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How Brave Would You Need To Be To Travel If You Were Blind?

When I received an email from Max, aka the Blind Blogger, inviting me to review his latest book, I jumped at the chance. As a travel blogger, the thought of losing my sight terrifies me. I cannot begin to imagine how I would enjoy travelling without the pleasure of sight.

I’m drawn to nature like a moth to a flame. Snow-capped mountains and crystal clear waters make my stomach do happy somersaults. Such scenes have even been known to bring tears to my eyes. I was thus keen to see if I could gain any insight into what life would be like for a blind person, and whether travel would be either possible or enjoyable.

Cervinia mountains
View of the Italian Alps in Cervinia

The Blind Bloggers NYC adventures

Max kindly sent me a copy of ‘The Blind Blogger’s NYC Adventures’ and I eagerly turned the pages, keen to gain some new insight into what drives people to travel. I swear, those pages turned quicker than Trump on his opponents, and I’d ploughed through the book in no time!

Ability not disability

The first thing I learn from Max’s candid storytelling is that blindness does not prevent Max from appreciating travel. Perhaps in some ways, he experiences it more intensely. Sounds, smells, and human interaction are to him what marvelling at mountain vistas and sun-drenched beaches are to me. We both crave an adventure, both want to escape the mundane, but in the same way that you and I might go on the same trip and return with very different memories, Max and I simply experience our travels differently.

This is a lesson in humility. Too often, I read blogger posts questioning whether you are a ‘Traveller or a Tourist?’ This question implies there is a correct way to travel and that one is superior to another. Isn’t this part of the problem with society today? That we seem to have lost the ability to tolerate difference?

Surely, we should each be able to travel in the way we want, without being judged. Some people love cities, others love nature, some even travel largely for the food. Max’s straightforward storytelling reminds me that we should not force our preferences on others, but should revel in what makes our own hearts sing when we next head off on a new adventure.

Max heads to New York on the Amtrak
Source: Pixabay

An Amtrak adventure

Max’s journey follows his cross-country trip from Houston to New York to Chicago. He was the proud winner of the prestigious Amtrak Writers in Residency Programme, and won the opportunity to select four Amtrak journeys.

Despite objections from his family, he decided to embrace the challenge of long distance travel alone, and visit the Big Apple over Christmas and New Year. Max talks about dreaming big in his book and honestly, I don’t think you can dream much bigger. Christmas in New York is big and brash, noisy, and chaotic, crowded, and unpredictable, but that was part of the attraction.

When is the cheapest month to visit the States?
Source: Pixabay

If you are one of those people fretting about solo travel, I urge you to read Max’s story. If he can conjure up enough support from well-wishers to achieve his dream, then so can you. Max is living proof that with self-belief, research, and a willingness to confront your fears head on, obstacles can be overcome.

Diverse travel desires

Although Max is unable to describe the places he visited, he reminds me that there are other equally compelling reasons to travel. He recounts conversations with diverse people in vivid detail, and I find myself recalling fond memories of travelling in my younger years. Back then, I travelled not just to see, but to taste new foods, try new drinks (cherry beer anyone?) and meet new people from diverse cultures.

Some of my dearest memories of travel have people in a starring role. How about that wonderful family that virtually adopted me when I arrived in Italy with nowhere to stay? The Maori bus driver who invited us to a party at his house one evening only for us to stay a few days? (That memory is slightly ruined by the fact that New Zealand beat England at rugby during our stay!!) Or the Californian poet I met on a train platform in Brussels?

Then there were the crazy nights out in Florida with my sisters from another mister (yes, Angela and Jenny, I am talking about you). I feel blessed that I have such an incredibly colourful, kaleidoscopic treasure trove of memories thanks to other people.

Thanks for reminding me of the power of connection, Max.

smartphone showing faces of people from around the world
Source: Pixabay

Feel the fear

Mostly though I’m struck by Max’s positivity, by his determination to confront his fear full on, to take every opportunity and embrace it with relentless passion.

