Jessie Spielvogel

Handling a setback, and making lemonade…or something like that

When I made it to my apartment in Ecuador after three flights, one hotel, and a few taxi rides, I arrived with both of my backpacks, and all of their respective belongings. I’m lying. My Canon 30D camera was stolen out of a bag inside of a bag … inside of another bag.


I couldn’t even be angry – the amount of effort and strategic sneakiness it took to steal my camera in this manner is just flat out impressive. Okay, I’m lying again. I am indeed a little bit upset about it, but I can only hope that whoever stole it needed it more than I did.

So how did I get over the fact that on the very first day of my new life in Ecuador, I had something like this happen?

For one, I looked out my window, saw the ocean, smiled, and instantly became happy again. Two, I had purchased traveler’s insurance just three days prior to the mishap, and the cost of both my camera and my lens will be fully covered under the plan I chose!

*I paid the nice fellows over at World Nomads $183 for basic traveler’s insurance, and the cost of my camera and lens was approximately $1000 all together. I’d say purchasing insurance was a smart choice*

Aside from the insurance and the sunny weather and beach outside my window, I weighed my options: I could either let this little setback ruin the start of this highly anticipated chapter in my life, call it a bad omen, and turn around to go back to my comfortable world, OR I could say, “Meh. Sh*t happens,” and move on with my life.

Clearly I chose the latter.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right?!

So what can we learn from this guy? (Heads up – he drops an F bomb twice…NSFW)

The choice is yours to decide how you handle unfortunate events. We always have a choice when it comes to our attitude, and I find it much more beneficial to not sweat the small stuff.

I had a camera stolen from me. Not the end of the world. Sure, it was a pricey item and it broke my heart to know that some people could be that messed up in the head to steal from another person, but at the end of the day, it’s just a camera.

For the gen-y-ers out there, maybe you’ve recently lost your job, or maybe you can’t seem to find your first job. Well, this economy is weaksauce right now. Jobs are hard to come by, and even super small companies get hundreds (if not thousands) of resume submissions for just one position. Don’t sit around a mope about it! Pick yourself up, and hit the job searching sites. Go meet people, get off your couch and out of your sweatpants and make good things happen for yourself! Go to a gym, go to a happy hour, go wherever you feel like you can meet and connect with people. Make a website (some people say that personal websites are the new resumes). We make our own luck, and very rarely will a job and money fall into our laps – you need to make it happen on your own, and it might not be easy.

Maybe you’ve gone through a recent breakup. It stings. It sucks. And it either makes you really fat or really skinny. It’s an emotionally painful setback, but it’s better to find these things out about your ex-significant other sooner than later. He or she sucked anyways, and you’re better than them. Or maybe they are actually really nice people, and it just wasn’t working out – I don’t know your situation. But you see where I’m going with this? Get off the couch, put down the ice cream, and go outside. Go for a run, release some endorphins, and put a smile on your face! Okay, fine – breakups are really no fun at all. I’ll give you two days to sit on your couch. But after those two days, cut it out, eat something healthy, and go exercise.

The fact of the matter is, life happens. The good times come and the good times go. The bad times come and the bad times go.

Right now, I’m in a good place. I have a beautiful home in Manta, Ecuador, I have an amazing support system of family and friends, and I am working every single day to try to build a social media business on my own… and I’m getting a really baller tan at the same time (yes, Mom, I’m wearing sunscreen)!

So today is great. Tomorrow may bring another setback. It may be minor, or it may be colossal, but either way, life happens. And we all need to TRY to be as prepared as possible to handle whatever comes our way.

What are some steps that you take to handle a setback?

(I eat. Don’t judge me).

Some methods I find helpful for taking my mind off of the bad days are:

  1. Doing yoga and meditating
  2. Exercising
  3. Listening to loud music and singing at the top of your lungs (it can even be a sad song. I don’t care. Just sing).
  4. Catch up with an old friend.
  5. Write about it. Seriously! Keep a journal. Or, if you’re worried about someone finding it, then write it out, and then burn it. Problem solved.
  6. Bake.
  7. Watch this clip from 1999.

I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week, and remember to keep on keepin’ on!

When life gives you lemons…


Oh! Check out my resources page to see what I’m using as basic necessities for my trip, and how you can create a simple WordPress site like mine to get started blogging about the things you love! If you have any questions, I’m happy to help.


4 thoughts on “Handling a setback, and making lemonade…or something like that

  1. When life gives you free lemons, keep them, because hey, free lemons.

    Seriously though, good advice. It was just a camera. That you had insurance on. Nothing is as big of a deal as we think it is.

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