I Solo Deaf Travelled in 35 Countries, you can too!

Are you someone who is deaf or have hearing loss? Do you feel the urge to travel around the world? Are you worried you can’t do it on your own?

Then you don’t need to worry what so ever!

If I can travel around the world as a deaf traveller, then you can too.

In the last seven years, I have been travelling in six continents, 35 countries and more cities than I can remember. All this, while travelling solo as a deaf traveller and you know what? I didn’t need to worry about it all in the first place. I’ve never felt so comfortable and at ease whilst going on city breaks, backpacking around foreign countries, beach holidays and more. With my trusty deaf travel packing essentials to ensure my cochlear implant and hearing aid stays functional on the road, I can do whatever I can damn well can.

Plenty of people said I couldn’t do it on my own. They thought I should go with a tour group. Travel with friends. Or perhaps even just stay at home.

Well, I proved them all wrong. 35 ways in fact. 35 countries that some spoke different languages, had different customs, had different way of life. Each country built my confidence up, open my eyes to the world, gained new respect for different people and more importantly, proved to myself no matter what my deafness can try to limit me, I can overcome them.

You can too.

If you would like to know which countries I’ve visited to get your inspiration, I’ve made a list below with my favourite photos. I’ve also given a rating how deaf aware these countries are too. I sincerely hope that if you are someone who is deaf or has a hearing loss, you have the opportunity to travel no matter how far and wide you go.

It’s easy. Just do it.

If you want to chat with me more about deaf travel, why not drop me an email at thedeaftraveller@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to discuss your plans with you.

 

35 Countries to Deaf Travel In 

 

Thailand

Thailand

The first South Eastern Asian country I went to. It was a bit of a culture shock but I soon got back into the swing of things. Northern Thailand is especially beautiful particularly trekking in the rainforests.

Deaf-friendly rating: 5/10

 

Laos

laos

A fantastic country to travel in if you really want to get off the beaten track. Making new friends on the road, we soon got lost in the middle of rural Laos to the point when we had to do a homestay in a village, communicating with the locals in a variety of ways, before exploring the most scariest cave in the world…

Deaf-friendly rating: 5/10

 

Cambodia

Cambodia

A gorgeous country to explore particularly in the Angkor ruins especially at sunrise. The locals are extremely helpful and love to show you around. The Tuk-Tuk tour guide we had was absolutely brilliant in showing us where to go.

Deaf-friendly rating: 6/10

 

Vietnam

Vietnam

If you ever want to experience chaos, Vietnam is your port of call. A whole new language, crazy customs and tastes of adventure, you can explore the beauty of Halong Bay, get your suits made in Hoi An or climb through the Cu Chi Tunnels – relics from the Vietnam War.

Deaf-friendly rating: 5/10 

 

Malaysia

wpid-photo-8-jun-2012-04251

Immersed in mult-cultural food, I was utterly in my element trying out new tastes and even learnt to cook Malaysian style! Kuala Lumpur is a hot bed of clash of cultures but it seems to work.

Deaf-friendly rating: 6/10

 

Singapore

Singapore

Another a couple of days in Singapore but left a huge impression. Navigating the city has never been so easy with their clean and pristine underground transport. I even managed to find time to grab a drink at the world famous Long Bar and tried their Singapore Sling speciality.

Deaf-friendly rating: 6/10

 

Australia

Australia 2

Spending three months in Australia was an utter and complete blast campervanning down the East Coast from Cape Tribulation to the Outback to Melbourne via Sydney. I even went to the West Coast to explore the wildflowers and the gorgeous beaches. Definitely one to remember.

Deaf-friendly rating: 9/10

 

New Zealand

New Zealand

My favourite, favourite, favourite country in the whole wide world. I even considered living here too! Perfect for the adrenaline junkie for me, I threw myself out of planes, bungee jumped out at 134m high, surfed, and lots more. Plus, there’s epic panoramic beauty sights to behold.

Deaf-friendly rating: 10/10

 

Fiji

Fiji

Island hopping in Fiji through the Yasawas Islands is paradise personified. Snorkelling through the reefs, getting involved in local entertainment and visiting schools has been an experience to remember.