His skating session at Rockefeller reminds me of a similar mad caper I indulged in, at a sales convention in New York, when I took to the ice like a new born penguin. Wearing an ankle length ball gown, and having drank too many wines to claim sobriety, that ice skating expedition was as exhilarating as it was dangerous.

Max’s friends and families tried to put him off this trip because of the perceived dangers. My colleagues tried to prevent me breaking a leg on the ice, but sometimes you just must follow your heart. Max’s unfailing optimism encourages us to do something despite possible dangers. Too often, we hide behind excuses for what might happen but what if the alternative was something amazing?

ice skating at the Rockefeller Center
Source: Pixabay

Dream big

Reading Max’s book is like a mirror to your soul. His suggestions, questions and tips encourage introspection. They force you to question your purpose, whether you are doing everything to achieve your dreams or whether you are making excuses. Max may be humble about his achievements, but he pushes the boundaries, and has an incredible power to inspire others.

I will leave you with a quote from the book which sums up the essence of Max’s trip.

‘Remember, you are pursuing your own goals and dreams, stop making excuses

and be courageous enough to take risks in your life if you want your dreams to come true!’

What do you want to achieve?

So, what are you waiting for? Get your own copy of this inspiring read, and find your motivation to achieve your dreams.

Book cover for the Blind Blogger's NYC Adventures
Source: the Blind Blogger

Afterwards, check back and let us know what you think. We’d love to know, especially if it inspires you to make a change. Feel free to tag both Max and I on Twitter too using @TTGLOBE4L and @Maxwell Ivey. Please use the hashtag #MaxRTWChallenge and help us spread the word about our 2018 crazy idea!

You could even use the following tweet to get you started.

Are you up for a challenge?

Max has had a taste of adventure and if he can cope with New York, I figure it is time to dream BIGGER! Why not create a trip of a lifetime for him overseas? Just imagine if we could find twenty or thirty people around the UK, who would be prepared to host Max for a few days…Maybe, even across Europe or beyond.

What kind of experiences might he have then? What amazing foods? Maybe you would be willing to put Max up, and share some unique activities or experiences with him, that would allow him to continue his daredevil quest. I will be hosting Max in Sheffield in December 2018, but I need your help to make this crazy idea reality.

St Paul's Sheffield and the Peace Gardens
The Peace Gardens and St Paul’s Sheffield on the right

If you would be willing to help out, then please let me know where you live and what activities you would recommend for a blind person visiting your city. To make this easy, we have set up a google sheet to organise this information and you can view and edit it here. I can then add you to the ‘Max Round The World Challenge‘ group. If you also know of anyone else who might be willing to help, please share

Maybe together we could achieve something amazing this year!

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips

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  1. To show my appreciation for your wonderful review and for your crazy new challenge I included a mention of both in the post I just wrote about my book going live. I waited until now to write the post because I love holding my book in my hand and wanted people to be able to see that when they read the post about my latest novel. Wishing us a crazy adventure together, Max http://theblindblogger.net/2018/01/my-third-book-the-blind-bloggers-nyc-adventures-is-finally-here.html

  2. I was in NYC for New Years this past weekend and was waiting anxiously in the cold for the fireworks and ball to drop and you’re right it’s loud, chaotic and really noisy. I now wonder how I would have spent that day if I couldn’t see the fireworks or ball drop – perhaps just take in the sounds of people yelling and creating instagram stories and feeling the frigid air or smelling the warm pretzels from the plethora of food carts. This post was very insightful and a great read.

    • How was NYE in New York?

