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  • People often say to me “you’re so lucky,” to which I always quickly respond with “Born lucky.” I say that because I do indeed feel like a lucky guy on many occasions and I am always thankful for my good fortune. However, today my good fortune was not with me.

    I have lost my passport!

    I’m not sure how this has happened. I’m usually VERY careful with my passport, but to be fair I’ve been so tired these last few days that I forgot to put it back in the inside pocket of my luggage, and instead left it in my small backpack. The thing is I don’t even remember with any degree of certainty when I last saw it. Maybe it was after I went through immigration at the airport, but it might have been in as I ran around trying to get to the F1, or perhaps it was stolen on the night bus while I slept? It could be anywhere, all I know is that it it’s not with me.

    Losing my passport has left me feeling, not only very foolish and angry, but also dispirited. I like Japan, but the cultural and language obstacle makes me feel quite isolated in this situation. So from here, my onward travel plans to the USA and Canada are now in serious jeopardy. At the very least, this surely puts and end to my plans to travel across the USA, then up into Canada, and over to Iceland before landing in the UK.

    The British consulate in Tokyo will issue me with an ETD (emergency travel document), but they are unable to issue a new passport and have informed me I have little choice but to head straight back to the UK to get a new passport. This news is hard to take as I was really looking forward to catching up with my friends in the USA and Canada, and the thought of having to get on a plane and simply fly over those places makes me feel really sad, like I’ve failed or something.

    Thankfully, my couchsurfing host here in Tokyo has been a fantastic help. Sephrine has been wonderfully helpful and tirelessly called various police stations, public transport services, and restaurants to see if my passport had been handed in anywhere. This afternoon, she accompanied me to the police station to help me file a lost property report, and that’s the picture of the day, though I wish it wasn’t.

  • 27 comments on “Disaster!

    1. and yes you are a failure, you are coming home to the UK mid world tour. You lost all those lovely rubber stamp marks in your passport. It was a badge of honour which you proudly showed every immigration official and every hotel wanting to see your ID. You failed, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. Only you can only pick yourself up so dont let people take that away from you. You failed. Love from a true friend.


      This is an awful thing to happen to anyone and I can only imagine how frustrating and disappointing it must be. I’m not sure if that comment from James is British humour, but please don’t feel like a failure. This kind of thing can happen to even the most cautious traveler so please try not be too disheartened. I can imagine it would feel very lonely to lose your passport in a place to absolutely foreign, but at least you had a nice person there helping you navigate your way through the various systems and services.

      Do update us quickly with news, and remember YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! I find your pictures and stories are inspiring and have been quietly looking at my own long term travel options. I think you’re terrifically brave and can be proud of not only your travels but also your commitment to finding and telling the stories you do here.

    3. Hope you find the passport & can add another story about its amazing return to your collection of travel adventures. And then there was that time I lost my passport in Japan . . . .

      If you do have to fly straight back yo the UK don’t forget to wave to California!

    4. Simon, I’ve been watching your daily updates since we bumped into one another back in Wellington. What an upsetting thing to happen. I hope it all works out ok. I’ve been enjoying your photography and stories very much and hope this will not spell the end of 366 pictures?

    5. Aw, massive, massive bummer. So sorry to hear that. I would be devastated if I ever lost my passport (well, I did once, but found it again — after I’d gotten an emergency replacement). I truly hope it will turn up somewhere, sometime, so you at least have the tangible proof of all your travels. In the meantime, you WILL be able to go to the U.S. — it’s just a skip’n’a jump across the Pond from the U.K.

    6. Whatever it is, I would still love to be in your shoes 🙂 !! Who cares about stamps and stuff ….u lost it to make way for new ones !! 🙂

    7. Shit! Sorry to hear this Simon. I’ve been loving the blog, though I think I only commented once but I do like the emails and so I hope you’re not so dispirited that you’re going to quit this. *hug*

    8. Sorry to hear that you have had the misfortune of losing your passport. It must feel truly frustrating. You say that you were born lucky so who knows, this might be a bit of luck in disguise right now. Maybe you will have the greatest adventure back in the UK. Hopefully once you are back in the UK you will be able to get a new passport and plan the next leg from there. If you are so tired maybe you just need to be home with friends and family for a while. Refresh your weary mind and body and set yourself up for the best time ever in the USA and Canada. Nothing to stop you seeing the UK as an extra (bonus) leg of the trip is there? Try to remain positive. Your positivity has shone through in your photos and I look forward to photos from the UK that will make me see my homeland in a different light through your eyes.

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