Carolyn Deck: Journey of a Lifetime, Her Passions and Inspirational Adventures

Carolyn Deck Cover
Carolyn Deck


81mX9EqJ8L. SL1500Carolyn Deck, a Kiwi, (New Zealander), is passionate about life. She loves all things family, travel, adventure, and sport. Her love for Jesus, she shares with everyone; the doorman, the fellow dog owner, the taxi-driver, family and friends. She has been blessed with traveling the globe over her lifetime. As a teenager, she left the debris of her derailed family home in New Zealand, traveled abroad as an international student, and spent twelve months in the United States.

Upon her return, she embarked on a career in the travel industry, becoming an Area Manager in her mid-twenties. Carolyn has spent twenty-five years away from her homeland, visiting over twenty countries while living in Australia and America, and will continue to do so with her best friend, husband Brendan. Presently living in Chicago, along with adult children Harry and Olivia, she has William in Charlotte, North Carolina, Adam in the Hawks Bay, New Zealand, and Jeremy in Adelaide, South Australia. Travel is not going to stop anytime soon, especially as one child is now a pilot. Her other great love is Freddy, the “I think I’m a lap dog” Bernese Mt Dog.

Not the End of the Journey

Carolyn is also a Devo Writer, and co-author of Christian Marriage: Devotionals from Both Perspectives.
Amazon (US) link:
Universal Book link:

Carolyn, having herself been transformed, wants passionately to share her tools of success, including how to cope with change, stop running and hiding from your past, overcome trials, and become the best you while growing lasting relationships. Her desire is for you to experience the certain hope she has.

You can Journey with Carolyn

Instagram carolyn.deck

Interview Transcript Carolyn Deck

Richard Lowe  00:02

Good day. This is Richard Lowe with the Author Talks podcast. I’m The Writing King. I’m a ghostwriter, a book coach, and a LinkedIn branding expert. If you need help any of those areas, contact me.

Today we’re interviewing Carolyn deck.

Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Carolyn Deck  00:19

Oh, Hi, Richard. Thank you very much. It’s a privilege to be on. Thank you for having me. Well, as you can tell, from a little bit further south than Miami, I’m from New Zealand. I grew up there as a child. In my later years, I will actually know in my teenage years, I was an exchange student to Kansas. For a year, I went back to New Zealand became a travel agent, got married, had four kids moved to Australia had another one. Stay there for about 15 years, and I’ve been eight years in Chicago.

Richard Lowe  00:55

But very nice. That’s a very quick rundown of your life. Yeah. It’s very quick. Now you’ve written some books, or at least one book, once you tell us about it.

Carolyn Deck  01:05

Sure. Um, so interestingly, how did that start? Well, it wasn’t my idea. I was actually working in the night; I was doing a transform series at our church. It was all about transforming our thinking, to be generous. And I wasn’t a bellowing voice. But I woke to hearing the suggestion, I should write my story. And I wasn’t like Mary, I didn’t go yes, here I am. Pick me. I went, Oh, stupid idea. My sister’s intelligent. She’s a teacher. She’s far more skilled than me. You got the wrong sister. And besides, who wants to read my story? Yes. So I very quickly heard back well, actually, I think, well, I know what I’m doing. I pick you. And actually not your story, my story, because history is his story, his story. So anyway, so that’s where it started. And I’m just amazed that really, I speak now about really hashtag changing lives. And choices matter. And so what I’ve realized through my own process of writing, is that I want to awaken people to realizing that you have choices, even when choices have been made for you and are damaging. So I grew up in a traumatic, dysfunctional home. And then I moved to another home. And then I came to America, moved to another home, went back to New Zealand had no home. And so I unpackage this in my book, but I want to empower people to realize that even in those situations, we still are left with a choice. And it’s how do we respond? We always have a you always have a choice, even if those choices have been made for us. And so I am packaged that in like a creative narrative because I use the my true theme of travel, being a travel agent moving out of dysfunctional families. And each chapter is a little story. And I advise as we go along as if I’m your travel agent, what you need to know before you go, how to pack what not to pack, the perils of travel destinations, you might find yourself and hitting home.

