Sense of Belonging in the Deaf World

5 days ago
Although I've shared a different video about finding my Deaf identity through fitness, traveling also helped me to find my Deaf identity. I believe that exploring ...

English subtitle

Hi, my name is Jason!
I love traveling.
And who am I? My name is Nadine.
What is the purpose of this video?
I want to share my personal experience while traveling.
I've always been shy but I want to share this life-changing experience.
So I backpacked in Thailand.
Of course I was excited to travel in Thailand
but I'm still finding my own identity.
I don't know who I am.
So that same day I arrived in Thailand from New York City,
Nadine: At that same time, I was almost done with my trip in Thailand and other countries (one month).
Jason: Then I met two hearing people.
After talking a while, we decided to go to their hotel roof.
I said sure! As we were walking into the hotel area...
Nadine: I was with two deaf people at that time.
Two deaf people plus one from Thailand.
There are three deaf of us and two hearing people with Jason.
As my new friends and I were walking, I saw three girls walking by...
Three girls signing immediately caught my eyes.
They must be Deaf I thought.
At first, I was hesitating to talk to them.
Why? I always ignore deaf people my entire life.
Nadine: Jason was walking past us.
Jason: What happened is that I decided to approach them.
What is the point of being afraid especially when traveling?
Jason: My mind keeps saying no but deep down, I want to.
I tapped and asked them: Are you deaf?
Nadine: We said you're welcome to join us.
I had a big backpack. What should I do?
Nadine let me leave my backpack in her room.
I immediately felt welcome.
Nadine: We all have different languages.
We use international sign.
Jason: I only know ASL.
I don't know international sign.
That day spending with them was the best day of my life.
Nadine: He said he wants to learn international sign.
We were like oh he wants to learn IS. It gets easier to interact by being open.
Jason: I become more open--minded. Before I was closed minded.
Nadine: For example, this sign, "kid" in ASL, we didn't understand what he was saying.
You are supposed to sign like this.
This sign is more clear and more visible.
He was like ohhh wow. It means he's learning to use gestures to understand visual imagery.
He got interested.
One of the hardest part of traveling is saying good bye to amazing people you connected with.
Nadine: He can't explain because he needs time to process.
Jason: I felt sad.
Two years later, I'm traveling in Europe and got to see Nadine again in Austria.
She showed me around and let me sleep at her place.
Nadine: When he came here and got to see him, I felt like I just saw him yesterday.
but it was a long time since we last saw.
Jason: Thank you for everything.
Randomly bumping into her and her friends truly inspired me.
My impression was wow being part of the deaf community on that day made me feel like I'm home.
That's how I finally found my deaf identity.
Just like that and I've been happier than ever since that day.
Nadine: I'm happy for Jason too that he found his identity through traveling.
It's good that he finally found his true self by reflecting himself.
I love that! I feel goosebumps.
Jason: The reason why I'm sharing this story is because you can find your identity.
It doesn't have to be traveling to find who you are.
Everyone's experience is different.
Despite the language barrier, we still found a way to communicate with each other.
Nadine: Communication is the key.
Even he doesn't know how to sign international, or anyone feels left out,
By sincerely try to make effort to communicate, it creates that connection (from heart to heart).
I can't wait to see your future.
Jason: I feel the world is my family by meeting more deaf people around the world.
Nadine: That's right!