Here’s your Frequently Asked Questions versus my Frequently Answered…Answers.
Why “Three Points of Contact”?
Honestly, I have no idea where the name came from. I mean, I don’t know what inspired me to use it for everything.
I got the term from ladders and equipment when I briefly worked at a farm equipment dealership back in the day. “three points of contact must be maintained to safely climb” it’d say. Later, when I went rock climbing for the first time, I learned the principle and adage is the same. Always maintain at least two hands and one foot (or two feet and one hand) to most safely scale a wall. It’s the “ten and two” of climbing things. For me, the safest way for me to move forward is to have both feet and the end of my cane on the ground. So there you go.
Why’d you start a blog at all?
I’ve had a few blogs previously, personal ones full of rambling commentaries, short stories, and complaints about working in retail. I’ve always loved writing, and I find it very cathartic. I’ll consider pulling out some old posts I wrote during the recovery. They’re hard for me to read, if I’m honest, but that was part of the healing for me. For a long time I was trapped in my own head with no creative outlet and no way to leave our 300 square foot apartment. It was just me and the cat there for 8-10 hours every day. I needed to get my thoughts out of my head before I went crazy.
My old MacBook saved my sanity to a point. VoiceOver is built-in. I had no idea until I needed it. So, I sat there, totally blind, banging away at the keyboard. It helped calm me and clear the dust and anger out of my brain.
In 2012 I went off to travel, and to maintain communication and fill the downtimes at airports and in hostels, I decided to write. The blog was born and here we are.
Why did you choose to travel?
There are myriad reasons to travel. In 2012 I wish I could tell you I was going on some “finding myself” adventure to explore the world and all of that flowery crap. Sure, you could say I did do that, but it wasn’t the reason I set out. I’ll be honest: I was running away. Well, sort of.
I was recently divorced, depressed, and angry with myself. I wasn’t able to do anything for myself and I was afraid of the world. “This isn’t me,” I kept telling myself. After selling our house and moving back in with my parents my depression got worse. Anyone who’s been through a bad breakup knows what I’m talking about: that feeling of shame, anger, and hope that they’re doing worse than you are. Well, eventually it hit a wall, I couldn’t focus on finding a job and decide on a place to live. I had a few offers, but you know what weird feeling you get when you think you see the person who hurt you every place you go? Combine that with low vision. I saw Her, albeit blurry, everywhere. I couldn’t stand it, and the idea of running into her hit me with all of these different emotions. So, when I found my old backpack in my closet at my parents’ place, everything clicked. Life was already hard, why not make it as hard as possible for myself? Solo travel can push your limits, and I had no idea what mine were at the time.
So, it worked out in the end, though. I’m not mad or upset or sad about how it all went down, and I’ll answer a question that does come up: no, I don’t hate Her. In fact, I hope she’s much, much happier – she deserves that as much as I do. And really, if things didn’t go sour with Her when they did, I wouldn’t have met Tyler, or Amy, or anyone I’m good friends with now. I’d never have been on any of the adventures you’ve watched and read about. I wouldn’t have become a more confident person, or, god forbid, a happy person. I’m not done pushing. I’m not done moving forward. And that’s why I continue to travel: to learn more about myself and the world around me.
There’s no wrong reason to go travelling (unless, say, you’ve killed a man and you’re waiting until the heat dies down). So, get off your ass and go.
How can you be LEGALLY blind?
Before you get all clever and ask if you can be illegally blind, no. Stop that right now. That joke is low-hanging fruit. Legally blind simply means that your vision is poor enough that you can’t drive or perform tasks requiring licensing of any kind in your jurisdiction, as confirmed by doctors. I have an Ontario Photo Identification Card that goes hand-in-hand with my CNIB (Canadian National institute for the Blind) card. These two confirm that I am legally blind without having to show someone my medical records.
No, asking me how many fingers you’re holding up isn’t funny or fair. And you leave me open to ask you the same question. Hint: the answer to mine is always one.
So you AREN’T blind?
Put down your pitchfork, there. Yes, I am. It’s an incredibly small percentage of blind people who are actually 100% totally blind, meaning no light or colour or shapes come through. The majority of blind people are like me, with varying degrees of difficulty in seeing. Some people have only peripheral vision, some have just the opposite (tunnel vision). Some are colour blind, or can only see shadows, or can see some days and others hardly anything. To steal a Kinsey idea: blindness is a spectrum.
Do you have more questions? If they’re good or common or absurd, they may end up on this page! Even if they don’t, I’ll do my best to answer anything that comes through. Email all your questions about the channel, the blog, or whatever, to firstname.lastname@example.org