Our Mission is to make it easier to live well and do good.

Sign up to receive Emails with advice about how to live more deliberately in your daily life.

 

 

 

 

Name *
Name

101 Broadway, Suite 301
Oakland, CA 94607
USA

deliberateLIFE engages today's globally-conscious citizen in building a better tomorrow. We believe choices matter – so we vet ideas, products and organizations to make it easier for today's busy professionals to live well and do good.

 

 

 

 

 

blog

Filtering by Tag: vacation

Swap Your Way to a Dream Vacation

Fay Johnson

By Paula Derrow

As I mentioned in my last post, there are many benefits to exchange. I’m writing this from Rome, where I’m staying for free in a friend’s lovely, two-bedroom apartment in the impossibly atmospheric neighborhood of Trastevere. Out my window, colorful clothing dries from lines over narrow streets and the 14th and 15th century buildings glow yellow in the incomparable Italian light. How did I get here? Well, I invited this Roman friend to camp out at my place in New York City, for an equal length of time, when I went off on my honeymoon. (To underscore the beauty of this agreement, the average cost of a mid-level hotel room near Rome’s historic center hovers around $200 and hotels in New York City go for much more.

But you don’t need a friend with well-located digs to stay for free in an exotic locale. I love the site Homeforexchange.com. Over the past decade, I have used the site to swap for an apartment in Rio during Carnival and a beach house near Sao Paolo (yes, all for my relatively modest 650 square foot apartment in NYC) and a condo in the trendy Neve Tzedek neighborhood of Tel Aviv, complete with a roof deck and view of the ocean. And this year, my husband and I are looking forward to spending a few weeks in a restored 17th century farmhouse in the Loire Valley in May, and in a Greek villa on the island of Syros. (With an infinity pool!)

People often ask me if I’m nervous about doing these swaps; if I worry about someone damaging my things. I tend to be a trusting sort, but even if I wasn’t, the fact that both parties are sharing each other’s homes lends a certain guaranteed respectfulness to the deal. That, and I do my homework. I email extensively with my potential swappers, I Google them, and usually, we Skype and talk by phone, too. By the end of the process, we’ve often become friends.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t learned a few things in the process. First and foremost, I stick with older swappers, and by that, I mean people who are well out of their 20s and likely not inclined to be big partiers. I also lock away anything I’m worried about (important papers; jewelry; etc.). Other than that, I’ve typed up a list of instructions (“Don’t run the air conditioner and a blow dryer at the same time, or the fuse will blow!”); jotted down lists of my favorite neighborhood markets, restaurants and attractions; and collected some current guidebooks for my guests. In return, I get the benefit of their insider tips—and get a distinctly un-touristy view of wherever I happen to be.

There are home-swapping sites galore these days (you can read about a few of them here; I also list my place on sabbaticalhomes.com, a swap site for writers, artists and academics looking for free, longer-term stays. Our editor, Fay, often rents her home in Oakland via the site Airbnb.com – she's had great success too, and earned money to support the growth of this magazine.

Of course, there are many more opportunities to share or swap your way to an experience you couldn’t otherwise afford. From sites like openshed.com, which offers opportunities to rent or borrow everything from hedge clippers to kayaks, to sites like dogvacay.com, which lets pet lovers lodge Fido in a loving private home, the sharing economy is taking the country by storm.

Clearly, it’s time to start thinking beyond dollars and cents and getting what you want through traditional businesses. What have you got to offer?

Big Sur Getaway

Seth Strickland

DSC_0581.JPG

by Jessica Wright

 In California? Need a weekend getaway? This one is for you.

Big Sur, California. Biking, hiking, and stunning views are just a few of the categories for which this region takes the cake. One of the most  scenic drives on the iconic Highway 1 exists between Carmel and Morro Bay — and better yet, you can stay there. 

Big Sur offers a few great overnight options. If you’re interested in being eco-friendly, take a tent and set up shop in either Andrew Molera State Park or in Big Sur Campground & Cabins

Want to be part of a community that takes luxury camping or “glamping” to another level? Check out the yurts over at the Treebones Resort which are equipped with an outdoor sushi bar and a heated ocean view pool and hot tub.

For those who want to combine luxury, a spa weekend, and five star views, Post Ranch Inn is your spot.

The way you can spend your days in Big Sur are truly endless. The hiking list is lengthy and many offer extraordinary views, including our favorite, the McWay Waterfall Trail. Some of the hikes even offer surprise endings at one of the most iconic hot springs in the region, Sykes Hot Spring. And of course there’s the beach where, if lucky, one may catch a glimpse of a sea otter resting on a bed of kelp or a pod of whales off in the distance. 

Big Sur offers anyone the opportunity to connect with a different community, the community of the great outdoors. 

So this weekend choose to be deliberate in where you go, be inspired, and enjoy the getaway.