You wouldn’t believe how often people ask me why I travel. The assumption seems to be that there’s no value in going to destinations because I can’t “sightsee” with my eyes.
If I were to ask a sighted person why they travel I’d probably get an answer along the lines of “I travel to see new places and different cultures,” or “To broaden my mind”. I travel for exactly the same reason, with the very subtle difference that I go to experience new places and cultures – in other words, all that’s different is that I use senses other than my sight to do so.
When people ask why I travel what they’re actually asking is *how* do I travel. Which is a totally different question and is about the techniques I use.
If you’d like to know the answer to that question, here’s a brief presentation I gave where I look at some of the preparation I do before a trip, and a little about how I create a sensory experience when I “site-experience” – hope you enjoy it!
For almost two years I’ve wanted to start a podcast. I knew what my podcast would be about, who my target audience would be and some of the people I’d like to interview. But somehow I never got round to making my ideas a reality. And it seemed that my podcast would be added to the ever-growing list of things I’d do “when I got round to it”.
Then I met a lady named Deirdre Gower, who runs a website on travel for people with a disability. The Accessible South Africa platform has information on services, accommodation, activities and venues that accommodate the needs of disabled people. And I totally fell in love with what Deirdre’s trying to do!
In one of our conversations Deirdre said she’d like to start an Accessible South Africa podcast… and suddenly fireworks started going off in my head…
We now have three episodes of the Accessible South Africa Travel Podcast out and I’m having so much fun interviewing people who are out there seeing the world despite their disability, and service providers who are making their services available to disabled travelers.
If you’re interested in travel, love inspiring stories, or are curious to learn more about how people with disabilities travel the world, and some of the wonderful travel experiences that are making their services inclusive to all, this podcast is for you – we’re not just there for the disabled community.
Subscribe to the podcast here: https://iono.fm/c/3715, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. And browse through the resources and information on the Accessible South Africa website: www.accessiblesouthafrica.co.za
When I started as the travel feature writer for the Blind Perspective e-newsletter earlier this year I never dreamed one of my articles would land up on an American radio service. But that’s what happened.
A while back I received a mail from one of the producers at Gatewave Radio in New York asking if they could read one of my Blind Perspective articles on air.
Of course I said yes.
I asked them for a link to the recording. Here it is so you can hear it for yourself:
Next time I’ll return to my amazing European trip and our final destination – Berlin!
A few weeks ago I shared a recording of the interview I did with Karen Key on the SAFM monthly Disability Report. During that interview the topic of how much I love travelling came up and I tried to explain how I see unknown places using my other senses.
As I left the studio I happened to mention to Karen that I was leaving for Greece shortly.
Her instant response was to invite me as a guest on one of her other shows -Time to Travel.
Here’s a recording of that second SAFM interview – hope you enjoy it!
Seems I’m getting more and more opportunities to talk about my experiences as The Blind Tourist in
Fiji and I had great fun going to the SABC in Cape Town to be interviewed for the Disability Report on SAFM. You can hear the interview with Karen Key here.
I was very impressed with how quietly Fiji sat while Karen and I were talking – I doubt you’ll hear even a clink of her doggy tags despite the fact we were in a soundproofed recording studio with ambient microphones.
Imagine how startled I was to discover that Karen’s mother had heard me speak and had bought a copy of my book, “A Different Way of Seeing mere weeks before the interview – it really is a very small world!
Hope you enjoy listening to the interview… I’ll share more audio and video recordings in a few weeks
Ten days ago I posted the audio recording of my first interview with Cape Talk 567 Radio during the week leading up to World Sight Day on 12 October 2017.
Here’s the second interview, this time with Pippa Hudson on her daily lifestyle show.
There were a few things that made this a memorable interview for me – first that Pippa invited Fiji and I into the studio which was a lot more fun than sitting on a phone and, second that the interview seemed to develop a life of its own – it seemed to flow seamlessly from one topic to the next.
And it appears I wasn’t the only one who felt it went well – from what I’ve been told, not only did Cape Talk replay the interview the following day, but it was also picked up by their sister station in Johannesburg, 702.
And, if that wasn’t enough, this was the interview that led to a journalist from YOU Magazine picking up on my story and contacting me to ask for an interview for their online magazine – but more on that in a future post!
I won’t be posting an article on 2 January – everyone needs a few days off to see in the new year – but look out for my next post on Friday, 5 January 2018.
Thank you for all your support over 2017 and I look forward to sharing more of my experiences and observations with you in 2018.
I know it was the week of World Sight Day… and I know I’d just drawn up a press release focusing on my ability to talk on the topic of blindness… but still I was startled when I was approached to speak on Cape Talk 567 not once, but twice in a single week.
Here is the link to the first of my Cape Talk 567 interviews, which took place at the way-too-early time of 04:45 AM. Luckily it was a phone interview so I could gratefully stumble back to bed to resume my disturbed sleep afterwards.
The second interview, for which I had to be in-studio, took place two days later at the much more civilized time of 14:00 –I’ll share the link to the podcast of that recording soon!
Here’s the first interview, on Early Morning with Abs, 10 October 2017.
Hope you enjoy the interview!
Here’s another audio recording – this time of a presentation I gave at the Helen Keller Society residential home in March this year. In some ways March doesn’t’ seem that long ago, but in other ways well, let’s just say that it’s almost a lifetime!
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of talking to the residents and answering the diverse questions I was asked afterwards. I was even asked to sing and, of course, my mind went blank and I couldn’t think of a single song! At least I learned from that experience and now always have a song prepared… just in case.
What really startled me when I was editing the recording was that, despite the full recording being over an hour, my actual presentation was just over 16 minutes. It felt a lot longer when I was talking!
It’s also quite an early presentation on this topic, and perhaps a little more introspective than my current speeches about what helped me move forwards with my life following my blindness. It feels more like a conversation with friends than a formal presentation – but that may just be my impression. You’ll have to judge for yourself.
After this speech, the Helen Keller Society invited me to be the guest speaker at their AGM, which I did a few months later… but that’s an entirely different story…
Have you ever opened your mouth and been totally flummoxed by what comes out? What? That’s never happened to you? I don’t believe it!
Here’s a link to a presentation I gave about how assistive technology has changed the lives of people with visual impairments… and the challenge of growing the numbers of persons with disabilities in employment. The presentation was given at the AFRINEAD conference I attended in Ghana in August this year.
As for that verbal slip… well, it was more than just a slip… Yes, I truly do know the attack on the Twin Towers in New York was in 2001 and not 2011 … but somehow that’s just what came out on the day!
Hopefully my mistake didn’t detract from the message I was trying to make … You’ll have to listen and judge for yourself!
Here is a link to an interview that was aired several times on RX Radio, the radio station of the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.
What makes this interview so special is that Qaqamba, the person who interviewed me, was just 13 years old. RX Radio, with the tag line “By the Children, For the Children” is a radio station hosted by long term patients of the Red Cross Hospital and their programming is aimed at their fellow patients. Sure, there is a certain amount of adult guidance and supervision, but the children are trained to host and run their own shows. I think it’s an amazing concept and was super impressed by how professional the young presenters are.