Deaf-friendly rating: 8/10

 

Argentina

Argentina

Moving into South America, I definitely had to practice my Spanish! Travelling on local buses through the country from Buenos Aires, watching tango dances, to Mendoza, trying out all the vineyards there, to Puerta de Iguazu, where the epic falls are, it was a backpacker’s dream.

Deaf-friendly rating: 6/10

 

Brazil

Brazil

Now it’s time to speak Portuguese! Brazil is a massive country to explore and we only saw one corner of it. But we spent Rio de Carnival for a week, dancing and meeting lots of people. Not forgetting we chilled out in speedos on Copacabana Beach too!

Deaf-friendly rating: 6/10

 

Uganda

Uganda

My very first inter-continental trip back when I was 21, I travelled to Uganda on a charity trip to build schools and teach to the wonderful children out there. It really was a learning curve and I’m glad to have been in this gorgeous country, right in the middle of a national park.

Deaf-friendly rating: 4/10

 

UK

UK

Obviously, travel begins at home! I’m always one to explore each corner of my country as much as I can on a weekend. Finding inspiration in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England, there’s so much more to see!

Deaf-friendly rating: 10/10

 

Ireland

Ireland

Being part Irish, I simply had to visit my other home country. From Dublin to the countryside at County Wicklow, I definitely enjoyed a taste of their whiskies…just one glass.. promise (actually loads!)

Deaf-friendly rating: 10/10

 

Belgium

Belgium

Just across the sea, I spent a week in Belgium traversing the country from Bruges to Ghent to Brussels. For me, simply having the Belgian frites, mussels and waffles had to be the highlight. Just look how happy I am!

Deaf-friendly rating: 10/10

 

Netherlands

Netherlands

Ah, Netherlands. What a wonderful country to cycle in! Exploring the cheese factories, swinging off buildings 100m above the ground, developing a taste for Dutch beer and living the hippy lifestyle, it’s a perfect introduction to Europe.

Deaf-friendly rating: 10/10

 

Luxembourg

Luxembourg

A quick weekend in Luxembourg, one of the smallest countries in the world, shows it to be one of the main contenders of the best European country crown. It’s so relaxed that you can simply walk up to the door of the Prime Minister’s office and knock!

Deaf-friendly rating: 10/10

 

Spain

Spain

I have truly fond memories of Spain that I simply can’t stop going back for more! From Seville, Cordoba, Madrid, Grenada, Benidorm and their Balearics Islands, it’s so easy to travel around on their buses. They sure love to party!

Deaf-friendly rating: 9/10

 

Portugal

Portugal

Still on the Iberian Peninsula, don’t forget to pop on over to Portugal, particularly on its Algarve Coast where you will find your relaxation station. It’s within train travel distance to Lisbon too! The beaches are truly wonderful and you’re at the entrance to the Mediterranean so you’ll still have warm waters to dip your toes into.

Deaf-friendly rating: 8/10

 

Germany

Germany 2

The German people are one of the most friendliest and craziest I’ve ever met in the world whether out backpacking in other countries or in their country. Travelling via bus from all ends whether to Munich, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Berlin and more, you’ll always find something unique to discover in Germany.

Deaf-friendly rating: 10/10

 

Italy

Italy

I would have never associated Italy with adventure until I arrived. One of the most thrilling experiences I’ve had is to undertake the Flight of the Angel travelling at fast speeds at 888m above the ground rocketing through valleys! But for the more relaxed in you, you can learn to make Pasta and enjoy the festivals of Southern Italy.

Deaf-friendly rating: 7/10

 

Croatia

Croatia

Croatia is definitely the jewel in the Balkans. For three weeks, I meandered my way down the country along the Adriatic Coast from Zagreb to Split, island hopping in Hvar and Korcula before ending in gorgeous Dubrovnik. It was so easy to travel and I made some extra-special friends along the way.

Deaf-friendly rating: 7/10

 

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bosnia

Visiting the city of Mostar for the weekend, we certainly jumped at the chance to explore the best of Bosnia & Herzegovina. We loved seeing the bridge rivers jump into the river avoiding the rocks below.

