My name’s Amar Latif and I’m the blind guy who wants to show you the world!
I was 18 by the time I had lost the use of 95% of my vision, and despite being told this would happen when I was 4 years old, I didn’t find it any easier to accept. People started telling me that I could no longer do all the things I had wanted to do, with travel being at the top of the list.
They’d say it was too dangerous, and couldn’t understand what a blind person could get out of sightseeing. The worst part was that I eventually started to believe them.
So, when I was offered the chance to study my third year of my Maths and Stats course in Canada, I knew I needed to go. Fuelled by a mix of wanderlust and teenage stubbornness, I boarded that plane with nothing but my newly acquired blindness and a suitcase full of thermals, and flew off to have the best year of my life.
I learned so much about myself – what I could still do, what the world still had to offer me – and I ended up infected with the travel bug in a major way. You can imagine my disappointment, then, when I discovered that no travel company would accommodate an independent blind traveller.
I decided to take matters into my own hands, and in 2004 I launched Traveleyes with the determination to make the world more accessible for blind and visually impaired travellers.
It showed the world that sight-seeing isn’t just for the sighted, and I’ve since trotted all over the globe to bring this message to anyone who’ll listen! I’ve challenged Turkish oil-wrestlers on Travelling Blind and delved to the depths of some of Yorkshire’s hidden canyons for River Walks, and I’ve even been lucky enough to deliver my very own TedX Talk back in my hometown of Glasgow, all in the name of challenging ideas about what blind people can and can’t do.
I know that you don’t need sight to see how beautiful our planet is, and I hope that I can inspire you to come and explore it with me. After all, once you start looking with your other senses, you’ll discover how alive the world can really be!
- Amar Latif
Amar has worked on numerous television programmes with the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 as a presenter and director, including: How To Get Fit Fast, The Last Leg Goes Down Under, and, more recently, River Walks, which recently won a Royal Television Society Award for ‘Best Single Documentary’. His latest venture, Travelling Blind, saw Amar partnered up with comedian Sara Pascoe as they travelled through Turkey together, demonstrating the dynamics of travelling as a sighted and visually impaired duo.