Calvin Young launched Seek The World to inspire and empower deaf people and people with disabilities from all over the world to travel on their own or reach their dreams without fear. This week, Passion Passport follows his inspiring adventures, a few mishaps, and his advice for others with disabilities. Yesterday, he told us about the moment he cracked, leaving the startup he’d worked hard to build in order to pursue his dream of traveling the world. Today, a look inside the lessons he learned along the way.
In the past, I was pretty selective with who I wanted to hang with. Some people did come and try to converse with me, but I would make little effort to continue the conversation if I didn’t see how I would benefit. I was just really reserved. The more I traveled, the more I had to change my approach to meeting new people – and today I’m better for it.
“If I hadn’t taken the time to get to know them, if I had been reserved. I never would have had these experiences and met these people.”
Traveling is not just about seeing what’s out there and checking things off your bucket list. It’s about connecting with people you meet along the way. Those connections really give you an opportunity to look deeper into yourself.
I met people from Georgia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and many different parts of the world. I met people who think differently than me, live differently, approach everything differently, all because they are from a different place. These meetings made me more observant of my own behavior and how I react to actions and words. They also reminded me that when you’re traveling, no one knows who you are. You’re just another person in the world, like everybody else.
Because of my assertiveness now, I’ve ended up traveling with some hearing backpackers, like the Indian guy I met at a backpacker hostel in Goa. Our friendship started with several drinks together over an endless conversation. He couldn’t stop asking me questions, especially situational questions about my traveling experiences, and what I do with my life as a deaf person. Even though it was just for a night, but we definitely bonded. He just fell in love with my life story and he invited me to join him and spend time with him and his family in a different area. He wanted to introduce me to his family to show how inspiring it was to meet me. He also wanted to immerse me into their culture. I had to decline because I already had plans that night, but since that day, he has been following my journey through social media and YouTube. I couldn’t be any more touched by that. He admired me as a person, that’s what I love the most about my travels.
The point here is that the people I meet loved who I am because I showed them who I am. If I hadn’t taken the time to get to know them, if I had been reserved. I never would have had these experiences and met these people.
Today, I’m completely changed. Wherever I go, I will always make a new friend. Whoever I meet, I will always engage myself into a good conversation with any of them, so that I can learn more about them. I can adapt myself to anybody. If they don’t like me, that’s okay, nobody’s perfect. I’ll move forward and start making new friends. There are many great people all over the world.
How does Calvin spend his days on the road? What types of adventures has he experienced? Follow along as Passion Passport shares Calvin’s worldwide travels throughout the week. Tomorrow, we’ll share a video he shot while paragliding in Turkey. Have you embarked on a life-altering journey? Are you thinking about one? Tell us on social media, using the hashtag “YourJourneyAwaits.”