Better Be About It

This year I have had several opportunities to travel both with my family and without. Another opportunity has recently presented itself and it occurred to me that I have yet to travel alone via air. That’s right; in the just about 11 years since I have been blind I have not traveled by plane alone.

Some may think this is not a big deal. However, as an advocate and someone who truly believes that people with vision loss can accomplish anything with the proper training and preparation, how can I promote this without having these experiences for myself?

Well, tomorrow will be my first flight alone. In fact, we’re not really talking about long flights, but I do have connections to make. As taught by my O&M instructor years ago, I have made all of the necessary preparations and I have all of the contact information at my fingertips. It’s a quick trip so I can get away with only one carry on; a back pack. As often the case, the inter-personal skills are so important in traveling for a person with vision loss. Asking for directions in a way that will produce usable results is a skill. When you’re someone like myself who is less accustomed to asking for directions, this can be a challenge. Probably even more of an issue for me is dealing with my less than friendly fellow travelers or those who think they can drag me or maneuver me as though I am an object. Picture someone placing their hands on a grown man’s shoulder and trying to turn him in the direction of the restroom. Now picture this grown man mentally running through a list of Jujitsu locks and throws, searching for just the right one for the occasion. Ok, so now you see where I need to focus my energy during my trip.

Alright, maybe that is a slight exaggeration. Maybe? We’ll find out


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