[nfb-talk] Query about family vacations and blindness.

Jack Heim john at johnheim.com
Thu Jun 28 13:44:50 UTC 2018

On 06/28/2018 08:02 AM, Roanna Bacchus via nfb-talk wrote:
> Hi Kendra thanks for your message. I do not have any experience with going on vacations with people I don't know. Whenever I go on a family vacation, it is with my parents and sisters. We do everything together during our vacations. I am sorry that you and your boyfriend are having this problem.
> On Jun 27, 2018 7:13 PM, Kendra Schaber via nfb-talk <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>> Hi all!
>> I have a query that both my sited boy friend and I are compleetly lost on how to solve. Most years, we go to the Oregon coast with my boy friend's family for Independent's Day week. I have gone on this trip 3 times since we met in 2011. I enjoy the nice resourt where we visit, the nice ocean beaches and the little rock bowl where my boy friend and I have collected unique rocks with almost each visit. However, dispite these and the awesome firework show, there is a problem laying under the surfice. The location is not anywhere near a bus line, getting from the resourt to the beach has tricky tarain to navigate and where ever I rome while on vacation, I have to have sited assistence to get there. I'm the only blind person out of the whole group of sited people. Whenever it is not a meal, it's every man for himself or herself. Everyone except me can go anywhere we please without assistence most of the time, the big exception is the rock bowl. With this setting, the only dependent things that's expected to be dependent are children and pets. To add insalt to enjury, I have also had the problem with not having cell service during these vacations which majorly cramped my style of being able to text or call to everyone else during the trip myself so if I wanted or needed to get that done, I also had to ask my boy friend to also play messenger. I'm glad that I changed carriers since last year but I don't know if it will improve my cell service itself for the next time I go on this kind of vacation. Meanwhile, cell service or the lack of it is the least of my worries with this query because I have bigger problems to solve. Most unfortunently, this senario leaves me stuck between a rock and a hard place because my boy friend and I have very different needs while we are there. My boy friend is a landscaper who is experiencing endless job burn out at the office and because of this, the coast relaxis him so much that he can't easily function throughout the whole vacation. Meanwhile, I'd like to go out and explore, go on to the beach, collect rocks and spend time with everyone there. Mind you, my boy friend enjoys collecting rocks himself and it's his very favorite activity that he does while there. Unfortunently, my boy friend did admit to me last year that because of his burn out, he finds it very diffacolt to fofill my needs during these vacations. In fact, my boy friend feels most responsable for this task. On top of that, he also says that he doesn't expect that same responsability from everyone else there to assist him in helping myself while he is trying to get the sleep that he needs to make up from his igzosting days at the office during the vacation. He expects me to hold up to that same standard that I listed above regarding the burden of responsability. As though he's suposed to take my needs on or he be the only one apart from myself to take my needs on during the vacation. Mind you, he also wants me to be as independent as possable while I'm there. Mind you, this standard is out of good ethics, not out of control. However, we are having trouble with meeting this whenever we have gone on these vacations. As though that isn't enough of a sacrafice without everyone else in the picture, I also land everyone else a major sacrafice in assisting myself, rather as though I've been more of a burden than just a fellow vacationer who happens to be blind. My boy friend and I have thrown our arms up in the air in serender endlessly with trying to find more balance during this annual occation. I'll give him credit where it's due that he's pointed out to me that because of my lack of knowledge, I'm putting as much of a sacrafice if not more on to everyone else there including my boy friend himself as the trip itself is putting on to myself just by my attendence. Because of these issues that I layed out, I have enjoyed some aspects of the vacations but have come home feeling as though I was not a productive part of the vacation even when I at least try to be productive in trying to solve the problem of our different needs. I often felt as though I was the cause of any and all trouble that has ever occured during the vacations that I was lucky or unlucky enough to be there. Mind you, I felt this even if it wasn't at all my falt. But most importantly, I feel like I'm the sole burden, not the fellow vacationer, the one that causes all of the sacrafices either to myself or to others while I'm there. I also feel very powerless while I'm there, as though I'm on the wim of the whole universe. My boy friend did suggest that I help out during the next time we go on this trip. Really, it's about being as fair as possable. Unfortunently, I didn't grow up going on vacations where every man is for himself. Everyone, inperfections and all has always included me into a lot of the activities during those vacations. I have always had to play a very clear part on a team. I have had to do that at the Oregon School for the Blind, girl scouts and family vacations that I had growing up with my birth family. Since I don't get to go on vacations with my birth family any more except for camping trips where I launch rockets, I now have to learn a whole new vacation calture if you will. I'd like a lot of wise advice here. The lack of it is driving both my boy friend and I insane! This area is also the biggest headache in our whole entire relationship. My boy friend suggested that I help either with meal preparation and/or clean up but neither of us can think of other ways for me to assist while I'm there. My boy friend did say that there are surprising ways where I could help out but even he couldn't come up with what those things are.
>> How can I as a blind adult take this kind of vacation on and be as independent as possable?
>> How can I do this while being as fair to the whole group as possable?
>> How can I drive my life while on a vacation where every man is for himself in the same way or equal to when I'm at home where the busses are located?
>> How can I get past any sighted person stariotype that might be thrown at me during this kind of vacation?
>> How can I make the most of this kind of vacation while having to depend on others to assist me?
>> How can I do this in the most ethical, fairest way to everyone there as possable?
>> Does this all come down to communication?
>> If I offer to assist and how to assist but get turned down, then how else can I make these vacations fair to both myself and everyone else there?
>> Is there truely a fair way to go about this whole thing?
>> When nothing is offered, how can I get my needs met in the fairest way possable while allowing my boy friend to do whatever he needs to do like for example, how can I go to the beach with others who are already going while my boy friend is taking a nap because he doesn't want to go because he's igzosted from job burnout?
>> How on earth can I even get around this barrier without causing a lot of unwanted trouble to myself, my boy friend or others?
>> Is it even possable for my boy friend and I to meet our needs on this kind of vacation and come home from it with both of us feeling as though it was the vacation that it's suposed to be?
>> Is it even remotely possable for both of us to be truely happy with this kind of vacation in the first place?
>> Is this even the right kind of vacation for both my boy friend and I to be taking on?
>> If so, how do we take this adversity on?
>> If not, then how can we go about it next time when we do have to take this kind of vacation on?
>> I suspect that there is something major that is missing on these vacations. Can you please let me know, what do you think is missing with this scene?
>> We are totally lost in outer space on this one. I'd greatly appriciate any and all advice on this matter!
>> Thank you for your wise counsel in advance!!!
>> Thank you for taking the time to read this E Mail!
>> Blessed be!!!
>> Kendra Schaber,
>> Chemeketa Community College,
>> 350 Org,
>> Citizen’s Climate Lobby,
>> National Federation of the Blind of Oregon,
>> Capitol Chapter,
>> Salem, Oregon.
>> Home email:
>> Redwing731 at gmail.com
>> Chemeketa Community College Email:
>> Kschaber at my.Chemeketa.edu
>> Phone:
>> 971-599-9991
>> "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear" Author Unknown.
>> Sent From My iPhone SE.
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