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A Rough Week: The ‘My Laptop is Gone’ Edition

If you’ve spoken to me in the past 10 days, it’s highly unlikely that you made it out of the conversation without hearing about my laptop. It has been an all-consuming feeling of anger at myself and heartbreak over the situation. If we haven’t spoken, let me fill you in.

Last week, I was flying from New York to D.C. A measly little 1.5 hour baby flight compared to the amount of flying I’ve been doing in the past few months. A tiny little flight, and I got out my laptop to write a speech for the wedding I was flying in for; a speech that I didn’t even start on the plane.

So my laptop sat in the seat back pocket during the whole flight. It sat there while we gathered our things. It sat there while we got off the flight. And it sat there all the way until we were on a bus halfway to Annapolis. That’s the moment I realized that my laptop was not actually in my backpack, but was still in the seat back pocket.

I want to cry even just writing this because it was the absolutely DUMBEST thing to do. There was no reason to even have it out, I didn’t even use, and I know better than to not check the seat back pocket. It makes me just sick.

Anyway. I’m lucky to have a husband who springs into action while I breakdown into tears, because Kenny was on the phone with American Airlines immediately asking them to check the plane, tracking down where the plane was headed, submitting lost item reports, and checking my laptop tracking software, Prey.

It’s now 8 days later and nothing has been returned to the airline. So my laptop was either swiped by someone getting off the plane behind me or is somehow in airline Lost & Found limbo and they just haven’t been able to match the item to me. The later is wishful thinking, but it’s hard to remain optimistic at this point.

Let’s talk about this tracking software for a sec, though,  because it’s one of the more frustrating points. I have Prey on my laptop which is supposed to protect against this exact scenario. It’s supposed to use GPS and cameras and wifi pings and all sorts of tech things to track down your stolen laptop. However, none of that actually works unless the laptop is booted up and connected to the internet. Something no good person is going to be able to actually do on my locked computer and a bad person knows not to do. So naturally, my laptop never connected to the server and Prey has been completely useless.

So the pill I’ve had to swallow is that my laptop is gone. It’s not just the laptop that’s gone though. You know what’s on that laptop? All of our travel photos from this trip. And not just my photos, all of Kenny’s photos too, because I was the master photo record keeper. Yep, all of them are just gone. I did have some backed up to Google Photos, but ran into some trouble with it in South American and never fixed it. Heartbreaking. Like, can’t handle it.

So yeah! That’s why I’ve been radio silent the past 10 days.

But I am trying to rally! I bought a new laptop and I am working on finding some closure. I am trying to think about the photos I do have, from this blog and Instagram. I am trying to think about how fortunate I am to even have these trip experiences and memories, which is more important than the having the photos (I guess. I will miss the photo book so much though!!!) I am trying to think about how this has lit a fire under me to be 100% diligent with backing up everything. I am trying to forgive myself.

I thought writing all of this down might help. It actually kind of just made me sad all over again. But it’s written, so I might as well share.

Taken shortly after I purchased my new laptop. I will never, ever, ever let this thing out of my sight ever again.

Melissa Silverberg

Saturday 11th of November 2017

I cried for you just reading this and then Erik laughed at me, but this is so heartbreaking I can't imagine. I have tried to be good about writing up trip reports for myself when we go on vacation as another way of keeping memories, so definitely it's great you have this blog! Maybe keep a little daily journal for yourself even if you don't have time to do a blog post just so you can look back on what you did each day. It'll be OK, you have so many more places around the world to take photos and if Google Images has to fill in the blanks in your photo book one day because of lost photos, no one will know that except you.


Sunday 12th of November 2017

Waaaah!! You get it! Thanks so much Melissa - This made me feel better. The journal is a really good idea, and I wish I was better about it. I do have a notebook, but so far all I've done is put stickers on the cover, ha! I'm gonna have to start putting that thing to good use! <3