A Hat’s Journey

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About 6 years ago when we went to the Holy Land (Israel and western Jordan), I bought a special hat for the trip. What is an adventure without a hat, right?

Photo below is not Indiana Jones. It’s me with my hat in Petra, Jordan.

I remember a scene in the movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, where he was trapped inside a room full of spikes and he barely escaped but he dropped his hat inside the room. Mr. Jones risked his life just to retrieved the hat.

Maybe not to that extreme that I’ll risk my life for it, but I like my hat too. Besides it’s a good and expensive hat.

However after that trip, I might have misplaced it somewhere and have been looking for it since. I checked out our luggage. It was not there. I looked in our closet. Not there either. I looked all around our house, but I cannot find it anywhere. Did I leave it in Israel?

I also lost my shoes (the one I was wearing in the photo), but it was a different story. After the trip, I don’t want to wear it again and I stored it in a box in the garage. I want to save it for posterity since it was the shoes that traveled to Jerusalem and other parts of Israel and have “walked where Jesus walked.”

Unfortunately my wife who was cleaning out our garage a couple of years ago found those old shoes, and thought that I don’t want it anymore. Since it was not being used, she thought it would be better to donate it to Goodwill (US version of Ukay-Ukay) so other people may use it. I was disheartened when I learned it, but my initial shock of sadness of losing my shoes was replaced with a feeling of comfort knowing that somebody is benefitting from it. Besides that would be more aligned to the WWJD (“what would Jesus do”) principle.

Back to my hat. Since I cannot find it, I speculated that maybe the hat was misplaced in the box where my shoes were and so it was donated to Goodwill as well, though my wife said that she did not see a hat in that box. I just wish whoever has my shoes and my hat would put it into good use.

Yet every time we were going for a trip, especially hiking trips, like when we went to Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming 2 years ago, and then to Acadia National Park in Maine last year, I again searched high and low for the hat. Maybe I did not look hard enough before or perhaps I just misplaced it somewhere somehow. But the hat was still nowhere to be found. So I accepted that it was lost forever.

Until last week. The hat reappeared!

It was in a luggage bag tucked inside the lid compartment – zipped in and hiding for the past 6 years. The funny part is that we gave away this luggage bag to my aunt from the Philippines. When they visited us some time ago, they have bought some items here in the US that would not fit anymore in their luggage. So we gave them this bag for an additional luggage for them to take home to the Philippines.

A few weeks ago, my cousin, the son of my aunt whom we gave the bag away, came to the US for a visit. He used that same luggage bag for his trip. When we were helping him pack, we opened that lid compartment, and lo and behold, my hat was there! I must have left it there all along, and my relatives did not even know that there was a hat hiding inside that bag.

My hat have travelled to Philippines and back without me. I wonder where else it had been? How dare it having adventure without me.


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