As a writer and a lover of discovery, this is an exciting time in my life as I venture further into the world unseen. My travel blog is intended to share with you a different way of viewing the world – by feeling it through all the senses.
I have been legally-blind since the age of seventeen with an incurable eye condition known as Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). After receiving the unexpected diagnosis at such a crucial stage of my development, I remember thinking that I had to make a serious choice: I could either drown in self-pity and be cocooned in cotton wool and let go of my young dreams…or I could see this diagnosis as a mere obstacle that had to be overcome and develop a different way of reaching my goals. So I embraced this quote by Patrick Overton: –
“When you have come to the edge of all light that you know, and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen – there will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.”
I like to think I have learned to do both!
I have learned to ground myself by following my intuition, to listen to the voice within, to trust inner vision and step out with firm determination and courage to follow my dreams.
And I have been surprised to learn that I can fly by the seat of my pants as I share the journey with family and friends because my partner, Harry, has taught me that sometimes, one has to let go of our magnificently organised plans and jump into the world of chaos and enjoy the unforeseen situations that present themselves!
As the writer and editor for this blog, my aim is to retell the incidents that, hopefully, will inspire, lighten the heart, shed an honest light onto the things that happen to a ‘blind’ intrepid traveller and her crew: the good, the bad and the ridiculous!
The stories will take us to many destinations, both near and far as sometimes my most insightful tales can occur right in my own home city of Melbourne, Australia.
At Touching Landscapes, we welcome submissions from other keen travellers and encourage you to tell us your tale of discovery. Please read our guidelines – we’d love to hear from you!
Harry has kindly agreed to be in charge of all the visuals for Touching Landscapes so long as I keep massaging his shoulders while he stares at the computer screen carrying out my many requests. From the design of the blog to the uploading of our photos and the editing of our travel videos. So, if any unflattering images appear, rest assured, I am not responsible and all complaints must be addressed to Harry’s optometrist for prescribing his rose-tinted glasses in the first place.
All kidding aside, Harry’s professional images offer an added visual bonus that enhance the stories of our European travels, in particular the current series in this blog called, Touching the sites of France.
Some articles include our video clips for your enjoyment.
I was first introduced to my son in the back of an ambulance on the day he was born and ever since, Mike has been my loyal travel buddy! Mike holds a Master’s Degree in sighted-guide practices and a Diploma in ‘musings’. He is a natural ‘funny boy’ and like a muse, his candid expressions delight my imagination and often end up as the quirky statements among my stories.
Mike has developed a secret hand code when guiding me through busy streets as if we are both latched on to an invisible play-station remote control device where I am expected to respond within nano-seconds, to the subtle shift of direction. Dodging human traffic is like living in a 3D real life video game as I whack the cane, sweeping a clear path – and I must give my son credit for his tenacity to get us to our destination without any combat fatalities – on our side anyway.
Brian Steel – Senior Editor
Hey, what a coincidence? This guy has the same surname. Well, as my father, one might expect the infiltration of talent behind the scenes. I cannot thank him enough for his impeccable editor’s eye. This not only saves me a lot of time and eye strain on a spell checker but his experience as a well-seasoned author makes my words sparkle and shine with the correct grammar and punctuation (although my dad is a little old fashioned and likes to use brackets and exclamation marks much more than we do these days!!).
His recent self-appointed role as public relations officer for the Mornington branch of Touching Landscapes is much appreciated by our Head Office. Promoting my writing achievements to family and friends all around the world has prompted (or prodded) a great response – just like proud parents do at their child’s end of year ballet concert!
Well done, Brian – the fan club numbers are swelling, thanks to you…