Hi there! I’m Stacey, born and raised in Los Angeles and never lived anywhere else (although I hope to do that one day). I’m about to finish graduate program in Marriage and Family Therapy. Although I’d love to help the Deaf community in Los Angeles, I know myself that staying in the office for the rest of my life isn’t for me.
I’ve always been keen to explore new things and new places. I remembered even as an 8 years old, I insisted my grandmother and mother to let me explore a SMALL town myself, and they said no (“mamii!!!” as I stomped my foot). I remembered having great desires to try studying abroad but couldn’t have that chance due to lack of accessibility as a Deaf student, and of course, money.
I don’t know if my love for travel started before my first backpacking trip in 2014; however, I know that backpacking trip ignited the desire (or fire, if you will). I later started a blog called, Deafinitely Wanderlust, with a friend who I was backpacking with at the time.
So a little more about me. Honestly, at times, I can be shy and socially awkward but will warm up to people. I’m probably one of the slowest walkers you’ll ever know. I can also be very picky with food, which unfortunately started when I was an infant, but I’m still learning to challenge myself! Ah, I am also Deaf and communicate in American Sign Language. And maybe it may sounds odd for some people, I’m proud to be Deaf, because it made who I am today.
- Why do you like to travel? Do you have a travel philosophy?
This is always a good (and hard) question, and I can’t even explain it through writing, even maybe in American Sign Language. Shall I say that traveling makes me speechless? The culture. People and their stories. Just simply what is called life. That just simply teaches you a lot, even if it slaps you in the face but hey, that is how you grow, right? My travel philosophy is also hard for me to put it in few words. Traveling ignite every part of you – while being on a journey, you reflect yourself and how to be a better person and understanding people through their stories. Hopefully I make sense?
- How long have you been traveling and how many places have you been to?
Other than going to Mexico to visit my family while growing up, I’ve started traveling since 2014. After backpacking two months in Asia (South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand) insummer of 2014, I knew there were so much more to explore. I later visited Hong Kong, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. While I was chained at school and work (no I’m kidding, maybe), I take chances to explore California and other states, such as Oregon and New Mexico.
- Anything so special about you that others must know?
I honestly don’t know if I consider it special, but I’m a Deaf traveler. I love meeting the Deaf communities around the world, and we still often connect despite different sign languages (yes, there are different sign languages around the world). I hope to inspire the Deaf communities to travel, and it doesn’t have to be international – it can be local as well. I also want to provide access to information relating to travel in American Sign Language for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. Not only for myself, but I also want to share with the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Hearing (references to those who are not Deaf or Hard of Hearing) of the realistic struggles and perks as a Deaf traveler through my stories.
You can connect me with my blog team, Lilo, via
Facebook: Deafinitely Wanderlust
YouTube: Deafinitely Wanderlust