Switch to a white background with black text Switch to a black background with white text Switch to a yellow background with black text Increase text size Decrease text size

Charizine.hk article, March 2014

Charizine.hk website, March 2014
Link to the original article

Rough English translation:

Tony Giles is blind, with only twenty percent hearing, and has had a kidney transplant. This has not hindered him from travelling alone to 88 countries across seven continents.

Now 35-years-old, as a child Tony was found to have a gene defect. While at special school for the disabled, he discovered his situation was not the worst: some students had limited mobility, or seizures, and his friend was suffering from muscular dystrophy and was slowly dying. Before Tony entered college he suffered a double blow: his friend died, following the death of his father as well.

He studied American Studies at a regular university. This included study abroad in the United States. After this he continued to travel in the States and even as far away as Asia.

He learned to use tactile maps for the blind, touched the edges of buildings (supplemented with lots of climbing, of course), bathing in Colombia and Turkey in a mud bath, excellent indeed leisurely; his sensed and smelt nature going through the jungle in Argentina, and while in the market experienced a variety of odours in Bangkok. He is pursuing a wide range of sensory experiences, and also regularly goes bungee jumping and whitewater rafting.

“Please, see me like this, I’m at ease too!” said Tony, blindness has its own advantages, “Sometimes the person in charge of interest to the average person does not let me into the background, so I have a close contact with the extraordinary treatment!”

Despite being optimistic and cheerful, Tony was also sad and lonely after mourning the death of relatives and friends. Turning to drink as an escape, until 2002, when a friend persuaded him to sober up. Life experiences, such as having his tent stolen in Canada, or in Africa, on the Kenyan border, an area of conflict, taking the winding road in unregistered vehicles to various experiences, such as Ethiopia, also called him unforgettable.

These experiences let Tony know more about the world, he likes to talk with people. There was a Canadian holding on to him preaching, he recalled the man said: “Why do you believe you can not see, do you not trust your own inner power?” Tony? I know, forever trying to live out their dreams, and fulfil the commitments made for himself.

I admire Tony’s courage, his own experience described frankly and honestly, and writing a book to share his experiences. I was happy for Tony: A few years ago he met his girlfriend, Tatiana from Greece, each facing similar physical challenges, and they have travelled together. To Tony I would like to extend my congratulations on finding a good partner to share life with him!

Tony’s personal website : http://www.tonythetraveller.com

Original Chinese version:

Tony Giles雙目失明、只得兩成聽力,而且接受過腎移植手術,卻不阻他獨自旅行,走遍七大洲和八十八個國家。

35歲的Tony 小時候就被發現其基因有缺憾。他在特殊學校上課,讓他認識到自己的情況並非最壞的:有些同學行動不便,或會痙攣等,而他的好友則患了肌肉萎縮症,並逐步邁向死亡。在他進大學之前,好友及父親的離世為他帶來雙重打擊。

他在一般人就讀的正常大學內修讀美國研究,之後藉著在留學美國時期旅行的經驗,繼續到多國、甚至遠至亞洲旅行。

他憑觸覺摸凹凹凸凸的盲人地圖,觸摸建築物的輪廓(當然要輔以很多攀爬), 浸泡在哥倫比亞和土耳其的泥巴浴中,優哉悠哉;他憑嗅覺去感受大自然,在阿根廷走過密林,又在曼谷市集感受混集多種氣味的空氣。他追尋多方面的感官體會,是笨豬跳及激流的常客。

「女士見到我這樣,對我超安心呢!」Tony 說失明自有其好處,「有時景點負責人讓我到普通人不能進的後臺,讓我有近距離接觸的非凡待遇!」

儘管Tony樂觀開朗,他在喪親友後亦悲傷寂寞得一度酗酒來逃避,直到2002年他才在好友勸改下清醒起來。那一段人生的經歷,與他在加拿大被偷帳蓬,或在非洲肯亞邊境衝突地區,坐沒註冊的車輛繞山道到埃塞俄比亞等種種經歷,同樣叫他難忘。

一次次的經歷,讓Tony更了解這個世界,他喜歡與人交談,曾經有個加拿大人苦苦堅持向他傳教,他回憶對那人說:「為甚麼你要苦苦相信你看不到的,而不相信你自己的內在力量呢?」筆者認識的Tony, 永遠都在努力實現自己的夢想,兌現為自己許下的承諾。

筆者很佩服Tony 的膽識,他對自身經歷表現出坦然和誠實,更將經歷寫進書裡與人分享。筆者替Tony高興的是:數年前他結識希臘女友Titiana,二人各需面對身體帶來的挑戰,大家相知相識並已同遊多國。謹在此衷心恭喜Tony 找到願意跟他分享生活的好伴侶!

Tony的個人網頁: http://www.tonythetraveller.com