Jessie Spielvogel

If we can’t understand it, we can’t care enough to save it: Making the case for travel

Exploring new cultures, new foods, and new landscapes helps breed a new level of acceptance and humility in human beings. Hearing new languages and seeing people who dress differently than what we’re used to helps remind us that there is not always a right way or wrong way to do things. Travel leads to understanding. It has the ability to break down communications barriers and preconceived notions of fear or hatred.

I try to spend many of my adventures in tropical destinations where there are large populations of sharks for me to swim with and learn to understand – the ocean is where I find that I’m able to be most at peace and stress-free. It’s also where I feel that I have the best chance of contributing to conservation efforts. It’s no secret that plenty of people are terrified of sharks, and who can blame them? Did you know that less than 1% of the world’s population has ever been scuba diving? Dr. Sylvia Earle, one of my personal heroes, once said “knowing is the key to caring, and with caring there is hope that people will be motivated to take positive actions. They might not care even if they know, but they can’t care if they are unaware.” Of course she was referring to oceans in this specific instance, but I think this quote stands true for all areas of our lives. If we don’t experience other cultures and engage with people who aren’t like us, we’ll never understand the problems of the world, and we’ll definitely never feel fired up to fix them. If we don’t experience it or see it, we can’t understand it. If we can’t understand it, we can’t care enough to save it. Read more

Preparing to hike to Everest Base Camp

Jenni Lee and I rocking our hiking boots in Arizona

If you know anything about me at all, you know I’m a water person. More specifically, I spend many of my vacation days scuba diving with beautiful sharks in warm tropical waters.

Another thing you should also know about me is that I’m extremely easy to market to!

Last October, I came across a Facebook advertisement in my feed that promoted an adventure trip to Nepal, hiking to Mount Everest’s base camp. It piqued my curiosity, so I clicked through to the link. As I started reading about this trip, I decided it looked like a lot of fun (and definitely an adventure that would be out of my comfort zone).

I signed up almost immediately. In October 2017, I’ll be venturing to Nepal with REI Adventures to explore the Himalayas!

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Do you use Fitbit?

My mom started wearing a Fitbit a few months ago. “Probably something she bought on QVC,” I thought to myself (she loves ordering gifts from them). Since she ordered two, she offered one of them to me. I had no idea what a Fitbit was a the time, so I dismissed the offer by saying, “Mom, I appreciate the thought, but I will literally never wear that. And seriously, stop shopping on QVC.”

Fast-forward a few weeks, and I see people in my office rocking black bands around their wrists. I asked one of my colleagues what it was, and she told me it was her new Fitbit. Having completely forgotten about the conversation with my mom regarding her new wrist accessory, I asked what that was. She told me it was like a fancy pedometer that also tracks your sleep patterns. I thought, “hmm, that’s cool. I want to track my sleep patterns.”

I went online to do some research about this new Fitbit trend. Upon reading user reviews and all of its capabilities, I decided I wanted to try one out. I was speaking casually with my mom on the phone one day and told her that I was looking into getting a Fitbit. “Well, well, well,” she said, “noooowww you want a Fitbit. Well it just so happens that I still have that extra one. I’ll send it to you.” And that, my friends, is when my obsession began. Read more

100 reasons why I love NYC, and why @krisving24 should move here [Part 1]


I am creating this list for the sole purpose of twisting the arm of one of my best friends in the world. This is only the first half of the list, so I’m open to your suggestions for the 2nd half. I do not want to know your reasons to *not* move to NYC… so please only contribute if you’ve got something positive to say! She needs to be here. She belongs here…she would be amazing here! So let’s keep the SVU related comments to a minimum.  Here goes!  Read more

What I learned about life and biz from my first NYC Fashion Week event


I recently made a new friend while I was working in a coffee shop, and he invited me to a Fashion Week event that he was attending. As someone new to the city, I was eager to jump on the opportunity to attend my very first real New York event – the epitome of New York events – Fashion Week.

Before arriving to the event, I tried on everything in my closet. I had no idea what to wear. I was freaking out, worried that I wouldn’t be “fashionable” enough to attend this shindig – after all, my life is lived in blue jeans and workout pants. I eventually landed on the most stylish blouse and non-ripped pair of jeans that I own, I threw some heels on my poor little feet, and I headed down the stairs of my 6-story walk up.

When I arrived at the event, my highly stylish friend Jonathan Mayberg (entrepreneur and founder of The Liquid Group, a strategic marketing and fashion event planning company based in NYC) was wearing a suit and, of course, looking snazzy as ever. I stepped out of the cab, slightly nervous, and began to walk into the elevator toward the penthouse of the Gansevoort Hotel. Read more

Buns of steel, baby – life in a 6-story walk-up

New York City

I’ve been in New York for a little over two weeks, and it’s been such a fun transition from nomadic life to city life! I’m no stranger to public transportation, so the Subway is perfectly fine… but every time I hail a cab, I giggle and think to myself, “this is so New York.”

I signed a lease in a six-story walkup with two other girls (who are awesome, might I add… Craigslist isn’t that bad)!

Day one, aka moving day, … I’m just going to admit… it hurt the buns. Day two was not much better. Day three – cue the super sore quads and wobbly calves.

Walking up 75 steps (yea, I counted), was miserable at first. Carrying groceries, luggage, shopping bags, trash, or walking in heels was surely going to kill me before I had the chance to actually explore this great city.

Two weeks later, I realize it’s not that bad. I am less winded when I get to the top of the stairs, my legs feel tighter already, and I can feel myself getting better at tackling the challenge of walking up the stairs in 3-inch heels.

I’m adapting. I’m getting used to a change, and it’s making me a stronger person because of it.

If you’re a long-time reader of this blog, you probably already know that the point of this article is not to talk to you about my buns and 3-inch-heel-woes. This article is most definitely about your business, and how every new challenge is going to help it grow and make you a stronger, more powerful, and a more educated humanoid. Read more

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