Library reunites traveller with backpack

Lost luggage mystery solved 5,000 miles away in UK

Losing your backpack is pretty high up on the list of worst things that could happen to you on your gap year. For one traveller in Guatemala, this nightmare became a reality when he discovered his backpack had disappeared. 

British traveller Jonathan Smith, 37, was only a few days into a three-week short gap in central America when a French backpacker took his bag by mistake. 

The Metro reports Smith as saying: "My bag contained all my clothes, my toothbrush and two books, including Lonely Planet's Central America on a Shoestring, which I had borrowed from the library."

Smith retraced his footsteps in an attempt to track down his backpack. For many travellers, losing a backpack 5,000 miles from home would be a disaster and something that could easily ruin their trip.

However, Smith's short gap was saved by the French backpacker that mistakenly took his bag; Agnes Varnier noticed that Smith's Lonely Planet guidebook was linked to the Millennium library in the English city Norwich. 

She phoned the Norfolk library service, who in turn got in touch with Smith's mother and obtained contact details for the British backpacker. 

The library emailed Mr. Smith with the French traveller's information and within hours they had managed to meet up, reuniting Smith with his backpack. 

Mr Smith, from Norwich, has reportedly contacted the library to thank staff for their help.

It is not known whether Smith's Lonely Planet was overdue at his library. If it was, we think he'll be happy to pay the fine.

A spokesman for Norfolk county council was reported as saying: "This shows just how beneficial it is to be a member of the library service."

Do you have a quirky story about being reunited with your stuff whilst travelling? What advice do you have for anyone who loses something important on their gap year? 

Interested in finding out more about central America? Read Lexi Quinton's Guide to Mexico.