Deaf-friendly rating: 6/10

 

Slovenia

Slovenia

Still in the Balkans, Slovenia was the next stop. Such mountainous beauty at the foot of the Alps, Lake Bled and Ljubljana are the must see stops of your Balkan journey. Again, bus travel is simply so easy.

Def-friendly rating: 8/10

 

Denmark

Denmark

You may be wondering what I’m doing in the picture above. I’m being Ariel, the Little Mermaid, on the rock at Helsingor in Denmark. The reason is that the creator of the Little Mermaid is from Denmark himself! Visiting Copenhagen and undertaking day trips on the train to the coast has proved itself to be one of the most deaf-friendly countries in the world.

Deaf-friendly rating: 10/10

 

Lithuania

Lithuania

Heading on over to the Baltics in Lithuania, we definitely tried out all the activities that we could do on a long weekend break. Trying out strange food such as Pig’s ears, tripe sausages and more, it was a culinary experience to remember!

Deaf-friendly rating: 6/10

 

Romania

Romania

Ah, Romania, you make me laugh so! I confess that this country is probably one of the hardest countries to travel in as a deaf person as their straight-faced emotion and incomprehensible language made me struggle. However, it was an experience through laughter and tears on my part to find out what makes Romania so great.

Deaf-friendly rating: 3/10

 

USA

USA

Trekking in the United States of America is definitely one for the memory banks. Visiting 10 national parks across the states of Nevada, Arizona and Utah definitely challenged me especially charging my deaf equipment. But you can always find a way thanks to the really helpful people there. The best bit was trekking in the Grand Canyon and perhaps also partying in Las Vegas. Wink, wink!

Deaf-friendly rating: 9/10

 

Norway

Norway

Cruising along the Norwegian Fjords stopping off at Flam, Olden, Molde and Bergen completely wowed me. I just adored walking in the hills with the clouds slowly drifting in around me while I looked down in the Fjords below. The Norwegian people are simply quirky but lovely to talk to.

Deaf-friendly rating: 9/10

 

Sweden

Sweden

I wish I got more time to explore Sweden. Spending a week in Stockholm, there’s a multitude of outdoor activities to do, but for me, the highlight was the ABBA Museum! I simply love singing and dancing to pop music so I was in my utter element!

Deaf-friendly rating: 10/10

 

Finland

Finland

It comes to no surprise that I wish I was in Finland all the time. My very first Nordic country to visit, I was bowled over by the friendliness of the locals who insisted on driving me out on their boats through their Archipelago to their saunas!

Deaf-friendly rating: 10/10

 

Iceland

Iceland

If you’re seeking adventure in Europe, then Iceland is the best country to do it in! Whether you are snowmobiling on the ice fields, swimming in the hot lagoons or simply trekking on the flat moon-like landscapes, you are truly in for a treat! My favourite bit when I visited in their summer is that everyone is still up at 2am in great light!

Deaf-friendly rating: 9/10

 

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

My odyssey in Eastern Europe continues in Czech Republic (or Czechia as it’s known now) exploring their picturesque city of Prague. Discovering their love of beer and stodgy food, I really found myself immersed in their culture whilst walking around looking upwards at their panoramic skylines.

Deaf-friendly rating: 6/10

 

Austria

Austria

Austria, the land of Sound of Music! Knowing my love for musical theatre, I simply had to get to Salzburg where the film was made. Do you recognise the steps? But like Germany, Austrians are extremely friendly and will stop to help you out if you ever get stuck in the language or where you are going. Do-rae-me!

Deaf-friendly rating: 9/10

 

There you have it! Are you inspired? Let me know which country you are thinking of travelling to and I’d be happy to help with deaf travel tips!

Love, Ed x

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4 Replies to “I Solo Deaf Travelled in 35 Countries, you can too!”

  1. Way to go! Great photos too. Looks like you had a blast. Couldn’t help but notice the European countries got the highest rating for deaf awareness. Would be great to see a post elaborating on the differences to the third world countries you visited. Interesting post. Great job. Thanks and congratulations.

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