Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Ups and Downs

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Three words used to describe life, relationships and especially my air travel experience.

Up:

All in all no complaints regarding my interactions both with airport staff and almost every individual that assisted me during this process. From my drivers to the airport “Meet & Greet” staff and the very friendly staff in the hotel. My lesson is to really focus on having conversations with the people. It’s not only an opportunity to interact, but as today reminded me it’s another opportunity to be an advocate for those with vision loss. Not only showing others what people with vision loss are capable of doing, but even teaching the ways to assist. Instructing airport staff how to perform sighted guide or showing the hotel clerk how to use tape to help a person with vision loss properly orient themselves to the hotel key card.

Downs:

When your pilot announces that the flight will be bumpy due to turbulence:

  • Believe him, he wouldn’t lie
  • Take it seriously
  • Grab the barf bag, just in case

My first leg of this trip was the worst plane ride in my life – a small commuter express flight in very high winds. My mother will be happy to know I haven’t forgotten how to say the rosary…in both English and Spanish!

Here’s hoping the flights home are just as good as my inter-personal experiences were today. Power to the people!

Better Be About It

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

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

 

On the Road with the Reid’s

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Today began the first leg of the Reid Road Trip which includes stops in:

  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Johnstown, PA.

 

Of course all of the places you expect a brother from the Bronx, a sophisticated city sista and their two Diva’s in training to visit, right? Well why not? That’s a bit Bourgeois of you don’t you think?

 

Ok, well the trip is actually planned around the ACB Convention and Conference in Louisville and a required visit to Johnstown for PCB related business.

 

I had a very good experience a few years ago during an ACB Convention in Florida. This year I hope will be even better. Honestly, not so much because of the convention agenda, but rather this is our longest road trip with my wife captaining the ship.

 

Since the drive from the Poconos to Kentucky is over 11 hours, we decided to break up the drive both ways. The first destination is Cleveland, OH for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

 

The captain required we leave around3 – 3:30 AM. You see the Captain has a terrible allergy to traffic. Some of the symptoms include twitching, sudden punches to the steering wheel and occasional foul language.

 

As the Captain is number 1, and number 1 makes it so, the rest of the Reid crew was up and getting ready at 2 AM. Yes you heard me, 2 AM. No we weren’t going fly fishing or Quail hunting – things I imagine requires waking up at such an ungodly hour.

 

I think the ride was very good. A slight bit of traffic due to an over turned truck in Ohio, but we made good time even with two rest stops.

 

The Hall of Fame was pretty cool. They even have old Hip Hop fliers promoting some of the early parties featuring legendary artists like Afrika Bambatta, Treacherous Three, the Cold Crush Brothers and others. Those with a connection to early Hip Hop may recall the graffiti style art production of these fliers. I still appreciate the art and style put into the early marketing. Yes, a bit of Hip Hop geekdom!

 

Tomorrow we should arrive in Kentucky in the mid afternoon. Captain says we’re sailing at 8 AM. The crew is already turned in so I should probably try doing the same. Captain likes staying on schedule!