“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain
I am a freelance journalist, blogger, and social good advocate living in Minneapolis, Minnesota with my husband and two children. A world wanderer at heart, I have been fortunate to have visited over 45 countries and am still wandering.
I began my blog in 2010 after a life-changing trip to Nepal where I hiked the Annapurna Trek with my father. I was blessed by a 95-year old cave monk and officially received my “third eye” – a source of wisdom that opened my mind and heart to the world. My goal is to teach my children and others through my work as a writer, to live compassionately, open-minded, adventurous lives that understand different cultures and the importance of giving back.
My blog focuses on a unique niche of travel (sustainable, adventure, solo and family) combined with social good topics (poverty, global health, education, human rights, women and girls’ empowerment, food security, conservation and the environment). I strongly believe that you cannot visit a new place without learning about its culture and issues at stake which is why I combine travel, culture and social good. I also aim to be a resource for amazing gifts that give back to charity and causes around the world, and on travel organizations, non-profits, and social enterprises making a social impact.
Besides my blog, I am a member and blog coordinator at Impact Travel Alliance Media Network, an alliance of journalists, content creators and social media influencers around the world who are passionate about sustainable tourism. I have worked as a United Nations Foundation Social Good Fellow, an International Reporting Project New Media Fellow, and as part of ONE.org and Impact Travel Alliance.
My work has taken me to many amazing destinations. Highlights of my work include:
- Chosen by Vestergaard to participate and report on efforts to provide safe drinking water to schools in rural Kenya by delivering and instructing the community on how to use LifeStraw water purification units.
- Selected by the International Reporting Project at Johns Hopkins University to be one of nine Reporting Fellows traveling across Ethiopia to document the inspiring work being done by nonprofits, businesses and governmental agencies to improve the lives of women and children.
- Served as a United Nations Foundation Shot@Life Ambassador using social media to advocate and raise funds for increased availability of vaccines in developing countries.
- Partnered with Macy’s Heart of Haiti program, visiting Haitian artisans to share their stories of resilience, opportunity and hope as they rebuild their lives following the earthquake.
- Summited Mount Kilimanjaro as an embedded reporter in a fundraising campaign for Solar Sister, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of rural Africans by bringing solar electricity to Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Participated and reported on the efforts of Chicabrava, a week-long surf camp designed to empower sex-trafficking victims in Nicaragua.
- Recognized as a top Twitter influencer at the prestigious White House Summit for Study Abroad and Global Citizenship co-sponsored by Hostelling International USA and Partners of the Americas.
- Follow the Liters Campaign in Kenya with LifeStraw. In February 2018, I covered the Follow the Liters Campaign in Kenya with LifeStraw. By the end of the campaign, we reached the one millionth child to received safe drinking water in school.
- Haiti Sustainable Tourism trip. In May 2017, I covered a culture and adventure tourism trip to Haiti with Natalie Tancrede of Explore with Nat.
- Ethiopia: New Media Journalist Fellow – International Reporting Project Ethiopia. In June 2014, I was a New Media Journalist Fellow on a two week trip to Ethiopia with The International Reporting Project (IRP), an organization that focused on providing journalists with the opportunity to report internationally on issues not traditionally covered in mainstream media. During the trip, I focused on Ethiopia’s efforts to prevent newborn deaths, as well as provide an overview of maternal and child health, immunizations, nutrition, communicable diseases, and health care provision, among other topics.
- Haiti: Blogging fellow (#Bloggers4Haiti) to Haiti with Macy’s Heart of Haiti In February 2015, I went to Haiti with a small group of bloggers to learn about Macy’s Heart of Haiti program and how they are empowering Haitians through the arts.
- Nicaragua: Press Trip to review Chicabrava -All Women’s Surf camp in San Juan del Sur Nicaragua. In 2016, I spent a week in Nicaragua at Chicabrava to experience and review their women’s surf camp.
- India: Mom Bloggers for Social Good Trip – Reporting trip to India to cover global health issues. May 2014.
- Tanzania: Volunteer media trip with Solar Sister to climb Kilimanjaro. In July 2015, I joined a team of Solar Sister employees to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in honor of Solar Sister’s 5-year anniversary. We also climbed to create awareness of the energy poverty in Africa and raise funds to train new Solar Sister Entrepreneurs.
Social Good Work
I strongly believe in the power of a voice to make change and do social good. Therefore, I have began advocating for a number of non-profit organizations to help people around the world. I am have worked and advocated for advocating for the following non-profit organizations: Save the Children, WaterAid, UNICEF, Doctors without Borders, Solar Sister, the United Nations Foundation, Too Young to Wed and the ONE Campaign to write about such topics as maternal and newborn health, global health, food security, sustainable energy, girls and women’s rights, education, and humanitarian issues.
As a thirdeyemom, I am passionate about giving back and do so through international volunteerism. Here are links to a few of the volunteer experiences abroad I’ve had over the last few years.
La Ceiba, Honduras – January 2013. I spent a week in La Ceiba, Honduras staying with a wonderful Honduran host family, studying Spanish and volunteering with children at a day care center for single mothers. It was a fascinating experience.
Xela, Guatemala – April 2012. I studied intensive Spanish at Casa Xelaju (a Spanish Language School in Quetzaltenango) and volunteered at La Pedrera, an after-school program for underprivileged children.
Rabat, Morocco – April 2011. I spent a week volunteering with Cross-Cultural Solutions at a women’s language school.
Cartago, Costa Rica – April 2010. I spent a week volunteering with Cross-Cultural Solutions at a nursing home.
Work with Me
Want help telling your story in a compelling way? I offer a variety of freelance writing and content creation services for nonprofits, social enterprises and small to medium-sized companies. To view my freelance services, please visit my website at www.nicolemelancon.com
I am also available to use my own audience on Third Eye Mom (website, blog and social media) for sponsored posts, campaigns and product/service reviews. If interested please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your pitch. Please note that your product/service/brand must be a fit with my niche – sustainable/adventure travel and/or social good to be considered. Also, I do not write about destinations that I have not personally visited unless it is an interview and I do not write book reviews for free. Thank you!
Awards, recognition and other publications where my work has appeared
Impact Travel Alliance
An alliance of journalists, content creators and social media influencers around the world, Travel+SocialGood’s Media Network is a collective passionate about sustainable tourism in order to promote awareness and positive change within the industry. We believe that the power of the pen and authentic storytelling are far reaching in their scope to both humanize and bring attention to communities around the world whose narratives are often left out of the mainstream media. Member of the Media Network and my posts on sustainable travel regularly appear on the blog.
Listed in Nomad Revalations, “Top 100 Online Travel Magazines, Journalism and New Websites to Follow in 2019”.
Travindy: A responsible tourism website
Epicure & Culture: Food, Wine and Culture for the Ethical Traveler
The Holiday Lettings Blog from TripAdvisor
Contributor to the ROL Cruise piece ‘Top 10 cruise destinations 2018’ featuring New Zealand.
FlipKey by TripAdvisor
Host and Curator of the Daily Post on WordPress: Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity. To view piece, click here.
Series on ONE.org
Babycenter: Mission Motherhood
ONE Women and Girls
Save the Children: Healthy Newborn Network
United Nations Foundation: Shot@Life Blogust contributor
Mamalode.com: Starter Series
Regular contributor on the following sites:
Click on links to see my work on these sites below.
Other sites where I have posted work:
International Reporting Project Ethiopia Fellow – June 2014
United Nations Foundation Social Good Fellow – Fall 2014
National Geographic Kids Insider – 2013