by Idil Serce
Planning and organising a holiday can be a very stressful process for individuals who are visually impaired (VI). As a VI individual myself, l have always found myself choosing the safe and secure option to travel abroad with family or close friends who have had the opportunity to grow their understanding of my eye condition and the impact that it has on my ability to perform certain tasks. Despite being lucky and having the opportunity to travel to many European countries with family and friends, l had never had the opportunity or courage to take on the challenge of travelling to a country outside of Europe. And that is when l decided that it was time for me to step outside of my comfort zone and embark on the adventure of a lifetime with VICTA and travel to Thailand!
Despite having been on previous VICTA international trips to European countries and having had the opportunity to form many unforgettable memories and long-lasting friendships, the thought of going off to South-East Asia made me feel very nervous as l had many apprehensions about the challenges that l would experience as a VI tourist. Once l got the chance to read the incredible itinerary that VICTA through Seable Holidays had organised for us, which included; visiting temples, flower markets and bamboo gardens; meeting elephants; voyaging on an overnight sleeper train and spending the last couple days of the trip on an island beach resort indulging ourselves to massages, l decided to place all my preconceptions and fears aside and sign-up to the adventure of a lifetime!
And what an amazing experience l had! Going to Thailand with VICTA was one of the best decisions that l have made in my life. The trip proved to me that Thailand is in fact quite an accessible country that welcomes disabled travellers in a very positive and caring manner. Throughout the trip our tour guides made sure we got as much involvement as possible with the local people and the Thai culture, which enabled us to experience the ‘true’ Thai lifestyle. During the trip l made many fun memories and friendships that l will treasure for the rest of my life, but l would have to say that feeding and bathing elephants was the best highlight for me on the trip. I had the great pleasure of receiving a hug and a kiss from an elephant for Valentine’s day!
Going on the Thailand trip with VICTA has definitely given me the confidence to challenge myself and continue to organise holidays with accessible holiday providers and increase the long list of sensory experiences that l have had the opportunity to build – thanks to VICTA and Seable Holidays! Those positive experiences encouraged me to plan and organise a skiing holiday in the Italian Alps for myself and my sister. Once again, this was a fun packed holiday that allowed us to access the VI support that we need and purely focus on enjoying the slopes!
Thanks to the incredible holidays that l have experienced with VICTA, l can confess to having the travel bug and can’t stop thinking about new travel destinations. As someone who was amazed with the cultural enriches that Thailand had to offer, l have booked yet another long-haul trip with Seable Holidays to Cambodia and Vietnam. I cannot wait!
Written by Idil Serce