Independent Holidays For The Vision-Impaired Is The Way To Go!
Preeti Monga, our blind travel expert shares how an independent holiday is more liberating for the disabled. For all they’ve experienced in the past is a getaway that is constantly guided and involves more instructions than fun. Here’s Preeti’s take on why one should opt for an independent holiday;
Holiday is time to getaway, let your hair down, explore extraordinary and unfamiliar territory! However, these aspirations may just remain unfulfilled, for either your disciplinarians went holidaying with you and efficiently executed their self-appointed task of ensuring you behave yourself, or your usual fear of ‘what will people think’ helped to practically ruin your precious vacation!
Sighted or blind, more often than not, our deep rooted yet baseless tendency of constantly seeking everyone’s approval wipes away most of life’s excitement and fun. Don’t we all want to live life on our own terms? We do, we all do!
Ever since I learnt to make my vision impairment work to my advantage, I actually started to live life. And believe you me, it is very easy for a blind person to ignore the pitiful glances and ridiculing stares that often come our way; and incidentally, what one can’t see, can’t upset one. Therefore, it is entirely up to us, to either make the most of this situation and have all the fun we can, or to sit around and simply wallow in self-pity and miss all that this beautiful world has to offer!
I must share a few real life stories to motivate you to take the plunge and discover the positive side of your vision impairment, and how you can have so much more fun once you have done so!
This one is about my 13-year-old visually impaired student Pallavi, who beat 28 of her sighted classmates in a rock climbing competition! When I asked her how that happened? She simply smiled and said, “I just climbed on not knowing the consequences and that’s exactly why I could do it. And it was only later that I found out I scored 5 points, while the rest scored 2 and 3 because they were scared of falling, and of course were worried about being laughed at!” No, young Pallavi possesses no magical powers, but her total blindness became her hidden power! For, she simply couldn’t actually see how treacherous and dangerous her climb looked; and so she gave the sport her best, with complete faith and trust in herself and her environment, while totally enjoyed the sport in the bargain!
And how can I not mention Raja, a visually impaired youngster, who had come on one of our long weekend trips into the mountains of Neonatal; whom we discovered lying in the middle of the hilly road outside our resort, in the icy cold pouring rain! Shocked at his strange behaviour, we tried lifting him off the road and all we got out of him was, “for the first time I have managed to find my freedom and I want to do what my heart tells me to. At the moment, I want to lie in the middle of this beautiful ice cold wet road, and gift myself the feeling of freedom.” And we couldn’t agree more!! After all, his family has never allowed him to venture away from their sight. “But, what happens if a vehicle suddenly comes onto this road”, I enquired? Promptly from the ground below came his gleeful reply, “I am only blind, not deaf! I will hear the vehicle long before it comes into sight! There will be enough time for me to jump up and get off the road, for, I am not here to free myself from life…I just want to follow my heart”
I hope you do know that today, we with disabilities, have the luxury of choosing independent holidays with Enable Travel. They offer customized support, well crafted itineraries and assistance throughout our trip. We can actually travel anywhere on our own and it is now time to not let your disability put a wedge in your travel plans. Enable Travel is here to open doors to travel for the disabled and it thrives on bringing the world to you.
So, dear girls and boys – pack your favourite swimsuits and wade into the tumbling waves of the sea, allowing the waters to wash away your left over inhibitions! And, well, if it is the mountains that beckon you, then that is where you must go! Go ahead and explore the monuments you have always wanted to explore fully, reaching out to touch everything that can come into your reach! Don’t let anything miss your golden chance, to dine and wine to your heart’s content and dance the night away. Here is a tiny tip for you though- don’t ever hesitate to enquire about your surroundings from people around you, clearly mentioning that you cannot see and gather all possible information of any silent obstacles that may be lurking in your vicinity!
So, now is your chance to think beyond your inhibitions and experience the true joys of travel.
Read more articles by Preeti here
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