    • Hi Samah; I really wanted to go to Time Square. However, it was one of the times when traveling by myself worked against me. Between the increased security after the Presidential election I wasn’t sure I could get home from there. I ended up spending the night with my host’s roommate drinking some really good wine and talking. I can’t mention the name of the place where Kurt worked, but as a perk of his employment; they let him purchase top quality liquor at wholesale prices including their vendor discount. I’m not a wine drinker, and I don’t remember what we drank; but I might could be a wine drinker if I could afford to drink really good wine. But back to your comment I’ve been at 4th of July events and listened to the New Year’s eve shows on TV; so I agree with you it would have been about sinking into the noise and craziness of the others. It would have been about the people you are with and the shared memories you have. And since Anne has mentioned her desire to help me find a special lady in my future travels to me New Year’s Eve isn’t really much fun unless you have someone to kiss when the ball drops. Hey, I’m known for my honesty, and I was thinking it, and I can’t see what it hurts to let you know, so why not say it. Thanks for your comment and for understanding that there are many ways to enjoy those significant days and events with and or without sight. Thanks for your thoughtful post, Max

      • OMG the pressure is on. I will try my best to play matchmaker but on that front, I honestly cannot promise anything.

        • Hi Anne; Got a smile out of this comment. Funny how that was the one part of my comment that caught your attention. And many others have tried without success, so no pressure at all. Who knows this could result in some of my hosts introducing me to their friends as they take up the dating challenge along with the RTW challenge. God bless crazy friends, Max

          • OMG the challenge is growing immensely. I have my pal looking out for a lady for you. I don’t ‘now any single ladies but wouldn’t you want to meet someone closer to home? Oh that’s a dumb question!!!!just one more challenge for max to overcome

        • Anne I actually thought I’d find her in New York City. 🙂 Hey it was the holidays, and lots of magic happens in the movies in New York City during Christmas and New Years. Haven’t had any luck finding a lady online. 🙂 They are usually hundreds of miles away from me. I’ve actually thought about hiring the editor of my book to review my online dating profiles to see if I’m scaring them off. lol It’s something fun to think about and talk about; and if it happens great. At least no one meeting me as part of this challenge can ever say they didn’t know I was crazy. Take care my friend, Max

  3. Hi Anne; I just wanted to say that I’ve been encouraged by the connections that are being made because of this post. I don’t just mean with those people who have stepped up to offer to host me later this year. I mean those who I have connected with you. It sounds like you, Maribel Steel, and Fiery Dawn are well on your way to becoming friends and possibly collaborating in the future. And I only started sharing this post in groups focused on blindness this morning. Love the enthusiasm and wonder that you have met each of these new contacts. Thanks and let’s keep those friendships and blessings coming, Max

    • I’m loving it too. I’m virtually meeting some amazing people who make me feel quite humble. Look what we have started! It’s a revolution….ha ha I am prone to slight exaggeration every now and again.

      • Hi Anne; Maybe you have some Texan in you? 🙂 We are known for more than a little exaggeration. It is a movement. How do movements start, one person at a time. And in this case we have a blind former carnival owner and current equipment broker turned author connected with an attorney and expert on traveling for less. Other than blogging I’m not sure we have anything else in common. Well, we both love to travel, but I am a beginner and you are a professor in a phd level course in the subject. But what I lack in experience I make up for with what my friend David Ralph calls hustle and muscle. 🙂 We are bringing our separate tribes together to form something even more beautiful and amazing. I love it too. Just had a thought maybe we can get some of the hosts or potential hosts to write some posts about how they are feeling about the idea of having me in their homes. And would be great to get them to write some short posts about the experience after I’ve come and gone. We could help them with the writing if they aren’t accustomed to posting online. However, it appears that most of the people who have come forward are also bloggers. It’s something to think about. Thanks for being a great new friend. It isn’t easy to find someone as crazy as I am. Probably why I’m still single. Talk soon my friend, Max

        • Of course. Life through a different lens! I’m not an attorney though. I work in financial services but have a law qualification in tax and trusts hence why you probably have that impression lol

          • Hi Anne; Sorry for the confusion about what you do. It would be okay with me if you were a lawyer. One of my best friends is Adriana Gavazzoni from Brazil. She is an attorney and law school professor who is now writing sizzling erotic legal thrillers. Come to think of it she loves to travel and is often in France, Italy, Spain, etc. Maybe I should introduce you two and see if she wants to write for your blog as well? 😉 I love making introductions. I tell people it’s like being the point guard on a basketball team. But I look forward to hearing how you went from a degree in Political Science to business and a legal qualification. Have a good weekend, Max

          • ha ha that is a long story! Will have to wait until we meet. Ummm erotic legal thrillers sounds quite interesting!!

