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A Million Ways to a Happier World

23 May

TOURISTS: Carlos Perez, Sunnie Tolle, Mario Chamorro

Hola Familia! I am honored to introduce you with a new initiative that was recently launched. Our mission remains the same: to Spread Happiness. Please stay tuned, and help spread the word!

“A Million Ways to a Happier World” is a digital project to gather and spread 1 Million ideas to make the world a happier place. The main objective is to ask 1’000’000 people from around the world a simple question: What would you do to make this world a happier place? The answers will be compiled in a free e-book which will serve as a powerful record of human happiness and as a tool for companies, governments and leaders to promote happiness among their own communities.

To realize this project, the founders launched a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter to build a web platform, produce the e-book and print 600 physical books which will be distributed for free to public schools. The campaign runs till June 26th, 2012.

A Million Ways to a Happier World is the brainchild of Mario Chamorro, Sunnie Tölle and Agency Heart. Mario is the founder of several initiatives to spread happiness. Sunnie is a student at Yale University where she founded The HappyHap Project, a student organization that undertakes creative initiatives to promote a more optimistic campus. Agency Heart is a recently formed digital advertising agency in New York that believes in the interdependence of business and social good.

TOURIST TIP: to help fund the project, please visit their Kickstarter page HERE.

Follow A Million Ways to a Happier World on Facebook and Twitter.


19 Mar

TOURIST: Mario Chamorro

A few months ago my friend Dan Paluska and I were kindly invited by Manon Slome to be part of her wonderful art project called: No Longer Empty. Little did I know about the challenge that I was going ahead of us, but decided to use my Tourist Attitude to embrace this experience as a new adventure, and immediately started working hard on creating a remarkable exhibit. As of today, we are still working on some final details, but we are in a good shape to launch our “Happy Room”. During the month of April we will be visiting several places in the Bronx to collect messages of happiness that will be used as part of the exhibit. Stay tuned! (for more information about this exhibit, you can click here.)

Tourist Tip: challenge yourself to create some art on a community project. Everybody has the potential to become an artist, everybody has the gift, and it’s time to share it with the world.

Lifecycle Manifesto

21 Dec

TOURIST: Mario Chamorro

This afternoon I got this video from Sunnie Tölle who is the founder of the Happy Hap Project. The Holstee Manifesto is a truly master piece that inspire us to stop for a second and think in what is really important in life.

Tourist Tip: Happy biking day!

Simply Beautiful

16 Dec

TOURIST: Mario Chamorro

I saw this video few weeks ago at TEDxCambridge and totally felt in love with it. I’m definitely going to include skydiving in my New Years resolutions for 2012.

Tourist Tip: Skydive like a fly!

7 WOW days challenge

15 Dec

TOURIST: Mario Chamorro

Ten days ago I decided to use my Tourist state of mind to accomplish a simple but meaningful task: to surprise one stranger per day with something awesome. As of now, I’ve carried heavy boxes for a maintenance Mexican lady in the street, have bought ice cream for somebody that said “I wish I had an ice cream”; gave my subway card to a Lebanese guy who was in a hurry, among others.

Our famous friend Gregorio Uribe (who just released his new album) gets on board with TA and records above’s video for us! Thank you Gregorio, we love you man!

Tourist Tip: take the 7WDC. There is nothing lo loss and awesome adventures ahead!

I totally encourage to check our Gregorio’s new album that was launched today. It’s simply AMAZING! You can find it here.

Sky Crapper?

6 Dec

TOURIST: Mario Chamorro

Have you ever felt ashamed to speak a foreign language while you’re learning it? I have made tons of funny mistakes while learning English. For instance, once I said: “sky crapper” instead of “skyscraper” in front of 3.000 people during my graduation speech in NYC. A good friend of mine one day said to his classmates very loudly,: “bye gays” instead of saying: “bye guys, ” while he was leaving the classroom.

This story started on a random cafeteria in Jamaica Plain, where I ended up participating in an English & Spanish free class with a dancer from Maine, a crazy Colombian writer, a pilot from New Hampshire, and an old lady from the Dominican Republic. I shared my tourist attitude theory with them and ended up learning that TA could be used to master any language.

Most of the time, especially when learning a new skill (such as a new language) we are afraid to practice it in public because it’s not perfect and we are afraid of committing mistakes. Well, the only way to master any skill is precisely by practicing and by making mistakes. Your TA state of mind might help you to avoid those “fears” and hopefully you master a new awesome language. There is no magic on it, just try it!

TOURIST TIP: pick any language that you speak a little bit and try to have a 10 minute conversation with a stranger who’s a native speaker of that particular language.

You can also start learning the alphabet in Spanish with my good friend Basho (above’s video) who’s also another full-time tourist that uses his passion to teach foreign languages to kids.

