Tag Archives: surprise

Best way to celebrate a birthday

You probably already know Lucas Jatobá, the guy who spread colorful balloons around Barcelona. In this post I had described it as the perfect way to say goodbye! Well, the good thing about amazing people is that they never stop being amazing. And now Lucas surprises us once more by showing what is the best way to celebrate a birthday: yes, it has to do with gifts, but in this case, to other people besides you!

30 gifts to 30 strangers in Sydney from Lucas Jatoba on Vimeo.

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What: Leave objects in places they might be useful
Why: Add positive surprise to people’s routine
How: See what a place might need and leave it there
When: September, 2010
Where: Everywhere

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Suprise in France

Meanwhile… in Nantes, France, Priscila also wanted to make her contribution to a kinder world. She left a public transportation ticket at a bus stop, with the same note, but in french! How glamorous!

She also told me that when she came back, the ticket was gone, but there wasn’t any “Thank You” left, and that made her a bit sad. I totally know what she means, but I wouldn’t worry too much if I were Priscila. I recently read about a research that Alice Isen, a psychologist from Cornell University, developed. She wanted to measure how people react after being exposed to positive surprises. So she left some dimes in pay phones and after people hang up, another person would be passing by and dropped a stack of paper. Those people who found the phone with extra money were much more inclined in helping the others than those who didn’t have gained anything.

So, maybe this person didn’t directly thank her, but probably did something nice to someone else at another part of her day. And so the story goes, and Priscila is the one to blame! : )

Merci Beaucoup, Priscilinha!

Red Balloons in Rio

Luiza is very enthusiastic about the interventions. For the Ultimate Intervention Day she found a way to carry an helium gallon around Rio and spread fifteen big red balloons with nice notes:

This is for you, Even Though I don’t know you. Let’s spread kindness!

I don’t know about the people who received these balloons, but I feel happier just by looking at these photos. It’s so bright and colorful! My favorite is the one with the balloons and the statue of the Christ in the back, makes me miss home!

Maybe I should do something with the Statue of Liberty! hum….

Message for you, in Germany

When they say friendship is forever, is because it’s true. Danilo and I are friends since high-school, but since we both like to travel a lot, it’s been more than four years that we’re not living in the same country. He went to Spain, I went to Italy, he went to France, I came to New York, and now he is doing his masters in Oldenburg, Germany.

But even tough we have not been so currently present in each others life, the moment I sent him an e-mail asking if he could help me, he not only accepted, but invited other friends and they together did this awesome intervention and spread these nice notes around their neighborhood. I couldn’t stop smiling! It’s so cute!

So, now I’ll let him explain to you what they’re doing! Enjoy!


Danilolow!!! muito, muito obrigada!!! : )

Golden Eggs in Boston

Sandra McGinnis lives in Boston and besides being a photographer/ videographer, she is also a very big enthusiastic about kindness. A couple of years ago she hiked up to the top of a mountain in New Hampshire with six gallons of ice cream and handed out scoops to fellow tourists. Is there anything better than an ice cream when you’re sweaty? I don’t think so…

But then it came the time for an Ultimate Intervention and she surprises us again! She only had one goal: kill Bostonians with kindness! And to achieve that, she decided to distribute golden eggs around town with small tokens in them and links to the website in hope that they will be found, spread joy, and point someone else in the direction of our good cause.

Golden Eggs in Boston

Thank you so much, Sandi! I bet you brought some smiles today!

A Toy Drop

People usually love (good) surprises, right? From finding some money on our pockets to finding out that that boring meeting was canceled, it’s impressive how small things can make us suddenly happy.

And there are other small things that can make small people happy too. And I’m talking about toys and kids. In 2008, in Australia, a toy crafter has started what she calls “a Toy drop”, she leaves on the street a toy waiting for a kid to take it home. And since then, the project has reached different countries and counts on many other crafters to spread joys on the streets around the world.

To find out more about the project, and have a nice surprise, visit The Toy Society.

Books and Coffee Shops

So, Luiza Trigo is now the official representative of IsAWonderfulWorld in Rio! Today she took one of the parts of my Surprise! intervention to the next level: she spread many books in Coffee Shops because a good reading can make anything more tasty.

I don’t know about you, but usually when I don’t have any book with me, I always take my coffee to go. On the other hand, if I have my paper friend by my side, I can stay there as long as the coffee, the pages or even the owner’s patience lasts.

Maybe I shouldn’t spend so much time with fictions, but I do like novels, the good ones, you know? Those that allow you to enter in someone’s personality and understand the world through a different point of view…

Photos by Luiza Trigo, from Casinha das Bonecas.

By the way, does anyone has a good reading recommendation? I just finished reading The Post-Birthday World and now I’m watching more tv series than I should...

Best way to say goodbye

I usually say that there’s no good way to say goodbye. We may try to find the right words, do the right thing, and in the end, at least one of the sides is going to feel sad about it. And I would probably still affirm that for the rest of my life if I hadn’t see this:


This guy had to say goodbye to Barcelona after three years living there and, to celebrate it and thank for the good times, he spread several balloons around the city with tickets for different plays.

I loved the letter and the visuals. I had always felt that nothing could be added to Barcelona’s landscape to make it even more beautiful, and once again I was wrong. Colorful balloons complimented it really well.

Now I’m starting this internal  battle to find a way to overcome myself and create something to celebrate my two years here in NY. Big Apple, I promise, I won’t let you down! : )

The Gift Economy in Practice

In order to develop my projects, I’ve been researching a lot about “The Gift Theory“. Apparently, there are some societies where the big part of the economy is based on spontaneous exchange of goods and services which are performed without any specific reward in mind. But, since it’s part of the culture, those gifts are always circulating. Is that old story of what goes around comes around, but within specific cases.

The interesting part of it is that, if you receive a gift, you’re supposed to spend it, because in case you use it to generate profits, you’re ruining the chain. The same way that if you return a favor directly to the person who gave it to you, you’re not creating a chain either. The idea is always to expand the gifts the most you can.

So, this whole introduction was to describe a particular situation that happened to me and made me very happy: every week I go to Le Pain Quotidien to have lunch. In fact, I go so much that the waiters already know by heart what I want (I don’t vary either). Last time, however, I skipped my favorite part: the mini brownie for dessert, because I was starting another diet that I wouldn’t follow.

When I was already paying the bill, the waitress left a mini-brownie on my table and said: – This is for you! She completely made my day! And it made me think that maybe my chocolates for help/ free coffee are returning to me, but in a much better way! Isn’t it wonderful? Time to think for the next intervention, then…