Richard Lowe  03:41

That’s very interesting. I can actually relate the choices to my own life. When I was very young, six or seven or eight, something like that. I ran away from home. Oh, wow. And because of this, the house was that traumatic, it was a very dysfunctional family. I decided to come back home because I realized I left my accent I was 12 I left my younger sister there and I knew what my dad would do with her. So I even though I was only 12 I decided to come back and protect her and did several times. So I made the choice I was gonna run away and join the circus or something like that. I mean, I don’t know what my plan was. And throughout life I’ve sometimes they’re hard choices. That was a hard choice. Yeah, sometimes there are other hearts and I’m glad I made it because my sister came out fine and sometimes I’ve made hard really hard choices to stay with a wife who is chronically ill rather than leaving even though I hated the marriage you know and leave jobs and start my new but ghostwriting career and, and so forth. So, life is a series of choices, even if that choice is to let somebody else make the choice.

Carolyn Deck  04:49

Yes, true. Yeah, humility is a very difficult quote where I feel but it’s a great teacher.

Richard Lowe  04:58

Yes. Can you explain that a little more

Carolyn Deck  05:01

So sometimes I’ve learned the hard way, that when I think I know, and I push forward as if I know, I can come very unstuck, and being open to realizing one I don’t know, too, I need help. Three I need to refocus and just maybe listening to somebody else will help me refocus. And then then again, I come to this, this crossroad, I have a choice to make, am I going to listen to advice? Am I going to refocus? Or am I going to stay stuck. And through that process, it is humbling, because you’re giving way to self. And actually, when you do that, from my experience, and the stories I talk about, is often a far better journey. Not easy, not always easy to your point. But the outcomes usually are a lot better for everyone.

Richard Lowe  06:11

I think it kind of depends on the person. I know people who are very extroverted and they’ve devote their lives to other people. I’m not one of those. I’m an introvert more or less. I’m not shy anymore broke shyness. I put through a whole process here with a shyness. Yes. But as far as I’m still tend to be introverted. I like working from home. ghostwriting is perfect. But for me, but life is a journey. And, and for me, focusing on my business and myself first made me happier and made me better able to help other people. I chose ghost writing specifically because I can help people using ghost writing. They want to write a book to help themselves. So I help them do it. So I like to write, I like to help people, and it’s an income. So pay, I got the intersection of three good things. And it works out very well. I could have chosen I was a computer guy before that I worked at Trader Joe’s and some other places and worked for companies and I just does move ever made was leaving and starting my own business. Even though it was rough at first. I was jumping off a cliff blind really was I had no idea about marketing or promoting or anything like that. Being an introvert, I tended not to do marketing. I tended not to do networking. So when I left I had no network, no marketing, no nothing. And I had learned to fast.

Carolyn Deck  07:38

Yeah, well, ad journeys, crossing over a lot like this. So yes, I wrote my book. But the next thing is, well, there’s no point writing a book if no one’s gonna hear it. And I’m with self And Chandler bolt, our CEO says, you know, you have words and you can leverage impact with your words. But you have to know second, and I’m not who Sam? Well, Sam is sales and marketing. And I’m not. I don’t want to know, Sam. I had a choice as like, Well, my book lies dead on a bookshelf, you know, covering dust or to your point. I know what I have is valuable to other people. So what I was alluding to before, it’s not saying that we don’t respect and look after yourself. Rick Warren is somebody I listened to every day. And he said, It’s not thinking of yourself. Less. Sorry, it’s not thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less. And so part of my journey and writing, which was incredible, and you may get this, I did 60,000 word. Writers vomit, excuse the expression. But I had a lot of healing actually, I had to process and do and through dumping 60,000 words, I got to walk through a lot of that grief. And I talk about it in a chapter where I was in France, and I was at Leonardo da Vinci’s last resting place, and it’s magnificent. And Ambrose a little village in the Loire Valley. And I can’t quote him exactly, because I’m not good at that. But basically, he’s saying and encouraging us to go back into those dark chasms of our life, know our story, but face them and just when we shine shafts of light in there. Wow, there is growth. There is real growth there. And that’s what I did. I took the courage to do that. And then I condensed it all down. I I didn’t publish while I was bleeding. I processed it And then cut it down to something like 32,000 words. And yes, so I really worked through that process. And when I did a launch the other day, a lady said to me, her biggest takeaway was encourage people to know their story, to live into the story, and see and sift through it, you know, it’s like looking down a kaleidoscope, you know, all these broken shafts that hurt and colorful and, and they just don’t seem to be in any sort of place. But as you keep looking down, you know, through that, actually, they fall into a beautiful place. And now they’re a thing of beauty. And that’s kind of what I had to do with my life. And so that’s where I come from that yes, we need to know ourselves, well, we need to heal. And if we kind of if we don’t, we’re stuck there. And it’s hard to help others when we’re still stuck. So I guess that’s kind of where I’m up to now. And, and thanks to readers who gave me this hoodie. I wear this all the time. Because yes, I I have words of hope and encouragement. And that’s what I want to do from here on in.

