The past couple of nights, I’ve stayed up late plowing through all my photos over the past decade. That doesn’t even count the previous decade’s worth of infant photos in physical photograph form, either in storage containers or scrapbooks back home.
As I scrolled through all of my photos and looked through my past memories, I grew nostalgic. Every single photo, whether taken by myself or someone else, was a personal memory of a specific day or trip. I’m the type of person who (usually) never forgets where a photo was taken, what the context was, and how much fun was had in that moment.
Then I had another thought.
What if I didn’t have eyesight?
I started thinking about everyone who unfortunately has lost their vision, or due to unfortunate circumstances, has never seen a glimpse of planet earth. It stuck with me the whole night until I was driven to Google blind travelers who still managed to see the world with other senses.
It has been done, as proven by James Holman. He was known as the Blind Traveler—a solo, sightless adventurer. And holy cow, what an adventurer he was. He fought the slave trade in Africa, survived a frozen captivity in Siberia, hunted rogue elephants in Ceylon and helped chart the Australian outback. Not only was he a bestselling author, but he was an inspiration to Charles Darwin and Sir Richard Francis Burton.
Some humans are just profound, beautiful beings beyond belief.
After soaking all this in, my mind instantly shot to feelings of gratitude:
(1) I’m extremely blessed to have my full eyesight and that contact lenses & glasses allow me to see things to their 100% value;
(2) I’m extremely thankful to all of my friends and family for the memories of every past and present day of my life;
(3) I’m extremely thankful for cameras and photography (and GoPros);
(4) I’m also extremely blessed to have my health, full operation of my other four senses, and physical, emotional and mental well-being.
Sometimes we take life for granted and forget about how blessed we all are in our own rights. Take a minute to think, smile, and be thankful for everyone who surrounds you that is a part of your life. Then take a minute to evaluate your five senses (six, if you can see dead people) and be thankful for any or all of them that you have.
No matter where you are in your life- any age, any relationship status, any location- remember this. You’re young, wild, and free. But you’re not young, wild, and free on your own – there has always, and will always, be others who have shaped you into that being.
Give thanks. It’s good for the soul.
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” I’m thankful for some of the greatest travel experiences in the photos below. And I love you and will always be thankful for you, Mom & Dad.