we had to figure out a new way to our hotel. Luckily, we figured out you can an express train from the airport to Roma Termini, the central train station in Rome, in about 30 minutes. We walked the rest of the way to the hotel and after our first slice of Italian pizza at a restaurant down the street, we went to grab some Zzz’s.
Now, the past couple days spent in Paris were very temperate summer days. Comfortable and normal. I had put on some jeans and a thick, long sleeve shirt for the flight over (I always get cold on airplanes.) Rome wanted to be different. We woke up and were met outside with 38°C (roughly 100°F) and being that I only had the same clothes from the flight, I had no choice but to venture out in jeans and a long sleeve shirt. If you know me, you know that I love the heat. I would much rather melt to the ground than shiver in the cold, but this was unbearable.
Despite being incredibly hungry, I slipped into every shop I could, looking for a change of clothes to purchase. Nobody had shorts, but I was at least able to find boxers and socks and two soccer (sorry, football) jerseys – an AC Milan Stephan El Shaarawy shirt and a Juventus Andrea Pirlo shirt (this one would give me a funny story a few years later). Most of my outfit needs were taken care of now, but I would sweat it out in those same pair of jeans for the next few days. The only source of respite would be the innumerable water fountains that dot the city. They were lifesavers.
Two months later, I get a text from my mom while I’m at work. Somebody had dropped off my luggage at her house. It had been left at the Charles de Gaulle airport before our flight.
Now, I pretty much only travel out of a carry-on bag (I use a 46L bag). You can get around just about anywhere for three weeks or less in one. Plus, you don’t have to wait at the turnstile for your bags and you have the peace of mind that everything is with you. It’s been working so far.