Richard Lowe  11:16

That’s very cool. That’s very cool. I can relate. When my wife passed away, I was in a bad place in life. Grief. I was super, super introverted, because I had a hard job and the wife was chronically ill for eight years. So I had to do her like her IVs that kind of oil. So when she passed away, I was left with the choice. Okay, what do I do now I’m feeling all this grief, I’m super introverted. I can’t talk to anybody. I decided to fix that. The shyness especially because shyness is not an advantage. introversion is fine. But shyness is not being able to talk to people is not an advantage. So I picked up the camera and started photographing first national parks, and all of them in Southern California, and then all of them in the Southwest US. And then I moved on to renaissance fairs and things like that. And then I ran into belly dancers. And interestingly, because they’re at the fairs, yes. And they became friends with me because they liked my photos. They put me in the front row center. And one of them introduced me to so many bellydancers that by the time I stopped doing it, after eight years, I had done 1200 photo shoots of them. Plus three or 400 photo shoots and renaissance fairs plus private use plus weddings plus WTE. I met the undertaker. By the time the shyness was gone, I didn’t use need to use the camera to talk to people anymore. The dancers, I didn’t charge them for it. So they gave me a birthday party every year where I had 100 to 200 dancers come and dance for me. It was very, very interesting to me being super shy and super introverted, and suddenly having all these dancers all around. Oh, wow. And all wanting me to go to their shows and talking to me. And I was like, I don’t know what to do here. I figured it out. And, and then one day, I just decided, you know, I’m I’m kind of done with that and done with the job and so forth and became a ghostwriter and moved to Florida. That was a whole chore on its own, but, but um, it’s been a journey, getting out of my own head, the world and even now, because I’m a ghostwriter and sit at home. It’s very introverted. Because I don’t leave the house very much. Because I’m writing all day. And on zoom all day, and that’s not the same as being with somebody else.

Carolyn Deck  13:33

I feel it. I somebody asked me when I did my launch the other day, what was the what’s the worst and the best of having written a book. And I love people. You know, as a travel agent, I traveled the world. I love meeting people. I love hearing people’s stories. And for me, that was the hardest sitting at my desk and saying no to all these invitations to friends who do this, do that. And I’m such a terrible student. That’s why I said, I got the wrong person, you know, you know, my imposter syndrome kicked in real quick right at the beginning. And so for me, that was the hardest to, to, to be so isolated in not only writing but in my head and in my thoughts. And in that process. That was really difficult. But then again, I had a choice to make, and because I had no idea what I was doing. I joined various writing groups, and that really helped and I felt connected. And I think that’s always something that you know, that’s how we are creative. We were human beings, not human doings, and I really then felt connected. So that was really lovely. And who would have thought, you know, I, this is crazy. I stepped out and I invest in myself. I went to a Writers Conference in Texas and I met a man called Eric moves, and we were chatting after a long day writing, he was telling me his story. I was telling them, I was telling him mine. And he said, well, some days, you know, you just join the dots. It’s kind of crazy. join the dots. Well, lo and behold, he is the founder of a nonprofit called faces with names. And just to let you know, and your listeners, my entire proceeds are going to help these orphans and widows in Africa. And it was crazy how he had no idea. But I loved Africa as a little girl. I went as a travel agent. I love these little faces that popped out of the Serengeti. And I’m like, Oh, my gosh, you’ve got such joy and love. I can’t even speak to you. But look at you. You’re amazing. And then my daughter went years years later, and built homes for an orphanage, interestingly, in Malawi, and then I met Eric, and then I knew he joined my dots. And wow, it is it’s just something awesome. And I just traveled three days with the the people that are on the ground, Pastor Daniel, and Mama Erica, who would have thought from me saying yes, to this, and I’m actually gonna go with my daughter and Phoebe to Uganda, and see and help.

