Good morning blind wisdom seekers – I’m back! We did it!

Who would have thought?

On the way home from the bi-centennial celebrations of Louis Braille’s birth in Paris in January 2009, Ron and I came home through Egypt and Jordan! Egypt? Jordan? “Can you imagine me in Egypt and Jordan” I asked myself. Rather than listening to my fear and saying no I said why not!

What I didn’t know at the time was that our visit to Petra in Jordan, our first wonder of the world, would lead on to an exciting five year journey that would take us to visit all seven wonder’s of the world, have us visit 23 countries, spend money in 15 currencies, speak 15 languages and stay in 46 hotel rooms.

People ask me how I can sight see when I can’t see. Because I can smell, hear, taste and touch I reply! Every day I am away, I write a sensory diary, writing down one thing I smell, hear, taste and touch that day.

Below are the entries from that diary for each day I visited each of the seven wonders. The magic of smell, sound, taste and touch all helped me build a picture in my mind of what each wonder means to me!

Here are the seven diary entries for the 7 days we visited the seven wonders:

Wonder number 1:

Sunday 18 January, 2009

Jordan, Petra

Smell: the apple I gave the horse after it carried us through the sikj

Hear: the kiwi sounding “gidday” from an NZer living in Petra

Taste: magnificent fried fish

Touch: the gentle touch of an old Bedouin woman placing a necklace over my head

Wonder number 2:

Tuesday 9 August, 2011

China, The Great Wall

Smell: Jasmine tea

Hear: the young Chinese man speaking Japanese to me

Taste: Crumbed squid

Touch: the old, smooth yet even steps underneath my feet at the Great Wall of China

Wonder number 3:

Sunday 2 September, 2012

Italy – The Coliseum

Smell: pastries in the street

Hear: Choir and catholic mass at St Peter’s Basilica

Taste: Margarita Pizza – bella!

Touch: ruined brick on Palatine Hill at the Coliseum

Wonder number 4:

Thursday 31 October, 2013

India – Taj Mahal

Smell: urine, sewerage, wood fire and heat all rolled together outside

Hear: the driver saying “mutton” for what we call sheep

Taste: Masala tea

Touch: the semi-precious gems and marbles on the inside wall of the Taj Mahal

Wonder number 5:

Wednesday 17 September,2014

Brazil, Christ the Redeemer

Smell: Brazillian red wine

Hear: the sound of Augushto our guide telling us about the Girl from Ipanema

Taste: cashew juice

Touch: the outdoor escalator at Christ the Redeemer

Wonder number 6:

Saturday 27 September, 2014

Peru, Machu pichu

Smell: cigar smoke

Hear: the sound of the toot toot from the trains going to Machu Pichu

Taste: Pisco sour

Touch: the hundreds of steps built by the Inca’s that I stepped on

Wonder number 7:

Wednesday 8 October, 2014

Mexico, Chichin Itza

Smell: tequila, lime and salt

Hear: 5 am wake up call in Spanish

Taste: Lime soup

Touch: NZ flag I placed in the ground at Chichin Itza

By joves we did it! Who would have thought, sitting in that hospital waiting room that day in 1997, that one day I would visit the 7 wonders of the world! Talk about being blind!

And how did I do it? With my vision? I have sitting above me on my office wall, a tactile world map with 7 hot pink pins in the 7 wonders of the world – my vision board for our goal. And of course, along with my vision, I saw in my mind through everything I smell, heard, tasted and touched!

Wow – thanks for coming along for the ride!

I may not see, but I can smell

And taste and touch and listen

And when I do this every day

I find my optimism