Is happiness contagious?

3 Mar

TOURIST: Mario Chamorro

Today I’d like to share a video of a social experiment called “The Happy Post Project.” My friends and I are collecting 25,000 Post-Its from around the world. Each Post-It is an expression of what makes people happy, whether it’s a word or two or a little drawing. Through the collaboration of our team, we’ve been able to reach over 10 cities around the world in less than 3 months. We believe happiness is contagious and we’re determined to spread it!

This Friday we’ll be presenting our first art exhibition at the Open Studios at SOWA. This event is happening due to the help and contributions of the artist Marian Dioguardi, one of our full-time tourists who spreads happiness through her inspiring paintings. We met during one of her exhibitions and discussed Tourist Attitude theory and since then, we’ve been sharing our ideas about how to make this world happier.

TOURIST TIP: If you’re in the Boston area, please come and participate this Friday, March 4th, 2011. Just put a few words or a drawing on a Post-It of whatever makes you happy. Everyone can be a part of this worldwide phenomenon. Post-It notes, markers, and a great evening that’ll make you smile are all waiting for you. For more information about the exhibition, click here

Skiing: the Present

17 Feb

TOURIST: Mario Chamorro

When we visit a new place, we experience a heightened awareness of our present. We gaze at the beautiful view in the foreign country, listen to a language other than our own and perhaps try to say a few new words. We smell the exotic food, and maybe sit down at a restaurant to taste something extraordinarily different and new. As tourists, we live in the moment. We forget about the past and the present and live intensely in the now.

In a way, being a tourist is not that different from being a first time skier zooming down a slope, totally aware of every moment. You need to be fully engaged with all five senses while skiing if you want to enjoy it. It also helps you avoid running into trees or slipping in the snow, like I did many times while learning. This January, I had the opportunity to join an MIT ski trip to Sunday River, Maine. With the help of friends, I used my tourist attitude.

I had a great time the first two days skiing, but by the morning of the third day I was beat up. I wanted to avoid skiing. I was sick of falling in the snow every 10 minutes. The temperature was minus 25 degrees (I learned that at a certain point the negative point of Celsius and Fahrenheit are the same), and my laziness levels were off the charts. Fortunately, the friends who invited me persuaded me to go skiing with them instead of staying in my room and arguing with myself. They helped me live in the moment.

That day, Carolina (also part of the TA crew) and Arturo (doing the intro in the video above) encouraged me to take a class to improve my skills. At first, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea, I felt that I had learned enough by falling so much, but in the end I accepted the challenge. It was a great decision. I met a fabulous instructor who cheered me up and made me think about the importance of being grateful. I was having fun skiing again and it was because this instructor showed me a few ways to be a better skier and encouraged me. Her name is Michelle, and she’s very passionate about her job. Her energy that day was extremely contagious. She’s been teaching at Sunday River for ten years and she still sees every day on the mountain as a new adventure, every day a tourist moment. Like she says, “If you love what you do, every moment is different.”

TOURIST TIP: Appreciate and enjoy every season of the year. Don’t allow the cold winter to bring you down, and if you have the opportunity to ski, do it!

There is something good and motherly about Washington, the grand old benevolent National Asylum for the helpless

6 Dec

TOURIST: Mario Chamorro

“When you are a tourist, you are more aware of what is happening around you,” said a British guy that I interviewed in the above video. Sometimes when we visit a city many times, we automatically stop paying attention to the little magical details that are around us. For instance, I had the opportunity to be in DC many times in the past, and every time that I would go back I would take for granted the fact that I was there and would therefore not fully enjoy the city as I should.

This time, I decided to activate my tourist state of mind and started exploring the city as if it was the first time that I was there. I went to visit the Lincoln Memorial and the Holocaust Museum, among others. At the end of my journey I had a fantastic experience by being aware of the birds, the people, the trees, and the small general details that make our lives better.

Tourist Tip: Every time that you visit a city more than once, don’t lose the opportunity to allow yourself to be surprised by whatever the city has to offer. Remember the beginner’s mind!

If you love chocolate, beer and fries, Brussels is definitely a great place to visit.

27 Nov

TOURIST: Mario Chamorro

TA - Brussels

TA - Brussels

I met Rebeca, Pierre, and Antoine in a train station in Brussels. It was my first time in the city and I didn’t have any idea about where to go, where to stay and so forth. Thanks to them, I found a $10 hostel, I got to learn a lot about the city and ended up joined an amazing party with fantastic people that participated in the above video.

I didn’t get to see the Mannenken Pis, but I had a great time meeting locals, tasting more than 15 different beers, and having an enormous pack of Belgium fries on our way back to the hostel.

TOURIST TIP: grab your backpack and go to a city that you haven’t been before without a plan. Use your Tourist Attitude and have fun!