Richard Lowe  16:18

That’s very interesting. I’ve only been to and Sanada out of the country. That’s it. Okay, that was because I was the photographer on a belly dance cruise for him. And I never left the ship. So I really didn’t go to foreign country. I mean, I got 200 dancers on the ship, what am I going to one of the Carnival cruises are 5000 people on there. And I hung out, hung out with all the dancers and took photos and things. That was fun. Yeah, life is interesting. The choices you have through life, and the choices you sometimes find the choices I didn’t make are as important is as important as the choices I did make.

Carolyn Deck  16:54

Yes, I wrote that in my notes actually coming in. Do you realize that doing nothing is a choice?

Richard Lowe  17:01

Yes, yes, it is the choice? Yes. And that frequently leads to more problems, then if you’d made a choice? Absolutely. Sometimes it seems so easy not to make a choice. I don’t want to do that. Well, you just made a choice, you’re not going to do that. And that’s the thing that undermines me a lot, is I’m deciding not to make a choice. And then it comes back and I should have made the choice. Or do you? Yes. Live and learn? Yes, yes.

Carolyn Deck  17:35

I you know, during COVID, I would listen to my husband, teams meetings, and he runs a pretty big team. And he I hear Him say all the time, all the time, choices have consequences. And what he was driving at for his team was he kept trying to tell them, let’s make doing business easy for our customer. So what’s the choice we got to make today and focus of our customer to make it easier for them to deal with us. And I love that. And I heard that over and over and over again, as like, right. Well, you’re speaking to me.

Richard Lowe  18:19

That’s true. Yeah, true. Yeah. For customers. It needs to be customer focused. I mean, my I love my I love my customers. But one of the reasons why I left corporate was because I didn’t want to deal with the corporate toxicity anymore. Okay, so I decided I’m not going to take toxic customers. And they they come they’re there. They’re there. And you know, they’re the ones who wants to revenge my memoirs, the ones the ones that I refuse right away. You know what I mean by revenge memoir? Absolutely. I do. Yeah, the married person who wants to get revenge on the ex wife or ex husband, I’m not getting near that. Good choice. Not only is it very upsetting, but slander bait, you know, you can get you’re gonna get sued. They get sued, they’re gonna sue me. So I turned down one for a warrior, or mafia and formed a confidential mafia informant who wanted to expose the police and the mafia people. I was like, I kind of liked being alive. That’s not worth that much money for me to die. And he wanted me to do it. And I said, No, I’m not gonna do it.

Carolyn Deck  19:25

Well, interesting. You raise that you mentioned resentment. I was listening to another podcast today. And interestingly, this I touch on this as well, that we have choice as to how we fill our minds, and what we listen to and who we listen to. And some of those tools that I offer is to help us get out of our own minds. And because it’s travel themed, I call it you need to be the air traffic controller of your mind. Don’t let that land You know, send it off. Like don’t don’t do that. But interestingly, this podcast will not podcast this turning point I was listening to this morning, said resentment, fear, sorrow, envy, anger, hatred, actually manifest in the human body. And it’s scientifically proven that up to 80% of our illnesses stem from those emotions. Wow. So let’s choose, okay. Yes, I feel sorrow. But like you did you went, right? I accept that. But what am I going to choose to do to help myself get through this? I’m gonna buy camera, I’m going to become a photographer. I mean, how powerful is that? And then look where you are. Or you could have stayed in yourself or state for the next eight years. And you wouldn’t be helping anybody. We wouldn’t be having a conversation. So yes, it’s it’s so powerful. And I don’t know that the world today realizes how powerful one choices and to response to things whereby it’s been out of their choice, you still have a choice of how you respond. And it’s such a powerful thing.