  4. This is so inspiring and interesting. Goes to show that nothing can stop you once you have decided to go ahead. I also, realised how we depend on pictures and take certain things for granted in travel. I think this book will possibly make me realize this even more and also, bring out the small joys that we take for granted

    • Hi Ami; I especially like the last part. You mention that too many take things for granted. I have often been told that I have a way about me of appreciating the little details and making them experiences. For example something as simple as trying an unusual new food can be a paragraph in the book. And I am hoping the book inspires people to do more with their lives. Thanks again, Max

  5. Haven’t read the book. Would definitely give a shot. And I completely agree everyone comes back with a different experience from a trip. Kudos to Max for inspiring people to follow their dreams no matter what kind of challenges they face.

    • Thanks Swati; I appreciate your kind words. You know I really didn’t think about it anywhere near as much at the time as I have since it is over and behind me. I’m glad that my trip and my experiences in general can inspire people to take action and go after their dreams regardless of obstacles those seen and unseen. Take care, Max

  6. Max is so inspiring! I learned this – At no stage of life should our handicap become our obstacle. Congrats to him on winning the prestigious Amtrak Writers in Residency Programme. Also, Anne you have done a good job bringing his story to us. I sincerely hope his dreams come true.

    • Thanks Indrani. I’m glad you appreciate his story. It’s a heartwarming reminder of what some people are capable of.

      • Yes, we are all capable of so much more than we think we are. It takes people around us to encourage, motivate, and challenge us to take steps to becoming that person. SO, if you don’t have someone crazy enough to push you, be sure and find someone to fill that role. The best teachers don’t always look like teachers. And often the best motivator is when I friend double dog dares you to do something crazy. In my case it was getting on a train solo and going to new york city. Would have been so much easier to just run down a street naked. Please no one get any ideas, Max

    • Hi Indrani; Thanks for the complement. I love how you put your discovery here. And you couldn’t know this since you haven’t read the book yet, when I applied for the amtrak prize it was out of a mistaken belief that I was trapped and not able to get out from behind my laptop and meet more people face to face. It’s important to remember that anyone who inspires you first had to be inspired. Thanks again, Max

  7. Hi Ann I love reading your review of maxes epic book, I myself have read it and I’m due to review it… It’s great how we find different perspectives and positivesFrom his adventures!
    I also loved how you entwined your own stories and happy moments within the review. I am off to read your blog and follow you on social media Xxx

    • HI Sassy, I would love to read your review when you publish. will you tag me on social media or email me?

      • Hi Anne,

        I’ve just read your review of Max’s book. I’ve been connected loosely with Max for a while via an E-list for visually impaired entrepreneurs here in the UK. I haven’t written of when I travelled ‘on my own’ from my native California to the UK on my own at 23, stayed here travelling around not having planned much and then coming back for good 6 months later.
        26 years on, with a 21-year-old son (raising him as a single parent) and 2 degrees down my neck there’s loads more I want to do.
        Max is inspiring, because he brings back that “can do” attitude I grew up with in the States. I’ve always been severely visually impaired, but my mother pushed me, not necessarily in the right way, but I’ve never been afraid of anything!
        I’m glad to hear he’s going to be visiting Sheffield – where I just moved from almost 4 months ago. Yes, definitely the peace gardens and, I would suggest sense he likes being interviewed – hook up with the lot at Sheffield live community radio, where I co-hosted a show for the work experience for 9 months – they’re a cool bunch…
        Once I’m settled in a new home down south here in Exeter, he is welcome to stay with me, as it will be right on to connect with a fellow expat where he and I could swap cultural stories and takes on how people react to visual impairment either side of the pond – I have volumes to say on it…

        • Hi Fiery, oh wow. I absolutely love this story. If speaking to max gets me to meet tons of people like you, I’m going to be on cloud nine. It’s such a shame you only moved from Sheffield recently as I would love to have met up but I doubt I will be in Exeter any time soon but I will add you to our planning spreadsheet if that’s ok with you. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Happy new year.

