‘Who’s that girl?’ Internet hunt helps reunite British traveller with her photos

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News

Catriona Bowman, 22, was travelling through Europe last July with a friend when she discovered that she had lost her camera's memory card in an Amsterdam bar.

"We were in a bar by a canal in Amsterdam when I realized my memory card was full as I had been taking pictures all day,” Bowman, from Suffolk, England, told the Telegraph.

After returning to the bar, and searching under chair cushions in vain, Bowman assumed her holiday photos were lost forever.

Fortunately for the British backpacker, Peter van Leeuwen, creative business partner at Dutch advertising agency Etcetera, found the tiny card on a baggage belt in Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

He looked at the photos, hoping to find the owner's identifying information, and then launched a social media campaign to track down Bowman.

He created a "Who's that girl?" video montage on YouTube of the photos of Bowman and her travelling partner, Emily Fazah, then linked to the video from Facebook and Twitter.

"Help! We've found a SD-card with holiday-pics at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, which we'd love to return to its owner. Problem: we don't know who the owner is. Please help us find this girl to return the pictures of her traveling the world. Sharing is caring!" he wrote.

His campaign worked. After Dutch media reported on the story, a friend of Bowman and Fazah's recognized the photos and helped connect the young women with van Leeuwen who immediately emailed the girls the 300 lost photos.

Bowman, who is working as an assistant in a ski shop in France, told Dutch national radio:

"I am ecstatic, in shock. I was crying for days when I lost the card, but then five minutes ago Emily called. Not only the card is back now, but I am now on Dutch national radio and YouTube, I had no clue everybody was searching for me."

She added, "It is absolutely bizarre. We were convinced they had gone for ever. We are truly grateful to Peter for going to so much effort to track us down. The pictures hold so many amazing memories for us."

The women still don't know how the SD card ended up on a baggage belt.

"We don’t know how the memory card got to the airport. I had been changing it for an empty card in a bar in Amsterdam and must have left it there. We went back on more than one occasion but eventually gave up hope," said Fazhah.

"It's amazing how fast news travels on Facebook. It's really the new 'lost and found'. That's why I decided to put it on Facebook and YouTube instead of bringing the card to the lost and found-department of Schiphol Airport," van Leeuwen told the Telegraph.