I'm a Midwestern gal, but a world wanderer at heart. I have been fortunate to have visited over 30 countries by either traveling, working, studying or volunteering. I've lived in Paris and Marseille while attending the University of Sorbonne and working as an intern with a French company.

My dream is to teach my children to live compassionate, open-minded lives that understand different cultures and the importance of giving back to those in need. I believe strongly in the value of making a difference in the world, no matter how small it may be.

I also believe strongly in viewing the world and other cultures with a "third eye" - meaning with an open heart and mind, seeking understanding of the world.

Here is a short list of books I've read during my travels. Each impacted my perspective on culture.

The Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne Seierstad

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

Brick Lane by Monica Ali

China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power by Sheryl WuDunn and Nicolas D. Kristof

My Life in France by Julia Child

Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood by Fatima Mernissi
Beyond the Veil by Fatima Mernissi

Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin

Sierra Leone
The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna

Keeping Hope Alive: One Woman: 90,000 Lives Changed by Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Hawa Abdi with Sarah J. Robbins

Nicole Melancon lives in Minneapolis and is a member of Mom Bloggers for Social Good and the Global Team, a group of 200 women bloggers destined to change the world through their voices, spreading awareness on issues such as global health; access to safe drinking water and sanitation; food security, and education in the developing world. She is an editor of Human Rights and Social Good at World Moms Blog. thirdeyemom.com