          • Hi Anne,
            Anything as possible – as Max advocates… I’m still up in Sheffield a lot for seeing my son etc. so feel free to connect via e-mail and we’ll take it from there. Max just sent me a copy of the book, am going to read it and take notes to write a review as well. It will already be helping me by putting that much needed fire under my ass to get writing again. I’ve joined a writing group here, so that will also get him more readers exposure etc.
            Yeah, definitely ad me to any lists, follow me on twitter @fieryred_dawn. This is the second time Max has helped me connect in getting my own stuff out there.
            So, big thanks Max, as I know he’ll read this.

            Fiery Red

          • Hi Fiery Red, I have added you to the Google Forms. Where does your son live as as we might be able to tie up a link up that way? Jason and I are in Chapeltown, on the North side of town. Good luck with the writing. If you want an outlet, I would love for you to write a blog post on the ways you manage to travel.

        • Hi Fiery; Thanks for the kind words. When it comes to inspiration hearing of a visually impaired single woman having raised a child on her own makes me feel like a piker. For my UK friends that’s someone who does the very least in comparison to others. It refers to people who stopped at pike’s peak instead of heading on to California. Looking forward to meeting many more people on this crazy RTW challenge that me and Anne have cooked up. Hoping it works out for me to meet you as well. Take care My friend, Max

      • Hi Anne, thanks for your response i will let you know when the review goes live.

    • Hi Sassy; Thanks for reading Anne’s post and for leaving your comment. I agree with you on liking how she meshed her own stories and memories with those I shared in my book. And I thank you for agreeing to review my book too. Looking forward to your opinions as well. I’m blessed to have so many top bloggers interested in helping me with my book. Thanks and take care, Max

      • Hi Max, I loved the book and I’m looking forward to reviewing it on my blog very soon.
        I do believe it will inspire people to travel more.
        No problem I love helping my friends in anyway I can.

  8. Max:
    Being someone who followed this adventure with you, i’m excited to see others get enjoyment out of it.
    Anne, thanks loads for posting this review about my friend Maxwell’s travels.
    I loved how you kept the reader engaged with your thoughts and with your experiences.
    Keep the wonderful blogging up, and i’m now subscribed for updates.

    • Thanks for signing up Michael. Any contacts you have who might help us create a dream trip for Max, feel free to email me… would love to connect. Happy new year

    • Hi Michael; I think it’s cool how this post is bringing together people from two different communities mine with many blind and visually impaired people and Anne’s with many travel bloggers and world travelers in general. And I’m pleased to see the post is bringing Anne new subscribers to her blog and followers of her on social media. Thanks Michael. Hoping to meet you in person later this year, Max

  9. Great Post!Thank you so much for sharing this kind of wonderful things.

    • Hello; Good to hear from someone in Australia. I have many friends there from the amusement industry as a result of my first online business a company for brokering amusement rides. However, while it allowed me to make lots of friends and learn many new skills it doesn’t bring n a lot of money. Right now me and Anne are working on the US, UK and Europe; but hoping you will agree to help me when I get around to visiting down under. Thanks for your comment, Max

  10. I find it difficult and often complain about traveling in French speaking countries – as my French is terrible. Some travelers find long lines at popular attractions difficult. I think my attitude will change, traveling blind is so much more challenging! It’s good that people around the world are going to host Max and help him travel the world. If Max can travel solo whilst blind – I believe he’s an inspiration for anyone to travel solo – and also for people to complain less about trivial things.

