Traveling with Hearing Loss: HearStrong Goes to Maine

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 12:22:33 EST

It’s Jake again! I thought I’d share some stories from my annual summer vacation with my family.

My family has been going to Ogunquit, Maine, ever since I was less than a year old. The six-day getaway is filled with delicious meals at our favorite local restaurants, throwing a football on the beach under the sun, and playing cards on the porch overlooking the ocean late at night. Wonderful, right?

It’s a typical family vacation — but with someone with hearing loss.

My parents celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary on July 2nd (happy anniversary again!). We went out on a cocktail cruise at 8:00pm, and since I turned 21 this year I got to have a celebratory drink with them. A beer for dad, a glass of wine for mom, and a special rum punch for me — photogenic drinks and a photogenic couple!

deHahn Family on a cruise

When we boarded, we juggled who would sit where so I have the best access hearing-wise. As the boat chugged along the Atlantic Ocean, the wind kicked in. I sat by the window, but my implant was facing my parents. Keeping my implant facing towards them made conversations easier and kept me from hearing all the wind and waves.

Small things like adjusting the seating can make an experience go from okay to incredible for a person with hearing loss.

On the 4th of July, fireworks exploded over the ocean. The view was gorgeous, and the loud booms were powerful. A pair of sisters in their 70’s stood next to us and one talked to me about the pop of the fireworks. I jokingly said “There’s no way I’ll lose my hearing today — I’m already deaf!”

This boded for an opportunity to explain my hearing loss and how cochlear implants work. The chance to share my personal knowledge on something so important to me is something I try to take advantage of as much as possible. You never know when there’s an opportunity to share your hearing loss and your story!

Fireworks in Maine

Anyway, I have a small family, so our trips are all about catching up, having a good time, and being together. The only other hearing loss related conversations we had were about my job at EarQ and HearStrong (which is going incredibly well!), and my mother’s experiences at working at a deaf school — Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech.

Otherwise, it was a beautiful family vacation with my favorite people. (My brother, Patrick, couldn’t go, but he’s also one of my favorite people!)

deHahn Family in HearStrong Shirts

Well, enough about me and my vacation! It’s time to hear from other HearStrong Champions.

I would love to hear more about your summer vacations and experiences. Did you have an opportunity to share information about your hearing loss like I did?

Let's see how many places we can take HearStrong with us! Snap a picture of yourself representing HearStrong in your hometown, on the road, or on a family vacation. Share it with us and use the hashtag #HearStrongAroundTheWorld

-Jake


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