Have you ever been on a vacation with a loved one? Have you ever taken loads of pictures so that you could savor it for yourself and share it with friends and family forever? Of course you have! But have you ever discovered that the camera with all your memories was suddenly missing? If you haven’t, let me tell you, it’s a pretty horrible feeling of helplessness and devastation.
I’m writing to tell you a simple story, but one that I think you will find interesting, heartwarming, and one worth sharing with others. It starts with a young couple, Taylor and Lauren (that’s us) who over the last year, had saved up enough money to take their first overseas vacation together…
We wanted to go somewhere exotic and different, so there seemed like no better place than Thailand. Wanting enough time to explore everything the country has to offer, we took a full 2 weeks off for the trip.
Now, except for the 20-hour airplane ride, the trip went off without a hitch. We did it all from Bangkok night markets to the Ko Phangan full moon party. We checked out the islands on the west and east coast and made a point to ride every tuk-tuk, jet ski, long tail boat, and elephant we could find along the way. We made sure to capture every experience and every moment with the camera we had bought specifically for the trip (the beautiful Canon S95), so that we would always remember this once in a lifetime experience. Aside from the souvenirs we’d pick up, the pictures we would take along our journey were the most important things we wanted to make sure to bring back with us.
Staying organized when you travel from city to city across a country can be tough, but we managed to do a great job as we packed and unpacked our way around Thailand. It was that final morning in Bangkok, when we were rushing to get our last adventure in before our afternoon flight, that we hit our first snag. It started with an early morning Thai breakfast before we rushed off to the Sky Train to take us to the Chatachuk Market, the Mecca of all street markets. As usual, we were snapping pictures along the way, but it wasn’t until we were on the train that we grabbed for a camera only to realize a fear that every traveler has: our camera was missing.
When we got back to our hotel, we checked at least 3 times with the front desk, and tracked back our morning steps to see if we had left it somewhere along the way. We left our name and email with every person we encountered and even checked back in with them again for good measure. But eventually we had to come to the realization that the camera may be gone along with the pictures we’d taken over the last 2 weeks.
We are so thankful for the experience we had, and we would always hold on to the memories, but having to come back without any pictures after such a great experience was a really hard pill to swallow. When we got home, we were so upset over it (our pictures were really great!) that out of desperation we decided to write up a story similar to this one and send it to every newspaper and blog that might be able to help our cause. Maybe someone had even found it but didn’t know how to get it back to us…
Tons of people responded to our pleas, some posting our story on their blog, some giving us all kinds of advice and condolences. This clearly was something that people sympathized with, which we appreciated greatly. We were even able to get in touch with someone from the Bangkok Post who told us he would post something to the paper’s facebook page. Like me, he was doubtful it would help, but we were incredibly thankful that he’d even try. Every story we told friends & co-workers about the trip would start on a high note but end on a tragic one when they asked to see pictures. A few days went by and we began to accept that we’d be able to go on other trips and take other pictures.
One morning, we woke up to an email from a young woman named Apiradee. She was writing to us from Bangkok to tell us that she had read about our story on facebook, and that it had inspired her to try and find our camera. Her e-mail, titled “Miracle is here in Thailand,” began with this opening sentence:
“Greeting from Bangkok. Hope You have a safe and sound trip back home. I write this mail to you due to Miracle comes true here.”
In the email, she explained that she had read our story on facebook and was for some reason inspired to try and find our camera. Using our details of that fateful morning, she backtracked everywhere we had been. When she checked with the office of the train station, they told her that there was a camera that matched our description in their lost & found. She had to show them the picture we’d included in our story to prove that the camera was ours, but then they eventually allowed her to take the camera. She then went on to express how happy she was to find the camera saying:
“You know? I feel really happy as if this camera belongs to me I just said something with my friend that I need to have a little miracle happen to me once in my life. Not a big one just tiny…. and I get it now. I’m really happy with both of you even I don’t know you. Congratulation with all my heart. I always believe that Think good all the time and you will always receive good things in your life.”
She also attached a picture of herself holding our camera and its case proving that this wasn’t a scam. By the smile on her face, it was hard to tell who is more excited about the camera being found, Apiradee or us?
We tried to get her address so we could pay her for the shipping and send her a thank you gift, but she refuses saying this is an early Christmas gift for us. We have told the tale of our lost camera numerous times and every time, people tell us how amazing of a story it is. There are just so many little things that happen like this everyday all over the world and people need to hear them to be reminded that there are so many good people in the world and as Apiradee said “Miracles do come true.”
We would love if you would help us to tell Apiradee’s story. Not only to inspire people to do good deeds for others, but more importantly so that it will remind people never to lose faith in others.We hope this story has been as inspiring to you as it has to us and many others we’ve shared it with.
Taylor Magenheim & Lauren Singer (Guest Contributor)
Dear Lauren & Taylor,
Greeting from Bangkok. Hope You and Taylor have a safe and sound trip back home.I write this mail to you due Miracle comes true here.
You don’t know me and I also don’t know you more than your story from my friend who is the reporter of Bangkok Post that you sent mail to him. He posted your picture and your information in his facebook last Monday 28 Nov.When I read your story I don’t know why I feel very strong positive thinking that we can find your camera.I called to BTS on that day and told them that both of you are my friends (hehehe) and lost their camera on the last day in Thailand and now they went back to USA.
I used the information that read from FB in order to explain and guess which area of BTS stations can concern. Due you mentioned LeBua Hotel to Holiday Inn Silom. So they may be from Taksin Station to Saladang Station on Friday 25 Nov morning. I left my name and contact number and my email to BTS Staff.I could not believe when yesterday 30Nov, I received a call and informed that BTS Lost&Found got a report and found the matching camera. She need to know your details like how old are you? 555 How can I know? So instead of answer her questions, I sent your picture as attached file and requested her to check with the pictures in found camera. She confirmed back that it’s yours.You know? I feel really happy as if this camera belongs to me
I just said something with my friend that I need to have a little miracle happen to me once in my life. Not a big one just tiny…. and I get it now.I’m really happy with both of you even I don’t know you. Congratulation with all my heart. I always believe that Think good all the time and you will always receive good things in your life.I just pick up your camera at BTS Office and get back to my office. So your happy memory of Thailand is in my hand. Don’t worry and Be happy :)Give me your home address and I will rush send your happiness back to you. This is as a Christmas and Happy New Year gift from Thai people to both of you I wish.
The Land of SMILE and The Land of The Great KING!!!!
P.S. Please see attached files which I cut and paste your info from FB and your camera