The count down is on !!! I will be leaving for Guide Dogs For The Blind in Portland Oregon in 29 days. I am beyond excited. This is going to be life changing for me in a good way finally.
Truth be told I am absolutely terrified. Not of getting a dog and having a new partner in crime. But of the travelling there. I have been losing enormous amounts of sleep over this already. I have never flown into the U.S.A, so I have never had to experience going through customs or the huge airports and all the unknown and for me it is the unknown that scares the crap out of me. It is so terrifying to be in a unfamiliar place alone without the ability to see what is going on around you and asses your surroundings. Am I safe, is that person a little shady coming towards me. None of that is available to me. I feel like I am at the mercy of people around me. And we would all like to think that people are great, and some are but there are many out there that are not so great and not the people I want to be around.
Being in a unfamiliar place for the sighted is fine you may not know exactly where you are going but there are usually signs that will give you some sort of hint. For example you have arrived at a new air port and have a 2 hour layover. You get to your gate and are sitting for a while and start to think hmmm I really need to pee, so you get up and go wandering looking for that sign that says Washroom or you can find a employee and ask them for some general directions, they will generally point and say over there next to the coffee shop or something general like that. Now … close your eyes ! and go through the same process and try to eventually end up at a washroom. Good Luck ! you will need it. And god forbid in that same time you kind of want a coffee, because the first adventure will give you ample reason to not want to leave your seat again.
Everyone tells me I will be fine and to ask for help, but what I wouldn’t give to see that little stick woman in a dress to be able to find the bathroom on my own. It sometimes can feel degrading to have to ask for assistance to find the washroom and have someone wait for you to show you back to your seat. I am not 3 and hate having to do things like this that a 3 year old has to do.