    • Ha ha lol. I feel your pain having just returned from Italy where I was getting very frustrated with my pitiful Italian. My French is much better but then I lived there for a year which definitely helps. Keep trying though as it is so much rewarding than reverting to English

      • Hey Anne; I speak no languages. I know some of the words and phrases in spanish, but that’s a long way from saying I speak it. And unlike texas there wouldn’t be a lot of call for speaking spanish in the UK or Europe. 🙂 It’s something we can talk about. Perhaps we can have an online chat about the best way for a blind man to handle issues like language barriers and money exchange rates. Sounds like a couple good subjects for twitter chats or youtube or face book live chats. Thanks, Max

    • Hi James; Thanks for your kind words. I recently read that patience is a gift from the holy spirit. However, I’ve been told I’m too easy going and should get mad more often. I once lost a girlfriend because she got mad when I wouldn’t get mad. lol I love hearing that I have inspired you to pay less attention to trivial things. However, I imagine that the language barrier could be even worse for me as I don’t have the advantage of using hand gestures. It’s something to think about. But I’m sure I’ll manage somehow probably with the help of whoever I”m with. Thanks again, Max

  11. Max sounds like a real inspiration and he is the type of traveller that I like reading about. I love that he has not let anything hold him back from achieving his dreams. Congrats to him on winning the Amtrak Writers in Residency Programme is great news. I will definitely check out his blogger. I hope that he gets to come to the UK and people host him, I will have a think and let you know of any activities. I could most likely take him around to Icon London site as I love doing that type of stuff.

    • That sounds fantastic Mel. Please just add your details to the google form so we can compile a list of everyone who might be willing to get involved. We have had a lot of interest so far so I think this is pretty exciting!

    • Hi Mel; Thanks for the offer. A trip to London wouldn’t be complete without visiting some of the iconic sites. Your positive thoughts are also welcome. Thanks, Max

  12. This is so inspiring! I feel ashamed for complaining so now and then. Sometimes we forget how blessed we are. Sincerely hope more dream will come true in 2018 and that Europe trip will take place. Fingers crossed!

    • Oh this trip is definitely taking place. As Max reminds me #Noexcuses. Time to make the impossible possible. God knows what the end trip will look like but I think it is going to be fun.

    • Hi Tom; Happy to be that reminder. I didn’t use to feel to comfortable in the role, but now I understand it more. Have my fingers crossed right along with you my new friend, Max

  13. Anne, first let me say that it nice to meet you. I enjoyed reading this review as much as I enjoyed reading Max’s book. You have a very eloquent way of writing. It also made me recall some of my earlier travel memories.

    As Max’s editor, I read this book several times. Once the words were edited to perfection, I also flipped through the pages quickly, eager to consume more of his story and more of his adventures.

    Max has a way of drawing you into his world and sharing his experiences to such an extent that you feel as though you are right there with him. His ability to captivate you from the get-go is simply amazing.

    Of course, he is considered inspirational for wanting to travel on such a journey by himself, especially to a city as crowded and dangerous as New York. But Max is also considered inspirational for wanting to take such a journey in the first place. As a blind person, I am sure it is extremely difficult to travel to begin with…. and so he is even more admirable for undertaking such a challenge. When I think of traveling alone to a city I have never been to, I am filled with fear and trepidation. I couldn’t imagine facing such a challenge if I were blind. I would likely stay home in my own room where I knew I was safe. Max is truly a daredevil who has guts!

    And now you are inviting him to travel overseas? WOW!

    I am sure you are going to figure out a way to make that happen and, when you do, I will be the luckiest person on earth because I will be the first person who gets to read about Max’s adventures abroad. (There are perks to being his editor!)

    I can’t wait to help formulate the title and cover for that book! Geez, I think I am getting excited over here! 😉

    Thank you so much for writing such a positive, glowing review of The Blind Blogger’s NYC Adventures, and for opening the eyes of other people who travel, teaching them about the different ways they can appreciate their journeys.

