40 minutes | Aug 31st 2020

Sightless From Sicily to Southern France with Blind Explorer Christopher Venter

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Close your eyes. Picture that darkness, that starless night. If that was all you could see, no color, no shades, no shape or light, nothing at all but blackness, would you still have the courage to explore the world? This week’s guest, Christopher Venter, aka The Blind Scooter Guy, did and does, and he’s going to take us on a journey sightless from Sicily to Southern France and show us the world as he experiences it with his other four senses. And guess what? It may just change the way that you see the world too. 

Christopher had always dreamed of being an explorer. He traveled the world, he went on many adventures. But then, suddenly, in the midst of an epic 18,000-mile Vespa scooter expedition across Africa and Europe something happened that changed his life forever. His sight began to dim. Within 24hrs his world had turned black. Doctors diagnosed a rare virus growing on his retinas. They managed to save his life, but not his sight. At 40 years old, he was told that he was blind and he would never see again. He thought his life was over. He came close to ending it all. But then he heard about a man called James Holman and against the odds he began to hope again.

Holman is, perhaps, the world’s most remarkable explorer. Born in 1786, he lost his sight at the age of 25. But instead of giving up on his dreams, he doubled down on them. With very little money, and no assistance, Holman set off to see the world. He sailed around the globe, he fought the slave trade in Africa (a river in the Congo is named after him), he mapped uncharted parts of Australia, he survived captivity in Siberia and rogue elephants in Sri Lanka. And through it all, he became something of a celebrity of his day, a symbol of raw determination and the capacity of the human spirit for adventure. If Holman could do it, why couldn’t he?

Highlights include:

  • Find out what it’s like to experience the world as a blind traveler
  • Hear the amazing story of James Holman’s life, one of the most remarkable explorers in history, but still largely unknown to most people
  • Explore Sicily, Tuscany, and the Amalfi Coast
  • Discover Nice, Provence and the Pyrenees
  • Be inspired by Christopher’s courage and determination to make his dreams come true, despite such sudden and devastating set backs 
  • Learn to appreciate the world in a deeper way. Christopher paints images in his mind by slowing down, being present and using his other four senses. Find out how you can do the same and see the world in a new way
  • Listen to how Christopher’s story can inspire you to overcome your own challenges too, whatever they may be

Who's the Guest?
Christopher Venter, aka the Blind Scooter Guy, is a blind adventurer, explorer, writer, speaker and storyteller. He has two books:

 How I Became The Blind Scooter Guy: My soul searching safari by scooter from the Southern Tip of Africa to the Shamrock fields of Ireland

Sightless From Sicily to Southern France: A blind man's journey by any means - from Ocean and Air to Road and Rail, experienced through the remaining four senses


The Armchair Explorer: the world's greatest adventurers tell their best story from the road. Each episode is cut documentary style with music and cinematic effects to create an immersive storytelling experience. http://www.armchair-explorer.com

Host/Producer Aaron Millar is an award-winning travel writer (Nat Geo, The Times etc.) Instagram/Twitter @AaronMWriter / Facebook: @armchairexplorerpodcast. 

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