Cameras,  Life,  My Story,  Philosophy

When you lose your bag in Amsterdam

Some of you probably saw my vlog two weeks ago (hint: it’s this one)

Then radio silence:

And now, I’m back!

With interesting stories to share.

The biggest one being that, on my way from the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam into Amsterdam Centraal (the main train station) I left my day bag (sorry Jesse!)(not featured in the video as I added it later) on the train. I had taken it off and set it on a luggage rack while having to stand on a fully packed train.

At the station, I was in such a rush to get off before the doors closed that I somehow forgot it.

And didn’t realize until I was crossing streets into the downtown.

My husband and I rushed back – sadly knowing the train would already be gone worse, we didn’t even know which platform it was at. We went to lost-and-found, filled out a report, and checked back there and at Schiphol as often as we could.

Then?

Despite my equipment looking like this:

I never did get it back.

Guess I should have put something other than my phone number on my equipment – because, go figure, the number does not work when you lose something in a different country.

That, or someone really needed a wide angle lens and a nice 50mm portrait lens.

Thankfully I did not leave any money in that bag, nor passport, nor credit cards or anything that would have been a real struggle for me to get back.

Just 2 camera lenses, an iPhone charger cord, notebook (sorry Ryan!), my first aid kit, camera battery and external battery. (Oh, and a half eaten meringue. But I didn’t sweat that, and honestly was glad to be rid of it. How in the heck are we supposed to eat that much sugar?)

So what do you do when you lose a bag in Amsterdam?

While it stinks to not be able to use your wide angle while in Bruges, the key after losing your bag in Amsterdam is not let it ruin the vacation. You figure out how to replace or live without what you’ve lost, and you move forward.

Truly, this goes for any vacation and any situation in life. Unsavory things are going to happen. You’ll lose something, something is stolen, you won’t recieve the promotion, the dog dies (please not this one!), someone yells at you, you get sick, a deal falls through, your equipment breaks… and it sucks. It really does.

But that is one small piece of this whole big adventure of life. The way you handle your bad situation and the lessons you find from it, as well as the stories you are now able to share, usually end up making the whole situation worthwhile. Not in the way that we would actually CHOOSE to suffer, but the suffering leads to breakthroughs in thoughts and beliefs that might have had a hard time happening without a catalyst.

That night, I laid awake in bed, and I envisioned myself years from now, on a stage, speaking to a packed audience.  I related to them my experience. I spoke to my audience as if the situation had passed long ago, and as if I had learned valuable lessons from it. I talked to them of how, yes, that set me back financially but that it was okay, because it prompted me to upgrade my equipment. And work harder to get the money back. It was okay, because now I could use that story to share with them. It was okay, because my losses could have been worse. It was okay, because I was with my husband, both of us were in good health and we were in FREAKING EUROPE. How can such a thing NOT be okay?

I told my audience, as I am now telling you, that any moment, we have so many, SO SO MANY, things to be grateful for. The delicious sandwich on fresh bread. The sun shining through a chill morning. How great we feel in our new outfit. Our family loves us. Our homes are filled with posessions we adore. The fact that we have a home AND it has plumbing, heating and electricity. We are breathing right now. Our dogs are alive. Our computers work well. That computers EXIST. That we live in the 21st century where it’s possible to do meaningful work from almost anywhere. Internet, dare me. Dare me to go on. Because as an assignment, I made a list of 1,001 things I was grateful for and could have kept going.

What is losing 2 camera lenses (etc) compared to that?

Nothing.

Money and stuff can be regained.

The memories we COULD HAVE MADE cannot be.

 

It sucked. When I kept checking back and there was nothing, when I checked my email and there was nothing, when I went to use something then realized it had been in that bag, there was pain. Mostly pain at my own stupidity. Oh how it would have been nice to go back in time and put that dang bag on my shoulder. There was some pain too, that someone decided to keep that bag instead of returning it.

So I spoke to my future audience, and I spoke to my current self, late that night.

Then.

My husband and I went on to make crazy awesome memories on our 1 year/honeymoon vacation.

 

Having just gotten back, I’ve ordered new equipment (super excited for!) and plan to share it with you on Saturday’s vlog.

 

Nothing has changed, truly changed, except my perspective. I became even MORE grateful for our ability to travel and in the fact that me OWNING those lenses period was a blessing. Plus, I had been using those lenses to do work that I loved. How lucky to be doing work you love.

I hope that, in a similar situation, when you lose your bag, you can find the silver lining in your experience and figure out a way to turn it around.

 

To knowing what’s in focus,

 

Katie

 

 

 

 

 

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