HOW TO TRAVEL ALONE WHEN YOU DON’T SEE WELL

When I say that I don’t see well I am saying that I can’t recognize a human face from more than 6 feet away, even using my glasses, or that I have to get as close as possible to a sign in order to read it, or that I have to put the cell phone almost over my face to read anything, etc. But this limitation hasn’t prevented me from travelling alone, it hasn’t prevented me from “almost” anything in my life, and I say almost because I will lie to you if I say that it hasn’t been one of the biggest limitations for one of the most important aspects in my life, but not to travel.


PARIS IN THE SPRING



I have traveled alone with my limited vision for very long and short distances to the United States, to Paris, to Amsterdam and to Keukenhof, by airplane, with layovers, long stopovers, short stopovers, by train and by bus and by subway if that counts, with difficult transfers in airports and subways, with heavy bags and cameras because I am a fine art photographer.
The first and most important thing that you have to do is to believe you can do it, I know, how obvious, but it is in that way, you have to set your mind to believe you can do it; you can also take the leap and just do it, but if you set your mind in a positive way it will make everything much easier and smoother. And please, stay away from all the people who discourage you, who are always telling you that you are mad, that you don’t see well, that you have a problem, that it will be dangerous, blah, blah, blah; maybe it is people who cares about you but in the end is it someone caring for you when they don’t let you grow, learn, fly?
HOLLAND DLOWER FIELDS

My second recommendation is to stay calm, don’t panic when you feel lost, when there is no one close to ask, when you definitely can’t see anything; it is not as difficult as it seems, believe me, there will be always someone to ask to even if you have to wait for a while, or someone to help you, even if you believe that there are not good people in the world, really.
This is also very important, so important, indispensable, you have to be humble, humble to ask, humble to ask for help, humble to ask where is the most evident, like a number in a bus station that everybody sees, like an airplane from an airline that is in front of you, you have to be humble and understand that you will need help from strangers, and you will have to ask for that help. This doesn’t mean that you will need help all the time, oh no, look, the airports, and in general the transportation systems in the world are well made! They are made to make everything easy and approachable and manageable for everyone! I am quite impressed about this.
ANSTEDAM HOUSES

But I want to emphasize about being humble to ask for help because if you are a very self-sufficient, independent person, or if you are not a believer of the humanity, this will be very very hard for you, not impossible, but hard, so this is another mind set to change. You wouldn’t believe all the amazing people I have known around the world that have helped me in the most obvious things and in the best ways, kind ways.
And finally, please use the technology, if you have a smartphone you are saved, you can go wherever you want with google maps, with an apple watch, did you know that google maps can give you auditive instructions to go to an address, to go to the subway station, etc? Be aware to have enough battery or an extra battery; but I really recommend you to have internet data wherever you go, it’s an investment you must to do, you can also take ubers or taxis when you are too tired, but you don’t need to break the bank getting yourself around in taxis. Of course I am talking about cities and places where you don’t need to use a car.
PARIS CGOCOLATERIE 

If you are a person who hates asking for help, be prepared to walk a lot to find all the things you want and need, so go to the gym and train a lot, at the beginning I was like that, then I surrendered and began asking people to find address, etc, and fortunately I can say that almost no one has been rude to me.
And just be patient and kind with yourself, trust your intuition and your intelligence when it says not to go to that place or to ask for some help, or to have a break, or just to rest in the place you are, we all know how much we should push ourselves and when we have to stop; understand your limitations but don’t let them prevent you having the life you want.

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