    I look forward to reading other posts on this site, as I am new to it and here only because Max sent me a link to this review. I am not just his editor, but his friend, and a huge fan of his as well! 🙂

    • Hi Lorraine, thanks for stopping by and sharing this information. I am in exactly the same boat as you and I consider myself quite a daring traveller, but to do it without sight is a completely different thing. I hope that the entire blogging community can create something really special for Max.

      • Hi Anne; You know every blogger, podcaster, or youtube host dreams of having something go viral. They think what can I do to make my content memorable or even controversial so thousands if not millions of people will pay attention. And I thought wouldn’t it be crazy if this trip that started with two new friends sharing a crazy idea via email turned out to be something real special even earth shaking for me and my career as well as those who hear about me and the RTW Challenge. Thanks for the help and encouragement, Max

        • Yeah the crazy thing is though, that when I first suggested this to you, that idea honestly hadn’t entered my mind. I just thought, ooh wouldn’t it be cool to try and help Max do something even more challenging. Some might consider it cruel considering that in theory it wouldn’t be me scared half out of mind, but you.

          Although in honesty, I will be absolutely terrified. I will be like the slightly crazy parent that rings their kids’ friends houses to check they have arrived every time you move on. Whether we pull this off or not remains to be seen but I’m so up for giving it a whirl! The initial response has been promising so we just need to figure the logistics too. If people become inspired by the story and want to share it with others then that would be awesome too. I’ll be working on a follow up blog post soon to get the #MaxRTWChallenge (part one, as I think there might be others) steaming!

          • Hi Anne; My first thought is I could have said no or even better I could have said hell no. But I think you know by now that’s not how I do things. I occasionally talk myself into trouble, but with the help of my friends I always find my way back out of it. And as we both know the best stories are the ones with mishaps that have to be overcome. I had one friend here who asked sincerely about connecting via find my friends which I accepted and had fun with. And I must just be wired wrong because to me it would have been cruel if you hadn’t offered. It would have meant that you were afraid for me. It would have meant my book was a disappointment. Because if you read my book you have to know I love a challenge. And in your defense no alcohol, drugs, or lack of sleep were involved in my saying yes. I love life lessons from movie lines. In the movie the last star fighter there is a scene in the beginning of the movie where a teen is about to break the high score on a video game and unlock a prize. This old balks man says to him when life comes along and offers you an opportunity you have to reach out and grab hold with both hands. You have to hang on for dear life. So, again I could have said no. To your thought that neither of us were thinking of the potential benefit to us personally. That’s why it will probably work. We were thinking about the experience and how we could top my past experiences. We weren’t thinking about going viral. Contrived posts and videos hardly ever work. It takes spontaneous honest authentic efforts. SO, let’s make this easy. Let’s get max to sheffield and somehow some way we’ll manage it from there. Thanks for having the courage to make the offer or to ask the question. I guarantee that as I post actual dates people will show up. Love you my friend, Max

    • Hi Lorraine; Thanks for the wonderful comment. It’s proof that you are not only my trusted editor but a good friend. You follow every post about my books, my interviews, and my story and are always there to share them with others. You are constantly reminding me to write better both online and for my books by correcting spelling, punctuation, and grammar whenever you find it. And you see nothing wrong with this crazy idea me and Anne have had. Anne suggested that I have a year before I head off to the UK, Europe, and beyond; so I should consider visiting Canada. She said this because we had one person from there offer to help with my trip. Will let you know if my travels take me into Canada. Thanks again and take care my friend, Max

      • Well, if you are totally serious about traveling overseas, you better look into what’s required of you. Certain countries will make you obtain specific visas, and there might also be time limits in which you can use them. I know India has such restrictions. I don’t know about the UK. But with all the friends you have there, such as Anne, you are sure to get the correct information. 🙂 Good luck!