Richard Lowe  21:16

Well, you’re right about the emotions, I put anxiety in my stomach. And I put anger in my chest. Oh, so and I know where I put them. Because I know when it builds up, and I feel the pain in those areas. And it’s just my emotions. There’s nothing there. I’ve had them checked. You know, go to the doctor. Yeah. And it’s just, that’s where I put the motion. So now, I’m trying to put those emotions into the walls or into something else. Instead of me. The walls don’t care. Unless they do and, and then the place collapses on even you know,

Carolyn Deck  21:48

that reminds me when my husband said, Come on, we’re going to Australia. We drag four kids over there, five and under. And he gave me three weeks but actually turned into three days. We were staying in a motel. I knew no one it was stinking hot and I’m not used to that heat. And yeah, my the wall found out how frustrated I was. It was uh oh, what’s big? And he goes, what happened there? Huh? We need to talk about this. I don’t

Richard Lowe  22:17

actually physically harm the walls. I just Oh, I did. I just put my emotions there. And you know, paper. It’s really Yes. It really is putting the emotions there. Yes, it’s not and when I’m putting in my body, I’m really putting it there. And I feel it.

Carolyn Deck  22:33

Yes. Nice. They think a building or not building that planting or forests to help people get off that rat race, walk through the forest and go in there and go.

Richard Lowe  22:50

Yeah, after my wife passed away, I did something like 60 hikes in Joshua Tree National Park alone, which is very hot and very dry and biggest national park in the US and a lot of fun. And went on all of the secret tours when with tour guide and stuff. Had a one time where I fell down a shell Cliff 200 feet and oh my goodness, I had to grab a cactus and had cactus spines all over. I mean, they had they had to rescue me hide me out. It was fun now in hindsight Mojave Preserve. I went to Death Valley once and God stepped outside and the thermometer said 137 If his adult got back in the car and drove home mountains, you know, rivers lakes did all the hiking everywhere. I got about three 400,000 pictures of hikes got 350,000 pictures of dancers and about 300,000 Pictures renaissance fair on my website. Have you thought of putting them in a book? Or? I’ve actually had them published in

Carolyn Deck  23:49

books? You have to see them? I love all things Scenic. Yes.

Richard Lowe  23:55

They were privately published as a private book, you know, but they’re all on my website. Richard Lowe, Jr. Richard Lowe. Yes. All my photos are there to look. Yep. And I just generally put them all up there. And sometimes the dancers would call me and say that photo is pretty ugly to take it down. But I was taking so many photos, I didn’t have time to edit them or anything

Carolyn Deck  24:18

interested in looking because part of my journey, I took a lot of photos. And I use them like I think you’re suggesting to help with my healing process. And I would look at things and you know, one time I was in New Zealand visiting my mother, and that’s where I actually learned the meaning of my name, which was quite profound. But actually, the year before there’d been this massive fire behind us. And she said she’d been excavated and I said, Oh, evacuated I think Mother. Anyway, I’d gone and that 10 months later a year later, I’m wandering up the path behind her home. And there’s still that the evidence of this mess fire. It was terrible. But interestingly, there were shoots of life. Yeah, it was a tree half bound, and the other half green, and I could hear the birds singing. And I thought, wow, you know, sometimes we go through the fires of our life for good. It’s actually a good thing because it actually gets rid of all the rubbish that’s sort of stopping us from growing and I saw that it’s such a wonderful metaphor.

Richard Lowe  25:32

Yep, yep. Speaking of fires, when I was going to college, I used to live in Lake Arrowhead. And I went to school in the valley, which was about a 30 mile commute, and went back and forth every day. And one day, I’m driving down the mountain. And I look to my right, it’s forest fire. And look to my left the forest fire. I look to my friend, forest fire. I looked behind me. As far as fire, I realized I was dead. Like, there’s no way out of this. This was one of the biggest fires in Southern California history. knock on my door. It was a fireman. And he says, Let me in the car. So I did. And he said, Dr. gun on his phone is his Maki. Toki whatever it was, you know, this big thing back this is back in the 70s You know, the big black box? And he said, okay, okay, okay, now waterdrop right on top of this. Wow, from a helicopter and like, okay. Oh, goodness, scared the hell out of me. I was like 20 years old. 1920. And that’s when I decided to move off the mountain. Okay, I moved down. I got a new job. We’ve gotten Orange County. Home Life with the parents was becoming intolerable. It was time I had to go. Yes, it was either leave or kill my dad or my dad killed me one of the times, we were gonna have something really bad happen. I mean, literally for real. So it’s like, okay, I need to move and then fires and stuff. So I’m gonna go got a job as a VP of a startup. Straight up straight dropped out of college. My mom hated me dropping out of college, and was there for six years and became a VP of another startup and then became the IT director at Trader Joe’s. And now I’m gonna give us a famous ghost welds ghost writers and ever famous most of them, but I’m well known. Well wanted ghostwriter. Wow. And I’ve written 60 books and 48 ghost written books. So there’s over 100 books. And haul that from somebody my dad said was gonna be a failure.

