Stacey Valle

I’m a proud Deaf Mexican-American female who can be socially awkward “that it hurts” at times, according to Lilo. I was born and raised in California who previously had dreams that are no longer dreams: having a stable career, settling down and make a family. However, everything changed after backpacking Southeast Asia in 2014. Heck, I’m still young and breathing, what else is out there in this world?

Honestly, I don't know when I started to have the passion for travel.

I thought I knew when but later I came to realize: Was it when I was about 8 years old since I was yearning to explore my family’s town on my own in Mexico (my family wouldn’t let me, of course)? Or was it when I later went to Hawaii and my jaw practically dropped to the floor when I saw different people almost halfway around the world? Or was it when my heart fluttered when I read the subtitles,

“Pack a pillow and a blanket. See the world. You will never regret it”

in a film, The Namesake? Orrr was it when I had my first backpacking trip for 2 months with my friend, LiloBut does it matter?  Whether it has been for a long time since I was a kid or since the my first backpacking trip, it is Deafintiely wanderlust. If you haven’t noticed, my readers, that’s name for my travel blog.

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Quick facts about Stacey

  • BA & MS Degrees in Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy
  • love animals, would had major in Zoology
  • love writing (but not an expert)
  • addicted to bubble tea drinks
  • terrified of bees & open ocean (thalassophobia)
  • love learning different cultures & languages
  • multilingual: American Sign Language, English, Spanish, International Sign and Mandarin Chinese (immediate)
  • Too nice, which it can be a problem at times
  • I love hammocks or swings, it’s soothing and I considered it as a meditation for me
Countries

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

I was born Hearing* and became Deaf at the age of 2 due to frequent ear infections.  

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, USA. If you’re wondering “where are you really from?” then I’m Mexican-American. 

Yes, I know American Sign Language and International Sign. I’m currently trying to learn Lengua de Señas Mexicana (LSM / Mexican Sign Language) and Korean Sign Language (KSL). Yes, there are different sign languages around the world!

To many surprises, no. If I have a magic pill to become “normal” and a Hearing* person, nope. I’m Deaf and I’m very proud to be one. It makes me who I am today. 

Other than some states in United States, I’ve been to Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong, Thailand, Mongolia, Indonesia, Nepal, India, Malaysia and China.

I can’t say I really did since I only traveled solo few times, less than 2 days. I usually travel with friends, significant other or family members. I don’t mind traveling solo one day though! 

To put it quite simple, I am quite fond of something so colorful. I also wanted something with the hands (sign language) as I explore around the world.

Yes! Perhaps you’ll notice that this blog was previously shared with a friend, Lilo form Deafintiely Without Barriers. You’re pretty curious, I’m sure. Due to different reasons, we concluded that we would like to have our own travel blog. Do please check out my friend’s blog!

Why do I blog?

This blog is for both Deaf/Hard of Hearing (D/HH) people and Hearing* people.

So, you’re curious about why I blog? Great. The purpose that this blog was born is to show that we, Deaf people and I, CAN travel despite being Deaf. I want to share my experiences as a Deaf traveler, including other matters – such as Deaf awareness, empowerment, inspiration, personal well-being, cultural & racial identities, feminism and more. I will also sometimes share resources. I aim to be more a storyteller than merely writing posts like, “Top 10” places or making reviews. 

Quick Info about my blog

  • Started 2015 with a friend, who now have her own travel blog
  • Spreading Deaf awareness for both communities, Deaf/HoH & Hearing communities
  • Sharing experiences what it is like to travel as a Deaf female
  • Topics will include: Deaf travel, Deaf awareness, empowerment, inspiration, personal well-being, cultural & racial identities, feminism and more. 

As a travel blogger, what makes me different for the Deaf & HoH community?

There are many amazing Hearing travel bloggers around the world who shared so many stories, resources, recommendations and other contents. However, one of the problems is that

several Deaf/HoH cannot relate to Hearing travel bloggers.

Several Hearing travel bloggers have written posts that we, Deaf & HoH, cannot relate based upon our Deaf identity. We don’t have Hearing travel bloggers writing about communication barriers or other things that we need. Secondly, several Deaf/HH people commonly faced one same (damn) thing: lack of accessibility. We live in audiocentric world, often degrading and excluding Deaf/HH in many ways. Such as when several Hearing travel bloggers do not caption their travel videos – which excludes many Deaf/HH people around the world (if you included auto-caption, I recommend you to proofread it please!) who are mostly are naturally visual learners and perhaps English isn’t their first language.

