As my sight has deteriorated, holidays have become less enjoyable due to a range of reasons. I think, on the whole, it’s probably me putting up barriers to going away but some of them, in my opinion, are reasonable and understandable.
I know, I know, what a bore and how miserable I am… And even when my lovely wife, Kelly, keeps telling me that she’ll be there and we’ll do it together and have fun with the children, I still struggle to look forward to getting away.
The thought of taking a holiday, maybe flying to somewhere hot with golden sands and clear blue water sounds lovely and something that I should look forward to, but the reality is that they become less enjoyable to me. Any holiday, no matter where the destination, becomes unfamiliar territory and thus makes me dependent on support from those I’m holidaying with.
I guess I find getting away more difficult because I’ve had sight and now can’t see what I used to. I would therefore have seen the different landscapes, colours, sites of interest, etc. but now I only get blocks of blurriness. I can learn to navigate the new accommodation pretty quickly and normally by the end of a week can get around without banging in to things but beyond the parameter of this I need support.
I know that I’m not the only vision impaired person who thinks like this, several people that I have spoken to about holidays have the same or similar views. Some say that it’s not a holiday due to the additional concentration and stresses of being in new surroundings and other people have said that it makes them depressed as it reminds them of how little they can manage when out of their familiar surroundings.
So, maybe it’s about time that I re-think what a holiday means to me. Rather than hanging on to what was and how holidays used to be, I now need to admit that I need extra support whilst away. I have to say goodbye to being able to see the different views and sites, and forget about browsing the shops or sitting and people watching but learn to appreciate the new surroundings, smells, noises and textures as well as being able to chuckle (what a great word chuckle is) at how Kelly and the children describe things to me.
I am interested to learn more about how vision impaired people manage on holiday, so if you have any particular tips or have a story to tell, please share them with us by commenting…
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Our VIDA Insights...
Following our experiences from delivering our Vision Impairment Awareness training days over the past couple of years, we know that there’s loads more that we could talk about and examples we could have shared. Whilst these won’t be a substitute for our training, they will give you an insight (hence the name!) into our thoughts, observations and experiences from each of our perspectives - Dave’s living with sight loss and Vicky’s from being a sighted person and working alongside and supporting people who have sight loss.