Who am I?

ID: A light-skinned female is smiling at the camera with her red floral shirt and black pants. Behind her is a light pink pastel wall.

Stacey Marlene.

I am a proud Deaf Mexican-American female who was born and raised in California. Like many others, I once had traditional chronological goals: graduate with a Master’s degree, have a stable career, get married and create a family. I did wonder what would it be like to be out in the world but

traveling didn't seem realistic to me.

A Deaf broke-ass female with anxiety, me? Even I’ve been called a codo (Mexican slang for someone who is a cheapass). I truly once believed that my only way to travel was being with my family or traveling locally.

After losing a close aunt of mine, I realized that I only have una vida (one life). One of my biggest fears was becoming a bitter old woman with many regrets – the Whys and the What ifs. I then took a big leap of faith. I traveled to countries where I am privileged not having to break my bank: Asia and Latin America.

After backpacking in Asia for the first time and experiencing a near-death experience in Oregon,

everything changed.

While traveling, I love meeting Deaf communities around the world. I’d try to visit Deaf owned businesses, Deaf organizations, Deaf schools or places that support Deaf people like this one. I also try to look for Deaf advocates within their country. Despite having different sign language, the connection between many Deaf people from all walks of life is just indescribable

Quick Facts about me

I usually travel as a budget backpacker. Luxury travel isn’t for me (at this time perhaps). 

When I can, I prefer slow traveling that allows me to take my time. This way, I can immerse myself more into meeting local people and learn their culture.

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!

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! 

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

writing, photography, learning different cultures and languages, resting on the hammock, drinking boba milk tea, and animals (would have majored in Zoology).

I also passionately advocate for Deaf Rights, mental health, feminism, Latinx communities and humanity.

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. 

Countries

Why I started this blog?

How can we connect?

If you are want to send me a message, wondering what services I provide or looking for a way to collaborate, you can find more information here!

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  • The center of my chest has been aching almost all day today. It’s like a heavy rock sat on it. There is so many heartbreaking news that just have me questioning humanity.

In the USA too, there have been many mass shootings, ICE Raids & police brutality in the USA. I've even personally witnessed police brutality with my own eyes a few weeks ago (I'm not quite sure how to take that one in). Then the Kashmiris, the Uyghurs, the treatment that indigenous peoples get, the migrant caravan and, I mean, some people aren't really humane (or selectively humane). Such a disturbing reality.

I know we cannot forget that there are also so many good and genuine people; I hope that there are more and more of them will continue to rise to support others.
  • I cannot believe that it has been almost a year since I've left Taiwan, although I visited Taiwan very shortly 6 months ago for a flight back home.

During my first days in Taiwan (May 2018), I was walking around in Taipei, getting lost into areas that many tourists don't really go to. I saw this sweet elder who was smiling and gently rubbing his dog. He let me took a photo of him and his dog together after I asked him if I could. Although we didn't have verbal communication, we did exchange communication through photography. He smiled when he saw the photo of himself and his little loved one.

Taiwan, I'll never forget for many kindness moments you've shown me. 🇹🇼💕
  • We need more women that uplift one another. We need more women that don't clip others' wings or take the pleasure of seeing a broken wing of others.

There are times where I've been feeling defeated. My wings weren't strong enough, but partly it is because I have been living in fears. Traveling long-term helped strengthen my wings but let's not forget that the wings don't fly itself. I've been working on myself in the last couple of months, including my own anxiety. I was so anxious to attend Deaf Women United Conference - @deafwomenunited (which happened last week) that I was thinking to skip it. Having fatigue wasn't so helpful either.

And now? I am so glad that I did not. The Deaf women I have met (even so it's not so many as I expected of myself prior to the conference) were nurturing - as if they were watering to feed the flower inside me that I've neglected, especially the Deaf women that I've gone to the bars with and shared the table on the night of the gala.

They didn't judge me for sharing my vulnerability. My feelings weren't dismissed. These women, who I've only known for two days or 4 days, they listened. I felt that my soul was seen somehow where I feel comfortable with being who I truly am. These women, they gave me support, hope, and empowerment. Empowered women empowered me.

Because of this, we need more women like them. Women who empower other women who they don't even know. Women who aren't selective about whom to empower (based on their race, culture, religion, etc.). Women who understand when it is time to pass the mic and let marginalized women empower others too.

You, women/womxn, are amazing. 💪🏻💪🏼💪🏽💪🏾💪🏿
  • I was scrolling on a bike in a beautiful untouched area in Hoi An, Vietnam. A woman was walking down the path on the way (maybe) home from the local river.

There was something about her eyes and smiles, almost as if she wasgreeting me and showing me the beauty of Vietnam.

All I could imagine the stories that she probably went through, especially during and after the Vietnam war. However, whatever stories that I've imagined isn't her own narratives. It isn't her truth. And it’s also probably not my own damn business anyways. 
I thought about how we, women, have gone through so much that many (even ourselves)  forgot how strong, resilience and compassionate we all can be. I don’t know, sheesh, honestly I couldn’t think what caption to write for this lol but looking at this picture while I’m at the Deaf Women United conference, this are the thoughts and feelings I have currently.
  • Fears. We all have them. I have them. We commonly have something that clutter our paths because of our fears. We point at our fears as they’re all responsible for not letting us to walk down the paths. We often think the voices within are the truth, the sole truth. But it’s not always the truth. It’s the voice of oppressor.

But I’ve come to learn that it’s not really the fears that control or hold us back, It’s the attitude we have toward fears. We have to transform our relationship with our fears.

It’s not easy to do that but not impossible either. I’m on this journey now, navigating and transforming my relationship with my fears. 
#kissfisttravel #deafcantravel #deaftravel #deaftraveler #deaftraveller
  • I once got some questions from people on direct messages, "do you always wear makeup?" or "you're beautiful with makeup," "you look too tired" (when I don't wear makeup), etc. I even was raised to believe that women should "always dress nice." So I want to share a surprising reality for anyone who thinks every female traveler always dress up and wear makeup while traveling too: I don't always wear makeup while traveling (nothing wrong for those who do either!). I don't dress up daily as many people believe from what they're seeing on Instagram. There were some days when I was barefaced. Some days where I dressed pretty shitty - mi "ME VALE how you think I should dress like" attitude while traveling or taking photos (some days I do too). Some days when I was sick (like in this picture) or in a bad mood. Some days my hair can be so insanely frizzy (thanks humidity) that looked like I was electrocuted. Some days I was told that I had an embarrassing fashion. And some days, I face my insecurities about how I look too.

I don't have the "filtered" looks every day. This is part of travel, part of life. I'm a human being, not a doll for anyone to be customized as they please. I don't need to give in to others' expectation.

#kissfisttravel #deafcantravel #deaftravel #deaftraveler #deaftraveller #deaftravelworld_

We need to learn that the filtered looks aren't the only thing that is called beautiful.
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