Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Erin. Erin Wonders, “How is natural blindness caused? ” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Erin!
Does a trip to Paris to climb the Eiffel Tower sound grand? Or would you prefer the natural beauty of Scandinavia? Perhaps an adventurous trip to Nepal to climb Mt. Everest is on your list? Maybe some time on a remote Caribbean island with your feet in the sand sounds better?
Many people think about potential destinations in terms of what there is to see. But what if you were blind? Would there be any point to traveling the world if you couldn't see it? Of course there would!
Just because you can't see doesn't mean you can't experience all the world has to offer. Sight is just one of the ways we can experience different places. Think about all you can experience through your other senses.
You can smell and taste exotic cuisines. You can hear beautiful music. You can feel the environment around you whether you're climbing a mountain, feeling a statue, or petting a kangaroo in Australia.
That's the mindset of a world traveler named Tony Giles. Tony was born and raised in England, where he still lives today. Since he was a young child, Tony has been completely blind and mostly deaf. Today, he's able to hear some sounds with the help of special hearing aids.
These disabilities haven't prevented Tony from experiencing the world, however. To date, he's visited more than 125 countries, all 50 U.S. states, and all seven continents. More impressively, he's done it all by himself, traveling solo while blind and mostly deaf.
Tony's goal is to eventually visit every country in the world. He's able to afford his travels thanks to a private pension left to him by his father, as well as the earnings from two e-books he's written about his travels.
Tony gained the skills he needs to travel, such as braille, mobility training, and specialized computer software, at two schools for the visually impaired in England. He carefully plans his trips in advance and stores all the information he needs, including flight information, lodging details, public transportation options, in a digital device he carries with him.
On his trips, Tony seeks a variety of experiences. He enjoys walking around cities, touching the walls of buildings and monuments, smelling the aromas of open marketplaces and food vendors, and even partaking in exciting adventures like bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, and skydiving.
Tony's adventures have taken him all over the world and let him experience a variety of places very few others can match. If you asked him for travel recommendations, he would advise against visiting Armenia, his least favorite destination. Tony's favorite place he's ever been so far, though, is New Zealand.