This summer on vacation an interesting and rather inconvenient happening occurred in a moment of stress. After hastily filling the gas tank and checking tire pressure at the gas station in Goedereede we were on the road back to Amsterdam. An hour into the drive my partner realized he didn’t have his wallet. My first thought was, I’ve heard this before. After checking pockets and storage compartments we turned around and headed back to the gas station. In anticipation of recovering the wallet, during the long drive back, all the steps taken at the gas station earlier were reviewed. Trying not to attach any emotion to the additional time that would be added to our journey I chose to listen quietly, sensing the deep state of anxiety created by the possibility of loosing all personal identification and credit cards.

The gas station was busy, no wallet in sight, no possibility to check with personnel at this fully automated station, resigned, we take our leave for a second time. 90 minutes into the trip an email from the Ouddorp tourist bureau (15km from the gas station) advises that a wallet has been retrieved and can be collected until 18h00. For a second time (in 3 hours of driving in circles) I turn the car around and head back.

The tourist bureau hands over the wallet complete with all cards and all cash. The travelers had left their name and phone number with the Tourist bureau. We contacted them to express our sincere thanks and they were happy to have been of service. They wanted nothing material in return, our gratitude was their gift.

The morning had turned into early afternoon and we decided to visit the beach one more time before getting into the car and leaving for the 3rd time. My partner thanked me for my patience and understanding.

Lessons learned: Our “Going around in circles”, allowed us to discuss what causes our anxiety, our level of presence when accomplishing mundane tasks and how to practice gratitude.

p.s. The trip home took 14 hours instead of 9, but our hearts were full of wonder towards compassionate, caring, thoughtful human beings. original post

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