  14. Hi Anne; First, let me thank you for an amazing post about my trip and the book about it. I love how you mixed in your own experiences and included shout outs to favorite people. As I read this I’m thinking dang I did this. It’s really starting to sink in with me that I did something outrageously difficult and scary. I find other people telling me how scared they are to travel cross town and how much they would be afraid to go cross country by themselves regardless of the means of travel. And I think my journey can inspire people because it’s not too big for them to imagine. Sometimes coaches and role models will actually discourage people or even depress them because the person thinks there is no way they can ever achieve anything near what the famous teacher has. So many people have a dream of traveling, and hopefully my book will make them see just how possible it is to make those dreams come true. Funny thing for me personally is now many of the people who were in fear for me traveling want to know where I’ve been lately or where I’m going next and when. It also seems that people see me as a world traveler even though I’ve yet to leave the United States. Finally, I want to end by thanking you Anne. But not for this post. I hope you will take this the right way. I want to thank you for being just as crazy and possibly even crazier than I am. Because it takes a totally insane person to hear my idea for traveling the world and say hell yes let’s do it. Can’t wait to meet you. Going to put December 20th on my calendar now. Still don’t know if it will be plane or ship but I know it will happen. We, me, you, and the rest of our combined communities will do this. Love you my new crazy friend, Max

  15. Archana Singh

    Wow! Hats off to Max for pursuing his dream. Such an inspiration for everyone. Winning the prestigious Amtrak Writers in Residency Programme is a BIG thing. I really hope he gets to travel to Europ soon and share his experiences with the world. All the best to the brave soul!

    • Hello Archana; Thanks for those kind words. I don’t always think of myself as brave or courageous. I usually see myself as a guy working hard and doing the next thing in front of me. Sometimes it’s taking on a challenge of my own making. Other times it’s a good friend challenging me to try something new. My first book Leading You Out of the Darkness Into the Light started when a friend dared me to write a book. 🙂 If you are a friend of Anne’s, you are in good company. Would love to hear what scary things you have done or are planning to do. It doesn’t have to be anything big. The Amtrak trip started by filling out an application that I never expected to get a reply from much less to get such a great experience from. Wishing you all the best, Max

      • Which really is a reminder to ‘just do it’. My theory in life is what is the worst that can happen? Someone says no or ignores you. There certainly are worse things that can happen!

  16. What an inspring story and what inspiring Max is! He is a good exemple of why people shouldnt be afraid to pursuit the dream! I hope to read his book very soon! Is he coming to Switzerland? We live in Bern and would like to host him!
    Me either I dont like this question “A tourist or a traveller” because we all have our own reasons for the way we choose to travel!

    • HI Dada, that would be so awesome. We are in the very early stages of planning but I have set up a Google form for anyone who is interested in hosting to add their details to. Simply click on the link attached if you are serious. Max embodies the idea of adventure and has expressed interest in visiting many places, but I guess it all boils down to whether we can make the logistics work. Thanks so much for your offer though. I am sure it would be a fabulous city to visit.

      • Hi Anne; Thanks so much for bringing order to the chaos of this crazy idea. Yes, it will come down to how many people and places we can string together. But let’s not forget the experience I had this past summer. I had one booking a public talk in Philadelphia. I managed to turn that into seven weeks on the road. I only came home because I had a doctor’s visit I couldn’t put off. I believe that given a year to make this happen we will find a way. Just remember its about finding solutions not making excuses. Thanks and take care, Max

    • Hi Dada; Thanks so much for the kind words. Anne is right sometimes I am too humble. I did an inspiring thing by going big and going to New York. Yes, Switzerland and Europe are in the plans. We have to line out the UK first, but this isn’t going to be a short trip It could be a year or more. You probably don’t know this, but I grew up in a family of carnival owners or what you would probably call fun fair operators. In the early days of circuses and carnivals shows would go on european tours and stay gone two, three, or more years at a time. When Barnum and Bailey went to Australia they were there for four years. So, please message Anne and have her add you to the group. Hoping to see you sometime in 2019, Max

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