The Kind Effect
Hi! my name is Megan, and I am a world traveler from Southern California. I used to be a travel journalist for mainstream media outlets like BBC and USA Today, but I turned my storytelling skills into an acts of kindness movement and video series called the Kind Effect. I also have a travel blog called Hey Wander Woman.
Any good advice you received while developing The Kind Effect?
Absolutely. Don’t let perfection hold you back from getting started on what you feel drawn to doing. When you initiate anything new, you’ll probably be bad at it for a while, but there’s so much magic in seeing yourself improve. I had wanted to make videos about acts of kindness for a while, but I wasn’t really good at filming yet, and I didn’t have a budget to hire anyone to help me.
When I let that go and just filmed something on my phone, I realized it didn’t matter that much because people love a good story more so than the quality of what you shoot on. That video went viral, which told me that the world needs more positive and uplifting content to watch. So, I’ve kept at it and continued to get better because I believe creating a kinder world matters more so than my fears of imperfection.
What’s something that you like make time for outside of your work?
Outside of work, I’ve actually been making time for casual walks almost every day. Movement is key to my mental health, so starting or ending the day by casually meandering and listening to music without anywhere to be is something that soothes my soul. Not too long ago, I added picking flowers from the neighborhood to that routine because it gives me something to focus my attention on and become more present. I’ve been surprising strangers by handing out little bouquets.
My mom taught me floral design when I was really young, so I’d like to say I’m pretty good at wiping together a spontaneous gathering of blooms. Plus, it’s my way of doing acts of kindness outside the realm of feeling like I have to share it online because of social media. Beyond that, I am also learning to surf, working toward mastering Spanish, and regularly dancing salsa.
Any tips you have for traveling?
The richness of a place to me isn’t necessarily found in the sights (although I’ve seen some beautiful things). It’s in a country’s people. I think it’s important to engage in experiences that take you off the trodden tourist path and into the world of locals. For example, I’ve volunteered in exchange for free room and board through Workaway and always try to find ways to help others like giving free hugs in Thailand.
On a more practical note, I always pack with plastic compression bags. They save so much space and keep clothes smelling fresh if you put a dryer sheet inside. To save money on flights I’ve been loving Scott’s Cheap Flights and I’m also subscribed to airline newsletters so I can be the first to know about sales.
How do you wear/style your SUAVS?
I look for ways to be more eco-friendly when I travel, so my SUAVS are always on my packing list. When I travel I walk a lot. These shoes are so comfy I feel like I can get around town for miles without ending up with aching arches or blisters. Plus at the end of a trip they’re so easy to wash, so they continue to look new.
Here you can learn more about The Kind Effect