HOW TO travel THE world IN A wheelchair

Posted: 4/30/15 | April 30th, 2015

A few months ago, I was browsing the Internet when I came across a travel blog written by a man who traveled the world in a wheelchair. For hours, I read his blog, fascinated by what he did. I love when people don’t let their limitations hold them back. I love it when people say “I can” instead of “I can’t.” Cory embodies the ongoing theme on this blog that where there is a will, there is a way. Cory is a man who wouldn’t let a impairment define or confine him.

His is an inspirational story and I was hooked on his blog, so I invited Cory to share his story and guidance for others who might be in a similar situation and wondering how to make travel happen.

Nomadic Matt: tell everyone about yourself. 
Cory: My name is Cory Lee and I’m a 25-year-old travel addict, peanut butter connoisseur, and the brains behind Curb totally free With Cory Lee. I was born and raised in the tiny town of Lafayette, Georgia. It’s a rather boring town, but fortunately my mother loved traveling so we hit the road pretty frequently.

I was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at the age of two and have been in a wheelchair ever since. My wheelchair and I have been to 14 countries and have plans to visit numerous more. because graduating from the university of West Georgia with a degree in marketing last year, I’ve put all of my energy into growing my website. aside from traveling and working on my blog, I love going to concerts, binge-watching Netflix shows (Orange Is The new Black is my favorite), and trying new foods.

How did you get into travel?
My mother was a teacher so she was off work every summer. We used that time to travel locally and took a lot of road trips along the east Coast. Disney world was a popular choice. When I turned 15, we tried our hand at traveling internationally and went to the Bahamas. These trips made me fall in love with travel and showed me that there’s so much out there in the world.

Did you think your impairment was going to limit you? What made you say “Screw it, I’m gonna do this anyway?”
My mother always told me “If you can’t stand up, stand out” and I try to live by that mentality daily. I might not be able to stand physically, but I can stand. I can stand for anything that I desire, like traveling. A impairment is not going to limit me from seeing the world. I refuse to even entertain the thought that my impairment could have that sort of power.

I’ve also never really known another way of life, so I guess I’ve just kind of learned to accept my situations and then plan with them in mind.

Has that been a challenge? how do you deal with naysayers?
Over my life, yes. It was a challenge, especially when I was younger. I specifically remember being in elementary school and wondering why I couldn’t go on one of the field trips. My fifth-grade class was going to a camp for a few nights, and one of my teachers said that it wouldn’t be possible for me to go because of my disability. They simply didn’t think that I would be able to do anything, so they didn’t see any reason for me to go.

My mother furiously went up to that teacher and explained that I would be going and that they needed to accommodate every student, not just the ones that could walk.

Going to that camp is actually one of my favorite memories from elementary school. I had nonstop fun with my friends in the wilderness for a few days. There are naysayers out in the world, but I’ve learned to be client and discuss that even though I might not be able to do things exactly the way others do, I can still delight in being there and do them to the best of my umiejętność.

What limitations do you have due to your disability?
Spinal muscular atrophy makes my muscles weaker than the average person’s, which makes me unable to walk and limits my ability to raise my arms, transfer, etc. It also deteriorates my muscles over time so I may not have the same abilities in five years as I do now. This fact is continuously in the back of my mind and why I’m so motivated to see the world.

I may not be able to travel 10 years from now, but I am certainly having fun now.

How do you get around on the road?
I always travel with someone, typically my mother or a friend, because traveling solo would be pretty impossible. I need support boarding the planes, opening doors, and getting into bed, for example, so having someone there with me is incredibly helpful.

Also, I try to get an idea of how available certain attractions are and then make a rough itinerary. While a lot of attractions and museums are accessible, one of the most significant obstacles when planning a trip is finding transportation. In much more modern countries, there are available buses, trains, and taxis, but this information is not always easy to find online. I don’t really travel to destinations unless I know for sure that I’ll be able to easily get around once there.

