From the moment I met Sean I realized he was also a budding warrior for good. Having grown up in Pahoa, Hawaii, as the eldest in a family of ten with two blind parents, and having served in the Air Force with commendations, he had a unique ability to see the world through a compassionate lens and lead by example. He had also founded three successful businesses by the time he was 25. Like me, he had an entrepreneurial passion that informed the way he lead his life.
After beginning my career as an earth science teacher at UCSD’s Preuss School, I transitioned into a decade-long journey directing a variety of popular publications, from start-ups like 944 Magazine, to established national industry leaders. We later co-founded the brand development group Publicly Loved and I began writing for global travel magazines and travel associations on hospitality trends, sustainability, animal welfare, and social impact – issues I deeply care about – for Fast Company, CBS Los Angeles, Boutique Lodging Assocation (BLLA), and a variety of other publications. These experiences along with being an animal rights activist and volunteer had me longing to be an even bigger champion for good.
We dreamed that instead of creating marketing campaigns we would create movements, the kind with the power to make the world a better place. After a trip to Belize together in 2012, that dream started to take shape. As our tour bus wound its way through the back roads of rural villages, we witnessed heartbreaking poverty, families living in tiny shacks near polluted swamps and emaciated dogs wandering the streets for food. The bus had never been so quiet. How could we get excited about visiting the Mayan ruins nearby and ignore the devastation around us?
WE MADE A CHOICE TO HELP.
When the bus stopped as a last chance to grab snacks or water before the hike, rib-protruding dogs approached us, begging for food with eyes of despair. We simply decided to buy food to feed the dogs. Unintentionally, this action inspired other tourists to do the same thing. Rather than do nothing and live with the sadness of the situation, people took action and suddenly the moment went from somber to joyful – just by doing something. The other travelers wanted to help… they just needed a catalyst. Last year alone, more than 1 billion trips were taken. That's 1 billion opportunities for travelers to become a force for good.
This experience led us to brainstorm how we could use our entrepreneurial skills and passion for travel to help more animals and people, too.
WHAT IF WE COULD CREATE A WAY THAT TRAVELERS COULD EASILY MAKE A DIFFERENCE EVERY TIME THEY TRAVELED?
Our answer to that question was simple, yet revolutionary: KindTraveler.com
Kind Traveler is the first digital 'Give + Get' hotel booking platform to reward travelers for making donations to local and global charities with exclusive rates on today’s greatest hotels and unique properties. Their other reward is that they become a warrior for good.
We hope you will, too.