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Blind for a day for fun and adventure

For fun and adventure, try “blind for a day”


Do you ever find yourself wanting a little extra adventure but not being sure what to do?


Let me suggest something I have done—and thoroughly enjoyed—several times: I have been "blind for a day."


I’ve done this in New York City (at least twice, once riding the subway), in San Francisco, in Phoenix, Arizona, in Tokyo, Japan, and in Shanghai, China.


Let me tell you about the time I was blind for a day in San Francisco


For preparation, I checked the money in my wallet, putting in order the $1, $5, $10, $20 bills. I also had a walking cane and some blinders to put over my eyes.


With blinders and a cane

I took the bus to Chinatown. Standing on the street corner, I put the blinders over my eyes, making sure I could not see. Then I started walking slowly along the sidewalk, using the cane as an aid to stay on the sidewalk and not stumble onto the street.


Whenever I came to a curb, which I could feel with my cane or with my feet, I would wait there until someone offered to assist me across the street, which was never very long.


A restaurant entices me with the aroma wafting onto the sidewalk

I noticed some great smells and knew that I was passing a restaurant. I moved toward the smells and was able to feel my way awkwardly into the restaurant. The waitress helped me to my seat and I asked her to read some items to me from the chicken section of the menu.


Did I remember correctly which money was which in my wallet?

After eating slowly and carefully, taking special care when I reached for my glass of water, I noticed that I enjoyed the food more than I normally would. Unsure about which bill I had taken out of my wallet to pay the check, I held up the bill and asked the couple at the table sitting next to me, which had heard talking together, what the denomination of the bill was. This way I knew if it was enough to pay for my lunch.


Some temporary friends helped on my trek to Ghirardelli Square

Once back on the street,  I decided to walk down to Ghirardelli Square, about 12 blocks away.

For the first three crossings, I waited for a new person to offer to assist me each time. On the fourth crossing, the man who helped me across insisted on going all the way to the square with me, warning me gently when I had to either step down from or up onto the curb.


Talking blind for two and one-half hours

Once I reached Ghirardelli Square, with the help of my companion, I found a bench to sit on. Over the next two and a half hours I talked with two men about life. When they asked me about my eyes, I made up a story that I had just had a radial keratotomy (a type of eye operation) and I needed the blinders for only a few days. They were amazed that I would venture out on my own in this condition.


Discovering a new world without my sight

In addition to noticing a heightened appreciation for the senses of touch, sound, and smell, I also noticed another very interesting and refreshing phenomenon: I was less judgmental of these two men when I could not see them!


Getting on a bus

With the help of some people, I was able to get onto the right bus to return to my hotel. Other passengers let me know when I should get off the bus, warning me well in advance. I ended my adventure by removing my blinders once I stepped off the bus.


The world was so fresh and new again!


What new insight about yourself and your life might you discover if you were blind for a day?


What courage might you be choosing if you were blind for a day?



"Adventure is not outside man; it is within."
-David Grayson (1870-1946, American journalist and writer)


"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open."

-Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964, Indian nationalist, statesman)

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