Producing, Travel

48 hours in LA: a stolen backpack and a grateful heart

48 hours in LA: a stolen backpack and a grateful heart

This past August, I found myself on a plane to Los Angeles – one of my absolute favourite places to travel. I’ve been lucky enough to visit for both work and pleasure including group and solo trips. 

A view of Santa Monica beach. A group of palm trees fill the foreground and the ferris wheel peeks through in the background.

This time though I was headed to the warm, bustling city on my own for a work trip – a first for me. Having been before, I felt confident getting around. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the most packed and wild 48 hours I’ve ever experienced (I know, dramatic, but I felt what I felt).

The reason for this trip? Filming a vignette for one of our upcoming WE Day events in New York. I was flying down to represent both WE and our co-title sponsor we were filming for, in addition to acting as client to our video team Granfalloon Productions (who were absolutely wonderful, by the way. Hit them up if you’re looking for video work in LA). You can read more about this project here!

Anyways, on to the exciting stuff! 

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GETTING OVER A FEAR USUALLY MEANS FACING IT HEAD ON

It's usually when you're doing something outside of your comfort zone that you grow and learn the most.

I’m going to get a little vulnerable here. While I’ve been producing content for a few years now, I’ve never been out on location by myself to film. Imposter syndrome is real, y’all. Leading up to this trip all I could think about was “am I qualified?” “will I know what to do?” and the classic – “what if I fail?“.

The creeping social anxiety had my stomach in knots. Especially meeting our video crew AND video talent for the first time. But like the heading suggests, I faced this head on while repeating my simple (yet effective) mantra: “I’ve got this.” 

Now being on the other side of this filming experience, I can say that this was needed to help grow my confidence and the knowledge that I AM capable. While it was hard and I struggled at times, I did it. I learned so much, made great connections, and most important of all we created something beautiful.

GRATITUDE IS THE BEST ATTITUDE

I decided to spend what little time left I had at the beach. It was the morning of my travel day and I stopped by Great White in Venice for breakfast before walking down to the beach. 

About an hour or so later I get back to my car and my stomach dropped. I see that the front window has been smashed and my backpack (that was on the floor) taken. Now, I know what you’re thinking, why did I leave my backpack inside the car? Hindsight. I was naive in thinking that it was early enough, light enough, for anything to happen. I’ve learned my lesson.

Here’s a few extra things I learned:

Humanity isn’t a lost cause. There’s a lot of horrible things happening in the world, but when you least expect it sometimes complete strangers will be there for you. The couple that witnessed the break-in not only waited for me to get back, they waited with me until the police arrived (at least 45 mins to an hour later).  A kind person came down from their apartment to wait as well. I couldn’t be more grateful for these three humans and I regret not getting their names. 

Material items can be replaced. The most comforting thing the three witnesses reminded me was that I was safe. They may have stole my belongings (incl. laptop, keys, toiletries, etc.) but I was not hurt physically. 

Always carry your passport with you. Thankfully, I had that in my wallet which I DID bring to the beach. All things aside, I was lucky enough to fly home that day as scheduled.

A growth mindset goes a long way. All in all, I got to experience new things and grow in ways I wasn’t sure I was ready for. There’s countless instances on this trip where things didn’t go as planned, but I have the power to decide which lens I choose to view this experience through. 

The big takeaway here is that despite the circumstances, there is always something to be grateful for… you just need to find it.