Chris Markiewicz's Blog
Every Monday – thoughts, observations and ideas that hold up a mirror to who & how we are

So brave!

In recent months, my work has had me travelling to places as diverse as Bulgaria, Czech Republic, India, US and even Croydon. This has prompted a number of people to say how brave I am to venture out to such places on my own, given my visual impairment.

On the one hand, hearing such plaudits feels good, it massages my ego quite nicely.

However, I need to put things straight on this. Whilst travelling to far off places can be a big deal in some ways, getting there and back actually takes little courage. For me, it involves a cab or lift from my wife to the airport, assistance onto the plane as well as at my destination. Usually, I’m fast tracked through immigration and then met by a driver or seen into a cab. Once at my hotel, I’m escorted to my room and job done.

Then, on a daily basis I’m picked up by cab or by the client and taken to the venue where I run the course.

Other than that, I usually remain in my hotel room. I either enjoy room service food or have takeaways brought in and, if feeling brave enough, I might just make my way to the hotel restaurant.

I avoid venturing out for fear of having mishaps or an accident. ( I once tried that in Sofia and accidentally kicked a stray dog – its reaction was not fun!) I don’t go sightseeing or to restaurants, bars or clubs. I don’t visit museums, concerts or galleries. I admit, this is a shame and that, had I more courage, the visit would be much the richer for it. I know of blind and visually impaired folk who do venture out all over the world and have the most amazing adventures as a result – I’m a 24 carat wuss by comparison!

Instead, I sit in my room listening to the radio (thank goodness for the BBC iPlayer!), reading or watching films on my tablet. I’m usually pretty worn out after a day’s training delivery, so feel little inclination to go out anyway.

Ironically, travelling between countries or even continents can be far easier than trying to negotiate a busy London tube station at rush hour or get around my local supermarket on a Saturday morning! And, as for Croydon………

One Response to “So brave!”

  1. I still think you’re brave . .but travelling to ‘foreign’ parts’ sighted or not, can be a huge challenge for many. Enjoy the plaudits, and thanks for your honesty.

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