I often get asked about the process I use when I travel. I suspect non-blind people have a difficult time understanding what I gain from exploring new destinations. That was why I suggested travel as a topic for a presentation I was invited to give at the International Women’s Club meeting in Cape Town last month. And the topic was eagerly agreed to by their leadership team.
Which is how I found myself standing on stage in the ballroom of the Kelvin Grove Club addressing a group of about 200 people, sharing how I travel, and a few of my favourite travel experiences, while also subtly educating them on the tools and techniques I use to accomplish other daily living tasks.
They were a truly wonderful audience – they were responsive and engaged, asked questions when given the opportunity to do so, and subsequently were eager to find out more by buying copies of my memoir. And, of course, they absolutely loved my beautiful guide dog, Fiji, who also had a marvelous time “chatting up” everyone she met!
During my talk, which was accompanied by some of my husband’s glorious photographs, I spoke about how I use my other senses to create a multi-sensory mental image of the place I’m visiting and cited examples of experiences I’d had that particularly engaged one or other of those senses. So, just to give you a quick taste of what I’m talking about, I gave a number of tactile experiences where I’ve had the privilege of touching famous objects like the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, USA, and the standing stone circle at Stonehenge in Salisbury, UK. And, of course, one of my most treasured tactile tours round the Athenian Archeological Museum in Athens, Greece.
My main reason for doing it that way was to show how my senses allow me to gain information about a travel experience that is simultaneously similar and different from what my audience might recognise. And, during the Q&A after my talk, I was intrigued to be offered several travel suggestions that people felt I might be able to enjoy, using the techniques I’d shared with them. Some of which I’d already tried for myself, and some of which definitely piqued my interest for future travels.
But, why not come and hear for yourself? I’ll be presenting a version of that same speech at the Atlantic Beach Estate during June – and this time, it’s an event that is open to the public!
The best way to find out more is by connecting with me on social media on either Facebook or LinkedIn, at the accounts below.