Cherie King (aka The Travel Bee) is an inspiring young woman. Having encountered many difficulties as a deaf traveller, she decided to document her travels on her blog: The Flight of the Travel Bee to enlighten others about the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Girl about the Globe caught up with her to find out more about her challenges and current mission.
You say that travel will always be your first love. Can you tell us where your love of travel first came from?
When I was a kid, my mother would just pack up the car at midnight, plug in the bulky mini TV with the VHS in the backseat and play my favorite films on loop as we drove across country. Armed with blankets, snacks, and a Polaroid camera; I would take blurry snapshots of the countryside as we zoomed past from the backseat of the car. It would be just the three of us, my mother, my sister and I on the road until the sun would rise on the horizon. The scenery would change from the plains of Missouri, to the Rocky Mountains, to the dry arid desert, and then to the balmy beachy paradise that California was. I have such warm memories of being on the road- stopping by Zoo in Wisconsin, taking silly pictures by the Grand Canyon or sitting in the world’s largest rocking chair. My love of travel came from those memories, I realized at a very young age how much I loved it, and it was all thanks to my family.
And your love of writing?
As for my love of writing, I credit my sister for that. I remember being 6 years old reading my sisters screenwriting class project in college. In which she had to write a script from any show, and write it as if she was one of the writers. She picked Cheers. I remember reading it and being taken to a different world; a world where everyone knew your name. I laughed as she wrote a story about a wine tasting party at Frasier’s house that went awry. It was so brilliant that years later I would be so frustrated because I couldn’t find my favorite episode of Cheers. I told my sister about the episode “Why haven’t they played it in syndication?” I asked her and she replied” that is because I wrote it”. That’s when I knew that writing could have a lasting effect on people. I could have sworn I saw the show, with the characters bumbling about in the wine cellar, with Norm and Cliff and Sam with his new model girlfriend and Carla snarkiness jumped from the pages and into my memory. I hope to do that one day with my writing, to take my readers to a different world and inspire them.
Where were you when you came up with the idea for Travel Bee?
As for the idea for the Travelbee, I was frustrated with the lack of travel information for the Deaf growing up. Whenever I wanted to travel somewhere, there were no resources for the Deaf and that bothered me. So I set out to change that, and to help other Deaf people travel and to spread awareness for the Deaf. Hopefully to help them travel easier and let others know what they can do to help to make their travels more enjoyable.
You have had some major obstacles to overcome. Was there ever a point in our life when you lost your faith?
Every now and then it gets difficult, and I lose faith but I realize how lucky I am to have the support system that I have now. My family and friends have made a huge impact on my life, I am constantly amazed at how supportive and understanding my friends and family can be. I am forever grateful for that, and I strongly believe everything happens for a reason and that gives me reason to forge ahead and do the best that I can.
How is everything for you now?
I feel much better and stronger than ever, thank you for asking! So far I’m in remission from my Thyroid Cancer, working to improve my health- its hard work but I have faith in that I am getting better and stronger every day.
Have your experiences in life made you more determined than ever to fulfil your dreams?
Of course it has, I come from a strong family so I learned how to face my obstacles head on and learned that nothing can stop me from accomplishing my goals. I’m a Deaf cancer survivor, and yet I managed to travel to over twenty countries in the past couple of years. It takes every ounce of determination I have to get out there to accomplish my dream and I hope I can help others realize their dreams.
What’s next on your Epic Quest list?
Ooh that is a tough one, there is so many that I would love to accomplish this year. It is either taking backpacking across Europe by train or to go back to Asia to volunteer at the Elephant Nature Sanctuary in Thailand.
What's been your best experience in life so far?
Honestly, there have been so many memorable moments from my travels but if I had to choose I would have to say my best experience would have to be running to the beach in Ghana with my friends at four in the morning. After getting lost in the jungle for several hours, we were starting to get worried if we would ever find a place to stay for the night. Around four in the morning, we finally found a lodge that had vacancy, but the best part was that it was right on the beach with little huts and bonfire pits. With the stars overhead and the sand beneath my feet with the waves washing over- I was insanely happy to be in Africa.
Your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration would have to be my family and friends they truly inspire me- their support during my battle with cancer helped me through a very tough period in my life. They constantly amaze me with their support, and their accomplishments in their lives. I thank them for constantly inspiring me and motivating me to live my life to its fullest.
If you could choose anyone, who would be your favourite travel companion? (they can be a famous person)
Ooh that is a tough one, I have so many amazing travel bloggers that I would love to travel with, as well as some famous people. If I had to choose- I would say Michael Palin. I am a huge fan of Monty Python, and I love the fact that he turned into a travel writer. Although, I have a feeling he would get sick of me quoting “A Fish Called Wanda” and Monty Python constantly…
Cherie’s Advice for Travelling
Always trust your instinct. If you travel alone, trust your gut and make sure you are comfortable wherever you are. Don’t let others pressure you, or hang out with people that don’t have your best interest in mind.
And if you feel like you want to travel with friends, and then by all means travel with your best friend. That is what travel is about, doing what is right for you and you will get the best experience out of it.
To learn more about Cherie’s inspiring story visit her website.