It has been a while since I last wrote about traveling. That is mainly because I have not done any traveling lately, something that I hope to change soon. After all, traveling is one of the most valuable and invigorating experiences a person can have in life, in my opinion. If you don’t travel, you lose the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the wider world.
In an effort to take to the road without actually taking to the road, I recently read A Sense of the World-How a Blind Man became History’s Greatest Traveler, written by Jason Roberts. The book is a biography of James Holman, a fearless traveling Englishman, who, in spite of his blindness, was able to travel all over the world. What makes the story even more compelling is that he did his traveling in the first half of the 19th century.
Holman was not blind from birth. He was born in 1787, one of six brothers and the son of a pharmacist. In those days, class structures were very rigid in England, and Holman’s father had high ambitions for his son, whom he wanted to become a gentleman. One way for a commoner to do this was to reach officer status in the military, which is what James Holman did.