Although many Deaf/HH have no to little/somewhat ability to hear, we are mainly visual people (other than DeafBlind population). So, Hearings’ written posts aren’t relatable to many Deaf/Hard of Hearing people. Videos without closed captions isn’t accessible. Because of this, I cherish my Deaf/HH audience. Through posts and videos, I want to share many contents relating to empowerment, connection, adventure and inspiration for them. Although I originally do not aim to make several “How To” and “Top 5” type of blog or vlog posts, I will still make Guides & Tips videos in American Sign Language* and/or International Sign Language* to provide accessibility for the Deaf/HH community around the world.

Wait, what about Hearing* audience?

Yes! I also value my Hearing readers. There are about 360 million Deaf and Hard of Hearing people around the world, many Hearings, like you, may have Deaf/HH friends, grandparents, siblings, children, or even your neighborhoods! In my blog, you may learn a thing or two from my posts. I’d like to share that may shift your persepctive and gain awareness about my Deaf community. Above all, I want to share my personal journey with you. 

What you need know about Deaf culture

Quick facts

  • There is no universal sign language, each country have their own sign language (ex: American Sign Language, Brazilian sign language, etc.) and they tend to be vastly different
  • Eye contact is a must
  • Several Deaf people are very expressive or exhibited animated facial expressions
  • We need lights to communicate or to lip-read!*
  • We naturally ask a lot of questions (even some sensitive topics, such as finance)
  • Being blunt considered to be a part of our cultural norm but it varies upon different person
  • “Hearing Impaired” is considered to be incredibility offensive to Cullturally Deaf people*
  • Our Deaf community is so small → with some particular Deaf friends, we may have up to 200 mutual friends, even few mutual friends in other countries – I’m not even kidding!!!
  • I may mentioned these terms in the written posts, videos or my social media accounts. If you’re unsure what the term means, you’ll find it here.

  • Abled: one who does not have disability
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): “a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public” – adata.org
  • Audism: discrimination or prejudice that is based on a person’s ability, or lack of ability, to hear.
  • Cochlear Implant (CI): oppose to hearing aids, it is an electronic device that is surgically implanted on one or both side(s) of their head
  • Culturally-Deaf: involved in Deaf community and Deaf culture
  • Deaf/HH: an abbreviated term for Deaf or Hard of Hearing (HH) 
  • Deaf-Friendly: Accomdating their needs based upon communication, environmental setting, and more (ex. communicating via gestures or writing, providing subtites and/or sign language interpreter, having bright light to see, etc.) ; it may be perceived as emotionally or technologically. 
  • Deafhood: “The cultural experience of being Deaf (as opposed to audiological deafness); to be understood as akin to racial identity and in opposition to the characterization of the Deaf as ‘disabled.'” and “a way of gathering together and framing what we already know of Deaf culture, life, politics etc.”
  • Differently-abled: an appropriate term that humanizes people with disability, highlighting on their abilities than their impairments. For many, “disabled” or “disability” can be offensive,  demeaning or hurtful
  • Hearing: a person who is not Deaf or Hard of Hearing – or any type of hearing loss
  • International Sign Language: a language that is comprised of variety of sign languages around the world and international gestures where it aim to the gap between different sign languages in order to communicate and understand each other
  • IP Relay: an online operator service that allows people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deafblind, or speech difficulties to make calls to standard telephone users via a keyboard or assistive device
  • Late-Deafened: one who became Deaf/Hard of Hearing at later stage of their life
  • Lip-Reading: a tool to use when reading someone’s lip to decipher what that person is saying
  • Oral Interpreter: a person who works for the Deaf/HH individuals and mouth the words of the speaker’s, or can speak directly to Deaf/HH individuals for lip-reading
  • Oral: one who learn to speak due to speech thearpy or practices; usually communicate by using lip reading
  • Signer: a Hearing person who knows sign language but not necessarily mean they are fluent in it
  • Sign language interpreter: a person who works for Deaf/HH individuals and translate spoken language into sing language
  • Video Phone: enabling Deaf and Hard of Hearings to communicate with Hearings* through a qualified sign language interpreter on television, computer or mobile more about here
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