Traveling the world as a deaf individual changed Calvin Young’s perspective in many ways, and it inspired him to launch Seek The World. This week, Passion Passport follows his inspiring adventures. Tuesday, 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. Wednesday he shared a lesson he learned along the way and yesterday we went along as he paraglided over Pamukkale. Today, he offers a bit of advice for fellow travelers.
People will look at you as a person with disability at the first impression, but you have the power to show them otherwise. You don’t need to tell them, just show them how you’re living your life normally and happily like everybody else.
The key to everything in traveling is confidence. If you are a deaf person planning to travel, just be you. Show how confident you are. Treat your disability like it’s nothing. Don’t bother to think about it. That kind of thinking will boost your self-esteem. Just be yourself. Go out and chat with them like everybody does. Reveal yourself to them. Give them more than a reason to like or love you.
A lot of people look at a deaf person as someone who can’t do everything that an able-bodied person could. They don’t realize that we’re beyond our disability. We’re much more than just being deaf. What we do differently from general able-bodied people is that we have a duty to educate people about our community, culture, and language.
In that case, I usually have to explain and show examples of successful deaf people around the world. I simply give them all success stories and tell them what I do. I tell them that the only thing I can’t do is hear, nothing else. I can walk. I can move. I can sign. I can see. I can learn. I can find a job. I find a way to inspire and empower hearing people. Most of the time this alters how they perceive me as a person.
Throughout my journey, I’ve shown who I am to the people I meet and they immediately gain respect for me. I’m still in touch with many of them, and they tell me they’re so impressed with the fact I’m living my life to the fullest.
My advice is always open your eyes to everything because there’s always a way to overcome obstacles and to live the life the way you want it to be. There will be people who tell you that you can’t travel because you have a disability. That’s not true. You can still overcome different obstacles by being more proactive with your travel plans and arranging accommodation you need in advance. There are many different ways to do that.
If you’re handicapped, that’s okay, you can find a buddy to travel with and assist you in whatever you need or just reach out to the destination you’re going and arrange accommodations you need. It may take us a bit more work to arrange our travels, but there are always ways and solutions to almost everything. You can still travel freely with your disability one way or another.
I promise you when you get to see the world, you will see many wonderful people out there who will love you for who you are.
Have you embarked on a life-altering journey? Are you thinking about one? Tell us on social media, using the hashtag “YourJourneyAwaits.”