Deaf illustrator's mum protested when he wanted to travel solo
Deaf illustrator who doesn't read or write Chinese and can't speak Mandarin travels solo to Taiwan.
When Mr Isaac Liang said he wanted to travel to Taiwan alone, his mother protested strongly.
She was worried because he does not read or write Chinese.
And to add to his travelling challenges, Mr Liang was born deaf.
He cannot hear and his speech is limited. He speaks basic English to his mother and uses simple hand gestures to communicate with his father.
The housewife, who wanted to be known only as Mrs Liang, told The New Paper in Mandarin: "I asked him, 'Aren't you scared?' He won't even be able to read the road signs."
In a previous interview, Mr Liang, 29, a freelance illustrator, said that communicating with his parents, who speak only Mandarin or Cantonese, was tough.
He had said: "I did not learn Mandarin and their English is very limited, so it is difficult."
Mrs Liang fretted over her son's travel plans, saying: "I wanted to know: Where will he be staying? Who will show him around?"
But Mr Liang, who was determined to step out on his own, finally managed to convince her.
"He said he has friends in Taiwan who would show him around," said Mrs Liang.
"I can't stop him because he's already grown up and he is independent as well. It's something I've instilled in him at a very young age."
And that was how Mr Liangspent a month in Tainan, Taiwan, last October.
He also proved to be a budgeting whizz, spending a little over $1,200 for the entire trip.
To get past the communication challenge and language barrier, he came up with his own solution.
He said: "I would type the English words into the Google Translate page and app, and the translation would show up on the screen.
"I would also print the addresses and photos of the places I want to go for taxi drivers."
Mr Liang stayed at Planett, a co-working space and residency where travellers can work on their personal or freelance projects.
He said: "I fell in love with the artistic design and spaces. The place gave me a lot of ideas and the creativity to do my own thing."
The trip inspired Mr Liang, who hopes to start up a co-working space. Although he is not sure about the demand for such spaces, he knows of many co-working spaces where the monthly membership fees are high.
"I am sure there will be a demand if someone can provide a more viable option," he said.
Mr Liang plans to return to Taiwan, in December and added: "I will definitely drop by Planett to say hi to my friends."
He would like to step out farther.
He said: "Japan, Australia, America and even Europe. I want to travel around the world as a nomad working traveller.
"I can sketch in my own time without anyone waiting for me. I don't like to go to places in a hurry, that's why I prefer travelling alone."
Mr Liang is preparing his own story book for readers of all ages.
He said: "It's an idea that I've had for a long time. It will be based on my experience as a deaf Singaporean illustrator and what it's like to live in a 'soundless' world."
I can sketch in my own time without anyone waiting for me. I don't like to go to places in a hurry, that's why I prefer travelling alone.
- Mr Isaac Liang, 29