Solo travel is incredibly liberating, I tried it once and now I frequently head off and explore on my own. I must admit, however, that I am not on my own for long. I always meet interesting people during my trips and that’s just how I like it.
I first started cruising in 2007 and have made some wonderful friends over the years, many of whom I am still in regular contact with and visit, and others I may see if we happen to be on the same cruise. I can honestly say that I have met people from all walks of life and from various different countries and for me, that is one of the best things about travel.
I remember one couple in particular that I met during a Baltic cruise and I am going to call them Dave and Sue for the purpose of the blog. I met them just two days into the voyage, we were sailing through Germany to be precise, Dave was a southern lad and Sue was originally from South Africa. We had lots to talk about, especially Sue’s homeland, but we also chatted one day about Dave and how he had lost his sight. Yes, Dave was blind, but trust me, he could see just as much as you or I – through imagination.
One day we stood out on the deck, admiring the view and Sue was describing to Dave everything that she could see, so that he could mentally picture it. I remember at one point even closing my own eyes to see what I could picture through her words. It was a strange feeling. One day, I asked Dave what it was like for him, after all, he kept saying how fantastic the cruise was and how amazing the ports were, but he couldn’t physically see any of it – I was very curious. He said to me that “Sue does a great job” in letting him see the world through her eyes. He also noted that he hadn’t always been blind – for example, he knew what a container ship looked like and what colour the grass was – and things that he hadn’t seen before he lost his sight, well, they were whatever his mind pictured them to be. He wasn’t bitter about being blind, he made the best of a bad situation and in his own words “these things happen”. At one point, Sue was telling him about a flock of sheep that were grazing incredibly close to the water’s edge, something I think the majority of us wouldn’t give a second look towards, but he took it all in and asked questions. I could see by the expressions on his face that he was seeing exactly what we were. It really did make me smile because this wonderful woman was literally giving him his sight back.
We sat and had a chat every day of the cruise and the more time I spent with them, the more I liked them. They had so much love for one another and they definitely liked to joke. Sue at one point said that Dave was a nightmare to go food shopping with because he would pick everything up and ask what it was. “I only go in for something simple like a bag of potatoes” she said, and I can be in there a week! To which Dave responded with a shake of the head and another sip of his tea.
I could go on and on with this blog, in fact, I could probably turn it into a book, that’s how many wonderful people I have met over the years, but occasionally, one or two really do leave an imprint on your life and Dave and Sue definitely left their mark on mine.
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