I, like Kellycat, am a total language nerd! I speak Spanish, I'm learning Arabic, and now I'd like to learn ASL.
Why do I love languages so much? Because when I know the language that a community of people speak, I can talk to all the members of the community! I love being able to talk to people who other people can't easily talk to. I love learning about cultures that other people can't/don't know about. For the other languages, in all honesty, I also love the food.
I have been to Guatemala, and knowing even crappy Spanish let me meet people there, connect with them, and make friends that I kept even after coming back to Indiana. Knowing Arabic, even though my Arabic that is beyond sucky, shows people that I at least value their culture enough to be interested and try to learn. And ASL? Well, I don't know how that will help me or help others... but I didn't know that learning Spanish or Arabic would help either, until wayyyyy after I started learning!
Congratulations on learning so many languages. I really like your post.
I'm curious that if you were a profounded deaf person, as I am, would you feel the same way about language? Your point seems to be, the way I see it, is you want to be able to go into another culture and be able to communicate in that culture's language. So do you feel that the deaf need to learn to read and write (speaking would be hard/impossible) the language of another culture?