Carolyn Deck  27:35

Yes, see? Yes. Choice. You don’t listen to that? I did for a while. Yeah, you call that? I talked about that as being that was my fuel to go. Yes, that fuel me up my, actually my son. We’ve got five children. And he was at boarding school in Australia, when we chose to move to America. He was that 16. Anyway, he decided that he wanted to be a pilot. And I don’t know which teacher it was. And yeah, I have bad thoughts of that person. Go back and go nanananana because he shared his dream that he wouldn’t be a part of it. And this teacher says, Yeah, well, Dec. Who do you think you are? You’re gonna be a pilot. Well, actually, he signed with a American Airlines. Right now. He’s a flight instructor. He’s also a hired private pilot. So if he gets charted with the plane, and it’s just like, yeah, in his head, he goes, right, I’m gonna prove you wrong. That is my fuel to go. And you watch this space. So I’m crazy.

Richard Lowe  28:53

My college teacher told me that I was never going to be a writer. He said, You’re a terrible writer. And you have no hope. Go go do something else. And here I’ve written over 100 books, and a couple of them were almost bestsellers on the near 40,000 copies did ever close. ghostwritten books, so I can’t share the titles. But still, it’s um, I know that I did it.

Carolyn Deck  29:16

Yes. Be careful who we listened to.

Richard Lowe  29:19

I listened to him for way too long. Yeah, it didn’t become a ghost writer until my 50s. I know, you knew that. I was like in my 30s. But I’m really mentions a little older than that. Sorry about that. You know, I’m much much younger, much older than I look. Well, we’ve been going for about 30 minutes. Is there anything you want to say to your audience, your conclusion?

Carolyn Deck  29:44

Conclusion? Yes, we have choices and how you respond. matters. So make the choice today. Don’t Don’t put it off to my friends. Comment don’t know your story. And use that use that because it’s valuable. And you just may find some amazing nuggets back in in the ashes of your past that have hurt that will actually again help you fly Fly like the eagle. You know, the eagle was the only bird that actually flies into a storm. Everybody, every other bird flies away, it flies into the storm sticks its wings out. And it uses the craziness and the the whatever you call those the wind shifts to actually rise above. And then of my book good segue. I just yeah, anyway, my book is above the turbulence your ticket out of pain to purpose. I have many tools in here. Having traveled the world a lot having many changes in my life, I can get very solid inspiration and encouragement and tools on how to do that. So I hope they’ll grab a heavy book and know too that when you choose to buy my book, The proceeds, don’t just grab it here are going to my non for profit faces with names. And that makes a difference. So changing lives. Start with yours.

Richard Lowe  31:18

And how will people get ahold of you? Okay,

Carolyn Deck  31:21

You can find me on Instagram. Lowercase carolyn dot deck. I’m on Facebook.

Richard Lowe  31:36

Very good. Very good. Did you know The Buffalo is another animal one of the very few that actually goes towards storms instead of away.

Carolyn Deck  31:43

I did not know that.

Richard Lowe  31:47

Found that out recently. Anyway, I’m Richard Lowe, the Writing King. Thank you for coming to this podcast. I am a book coach, ghostwriter, and LinkedIn branding expert. And we’ll be signing off now.

Richard Lowe

3 thoughts on “Carolyn Deck: Journey of a Lifetime, Her Passions and Inspirational Adventures

  1. Carolyn Deck Reply

    I would be more than happy to chat further with anyone concerning rising above their pains – present or past. I hope my book Above the Turbulence will inspire people to be aware of their choices – yes we have choices – and how we respond is key and is so powerful.

  2. Carolyn Deck Reply

    It was so interesting to hear how you used your camera to grow in confidence and get back into the world. And your comment about being shy verses being an introvert. Thank you for sharing so openly.

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