Seeing The World Tony’s Way – Experiences Of A Blind Traveler
Despite his disabilities, Tony has travelled globally, seeing countries through his sense of smell, sound, touch, spatial awareness, taste and interaction with the local people. Because of these experiences Tony has an inspirational and courageous story to share that illustrates to people that any imagined difficulty can be overcome regardless of the complexities of life. Tony will illustrate, through his first hand knowledge, how he simplifies complex problems during his journeys.
I was born in Weston-super-Mare, southwest England in 1978. Diagnosed at a young age with Cone Dystrophy, a rare eye condition, and Photophobia, an extreme sensitivity to light, I maintained some vision until the age of approximately twelve when I lost all sight except for occasionally being able to sense bright sunlight. At the age of about four/five, I developed nerve sensory hearing loss that has progressively worsened over time. I’m now approximately eighty percent deaf or severely deaf in both ears, but my digital hearing aids allow me to hear fairly clearly in one-to-one situations. I attended schools for children visual impairments and learned to read and write in Braille and also had mobility train; using a long white cane to find objects on the ground, go up and down steps, cross roads and, eventually, catch buses and trains and ask the public for help in finding places and gaining directions to destinations.
Despite being totally blind and partially/severely deaf, I gained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in American Studies from University College Northampton (now The University of Northampton) in 2001 and a Master of Arts Degree in Transatlantic Studies (History of US Foreign Policy) from The University of Birmingham in 2003. I began travelling around the UK when a teenager. I visited the USA with my school in 1995 and loved it. I returned with a friend who only has sight in one eye in 1998 and, eventually studied in the US for 4 months in 2000. After completing my BA in 2001, I embarked on a five-month trip that took me to most of Australia, large parts of New Zealand (my favourite country to date) and, briefly, Thailand and Vietnam for a different cultural experience. I’ve been travelling on and off from 1998 to the present! I’ve travelled in 127 UN countries, visited all fifty of the US States, explored parts of every Canadian province, and visited every country in South America and Europe. I’ve also visited all seven Continents. Travelling is my passion and I plan to do it for the rest of my life.
I’ve published three eBooks about my adventures travelling as a blind guy. My books (affiliates):
Seeing a Slice of Southern Africa My Way
Seeing The World My Way
Seeing The Americas My Way
When not travelling, I live in Teignmouth, a small seaside town in Devon. I spend my time walking by the beach; listening to the wonderful sound of the sea. I love Listening to classic rock music, listening to historical fiction and crime novels on audio books, occasionally cooking spaghetti Bolognese. I also enjoy going to the cinema, where I can follow films via the excellent audio description that many films now offer. I’m in a long-term relationship with a wonderful Greek girl. We’ve been together for over twelve years!