Using your holiday “eyes”

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
Macchu Pichu in Peru. The paths leading to this UNESCO World Heritage Site can be callending but Travel eyes will take you there.

Macchu Pichu in Peru. The paths leading to this UNESCO World Heritage Site can be callending but Traveleyes will take you there.

Going away on holiday is about, amongst other things, relaxation, re-charging batteries and removing stress.

But not all holidays are like that. Those who accompany people with learning, sight or other difficulties have a “job” to do in looking after those that are with them. Usually they are relatives or carers and sometimes, you wonder how much it is as a holiday for them.

One company, Traveleyes, was the world’s first commercial tour operator offering independent travel to people who are blind or partially sighted. Now it is also actively promoting their holidays to people who do not have sight issues. Why?

It says that that sighted travellers help guide and describe sights to their blind companions who they’re paired with each day. So far that sounds as though those that are sighted are acting as unpaid carers. How much of a break does it become for them?

Traveleyes says that, in return, reduced sight travellers guide sighted ones in an exploration of their other senses. But how? The answer is given by one blind traveller on a skiing holiday. “The feel of the breeze on my face as my speed picked up, the crunching and swooshing of the skis on the snow, the smell of the Deep Heat and the taste of the free cake afterwards… who needs their sight when the other senses are being overloaded like this?”

It is these senses that are passed on to sighted people on the tours because most sighted people see but don’t have other honed senses. Parts of a holiday which were not so accentuated in  the past are now because the sight-impaired in the group  are pointing out holiday features use other senses to feel, hear end enjoy.

Each tour group, on average, is made up of 16 people; half the group is blind, and the other half sighted. The groups provide a way for both blind and sighted people to travel solo, along with couples and friends who want to travel in a social environment. By helping make the world accessible to blind travellers, sighted travellers also receive a discount on their tours of up to 50%.

The company, founded 12 years ago by Amar Latif in Leeds who has lost 95% of his vision, is expanding and visiting parts of the world that many would consider challenging for those with full sight. What they are also finding is that more and more people with no sight problems are joining the tours in ever-increasing numbers.

Sight-impaired people are opening the eyes of sighted people to see the world as it is and not to just rely on their vision.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , ,