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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.







Filtering by Category: Travel

10 Tips for the International Traveler

Fay Johnson


Our Editor-in-Chief has done quite a bit of globe trotting in her day, so we asked her to share some of her go-to advice on what to consider when heading out on an international, cross-culture adventure. Here at 10 things to keep in mind before you head to the airport.

1) Pack Light- Washing is easy to do in most places, and if you’re in a country that doesn’t have laundry service where you are staying, it’s probably the kind of place where they don’t care if you wear the same thing twice. But remember flip-flops. If there is a monsoon or an earthquake you’ll want to be able to get moving quickly (or there just might be something nasty in the shower).

2) Bring A Refillable Water Bottle: But don’t have any liquid in it until you get through check-in. For long international trips it’s easier to fill up and keep with you, and it reduces the amount of trash you will produce while on the road.

3) All-In-One Adapters: Buy at least two; they solves the ‘Oh, I didn’t plan to get diverted to Erbil International and my BB is dead’ problem.

4) Electronic Overload: It’s 2014. Unless you’re shooting for National Geographic- your phone can probably serve as your GPS, computer, sound system and camera. Half the knots in my back could be attributed to carrying ½ the mac store and canon’s latest and greatest in my carry on- they make multifunctional gadgets so you don’t actually need to bring it all.

5) Back It Up: Before you hit the road, make sure you sync your computer and your phone to a device you leave at home. Traveling with your portable hard drive in the same bag as your laptop just means, when it’s stolen, the thief now has two copies of your entire life. Also- Bring a thumb drive. As shocking as it may seem, wifi does not actually form a universal umbrella and when you can’t transfer files via e-mail- thumb drive it.


6) Multi-Functional Clothing: I always travel with a good-sized wrap/scarf. This serves as a blanket on cheap airlines and makes a good pillow when you need to nap on not-so-clean surfaces. Also, a good wrap will solve many culturally divergent fashion needs- my favorite has been worn as a beach sarong and as a hijab. Gentlemen- I recommend taking a light sweater and a collared shirt with you regardless of where you are traveling. In some cultures it is disrespectful to be in public without a collar.

7) Only Pack One Book: They are heavy and if you really fly through that page turner you haven’t picked up in two years- you can buy or trade for a new one on the road. You plan on catching up on your entire summer reading list on the 32-hour flight from here to there- but you won’t. You’ll more likely end up a) working b) getting stuck next to a talker c) sleeping/pretending to sleep or d) watch trash movies and enjoy every minute of it.

8) Long Flights: If you’re going to be on a plane for more then 24 hours, I suggest having the following in your carry on: ear plugs, eye mask, chapstick, NyQuil, lotion (a mini one), gum, and if you’ve got bad circulation- good socks.

9) Be Organized: If you can’t open your bag and remove whatever TSA wants from you in under a minute- you have too much stuff in your bag. In the same vein, don’t be one of those people who slows down the security check through. Think of it as a form of martial arts and get good at it. It shouldn’t be hard to remove your laptop, a ziplock bag and your shoes.

10) Breathe: They say it’s about the journey- so enjoy it!

Big Sur Getaway

Seth Strickland


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.


1300 Miles

Fay Johnson

Although the deliberateLIFE community is spread over 52 countries, we feel pretty grateful to call this part of the world home. Here's a little visual break to kick off your Saturday.

Travel New Zealand: Why and Where You Should Go

Fay Johnson

By Samantha Deese

Traveling and discovering new places is a great way to slow-down and reflect. It is an opportunity to learn from new cultures, to heal from the wear and tear of everyday life, and to connect with people that might live very different lives from you. And in those experiences, we often find a lot of self-discovery.

New Zealand is a small island country of extraordinary beauty. Within a short distance, you’ll find mountains, glaciers, beaches, lakes, volcanoes, fjords, and green farmlands with a seemingly endless supply of sheep. The weather is consistently temperate; you can expect sunny days in the 70s during summertime (our winter). And the locals (known as Kiwis) are exceedingly hospitable and friendly. In early February, I made the choice to step away from life in Los Angeles, buy a ticket and have an adventure.

Here are my top 4 hiking destinations from my 5-week New Zealand escape:


1.     Wharariki Beach – Pronounced Fah-ra-riki Beach. The perfect, hidden oasis. You’ll walk about a mile through sheep-ridden farmlands and come out onto a long stretch of beach with soft sand, soft waves and powerful cliffs. It is quite the remote location, despite the short 30-minute walk.


2.     Mount Victoria – Wellington is New Zealand’s capital and lies at the southwestern tip of the North Island. Mount Victoria is a prominent hill that lies in the eastern part of the city. It is only a short walk to the top of the hill, where you’ll find a lookout spot to see the entire Wellington Bay. It makes the perfect morning hike to start off your day.


3.     Gertrude Saddle – Milford Sound is a must-see if you are visiting New Zealand. However, if you want a special view that few of the tourists get to see, I highly recommend making this slightly challenging trek. The start of the saddle is a little past the Homer Tunnel. It is about 3.5 km hike and will take about 4-5 hours round-trip. But if you’re up for it, you definitely won’t be sorry.

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4.     Mueller Hut – This camping destination offers a beautiful view of New Zealand’s famed Mt. Cook. This was by far the most challenging hike I have done to date.  This tramping route will take you 3,000 feet up in around 3 miles. That being said, the majority of the hike is stairs going straight up. However, Mueller Hut offers expansive views of snowy glaciers and an unparalleled view of the stars at night. 

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Photos by Greg Balkin, Brightwood Photography