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 shares his inspiring adventures, a few mishaps, and his advice for others with disabilities.
I’ve always dreamed of traveling the world, but like so many others, I ended up on choosing to follow a career path instead of pursuing my dream. I established a company that I loved. Everything changed when I broke up with my girlfriend.
I took stock of what was happening, and I hit my breaking point. That was when I realized that I wasn’t doing what I loved to do. I asked myself why I couldn’t just let everything go and start living the dream. That was the moment I decided that I didn’t want to hold on to my dream any longer. It took me around three months after the break-up to finally make the decision to leave the startup to travel the world. It was one of the hardest things I had ever done, but it was also the best choice I ever made in my life.
“Showing the people I meet, and my readers, who I am makes me more confident with what I want for my life.”
To this day, I still remember the day I called my parents, who are also deaf, on FaceTime to discuss my plans to travel the world. Both of my parents actually smiled and gave me their full support. They told me to go ahead and purchase my flight to Thailand.
My deafness never once intervened with my decision. I’ve always enjoyed traveling with my family while growing up. Back in my high school years, I started an International Study program at Texas School for the Deaf. My class ended up going to Europe. London, England was the first foreign country I visited, and it really opened my eyes to how much I love learning new things about people, the environment, food, history, and much more. I’d also filmed an around-the-world trip for a deaf company, but had never backpacked. It felt like it was finally time.
I chose Southeast Asia as my first, and I was fortunate to spend it with my good buddy Mic Dolan. It was his first time leaving the U.S., which was exciting for both of us. We spent about six weeks backpacking through Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, cuddling with tiger cubs and riding elephants. There was a new adventure everyday. We paused long enough in Koh Tao, Thailand, to get certified in scuba diving, which turned out to be my favorite part. It opened my eyes to the world underwater.
After that trip, Mic and I split up as he went back to the States and I flew to Europe to meet another friend, John Hathaway II. We traveled to the Netherlands, Spain, France and Germany together. In this part of the journey, John and I started imagining how we could turn our travels into a full-time adventure. We wanted to share all of our stories, without having to relay them to friends and family one by one.
That’s why we decided to start Seek The World. We finally did so on a trip to India in February, and I’ve been traveling the world since then. From India I moved on to Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, Belgium, Netherlands, Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Greece, and United Kingdom. I then took a break and lived in Cologne, Germany for a month before heading off to New Zealand. I’ll be going to Australia next!
Showing the people I meet, and my readers, who I am makes me more confident with what I want for my life. After meeting many deaf people, I realized that I have done one thing that everybody wants to do: I’m reaching my dream by breaking down communication barriers and overcoming different obstacles. I always find a way. And I always make things happen. I didn’t do that in the past; I’m grateful that I do now.
What has Calvin learned along the way? Follow along as Passion Passport shares his story throughout the week. Have you embarked on a life-altering journey? Are you thinking about one? Tell us on social media, using the hashtag “YourJourneyAwaits.”