Hopefully eventually finding this information will be easier, and I’m certainly trying to help the cause with my site.

In Europe, numerous of the trains are available so it’s fairly easy to get around from city to city, but in the United States, it’s a bit harder and much more expensive because we don’t rely on trains as much.

I’ve waited much more than three hours for an available taxi in Los Angeles before, which is important time during which I could’ve been out exploring the city.

Pracujesz? Or have a savings? how do you afford your travels?
I just started freelance writing and, now that my site is growing, I’ve started making money from it as well. However, in previous years I’ve pretty much became an expert at saving. I literally save every dollar I can in purchase to travel and I also take advantage of SkyMiles and other travel hacking programs. I have the Delta SkyMiles debit card, and for every dollar that I spend, I earn one mile.

I’ll often book family getaways or anything else that I can on my card, and then get them to pay me back, so that I can earn lots of miles. I also like the Hilton HHonors program, because Hilton is one of the most wheelchair-accessible hotel brands. They have roll-in showers and spacious rooms, and often they’ll even have an access lift on the pool.

A lot of people will wonder “what happens if something goes wrong?” Well, what does happen?
Trust me, I’m the king of bad luck. Seriously, if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong with me. I’ve been trapped on a burning bus in Washington, DC. I plugged my wheelchair battery charger into the wall in Germany (with the proper converter) and it blew up. Dosłownie. Sparks were flying and the power in the entire hotel went out for about 15 minutes.

The worst thing that has ever happened to me was in 2007 in Washington, DC. I was there with the global young Leaders conference and started feeling really sick on July 4th. I started throwing up as well as passing out repeatedly. My mother took me to the medical facility and I ended up being admitted for two weeks and missed the entire second half of the conference.

In addition to being severely dehydrated, I also had pneumonia. Pneumonia can be pretty lethal to people with spinal muscular atrophy, but fortunately the doctors fixed me up by inserting a needle in my back and draining my lungs. It wasn’t the most pleasurable experience, but it did the trick. Now, whenever I travel somewhere, I always travel with my medication and purchase travel insurance.

And honestly, things could go wrong in the comfort of your own home, so wondering “what if?” continuously will do you no good. embrace the unexpected.

How do you cope with countries that might not be handicap or wheelchair friendly? 
There are certainly some countries that are much more wheelchair friendly than others. I use the magical powers of Google and speak with other wheelchair users in the area to identify if a destination is available or not before I book a trip. I try to visit places that have available taxis and other transportation because I’m pretty much stuck without it.

Paris is probably the least available place that I’ve been. The metro wasn’t available and there was only one taxi in the whole city that was available to accommodate my needs. We ended up renting this one taxi for an entire day and it cost us about $600 USD. This was crazy expensive, but there really weren’t any other options. I certainly learned to book taxis even more in advancement and research available transportation much more before going somewhere.

Trying to do anything spur of-the-moment as a wheelchair user is next to impossible.

Are there some countries you just can’t go to?
I used to think that any country would be somewhat available if I just tried to make it work hard enough, but it turns out that some countries are next to impossible to navigate with a wheelchair. My friend and I looked at going to some much more extreme destinations like Iran, North Korea, or Jordan, and I couldn’t find any information about accessibility online. I even emailed every trip company that I could find and asked if they knew of any available tours, and they essentially told me that there weren’t any.

Is it expensive to travel with a disability? are there precautions you have to take or added costs for services? 
It is much much more expensive to travel as a wheelchair user. For example, last year I was in Puerto Rico, and while many trips were about $50 USD per person, a wheelchair-accessible trip was $200 USD per person. It’s crazy that they can charge so much more, but companies typically say that the cost is due to the need to put a special lift on the van and make other modifications. Taxis in numerous parts of the world do the same thing.

While traveling the world on $50 USD a day probably wouldn’t be possible in a wheelchair, there are techniques that can be implemented to save a little money. For example, I always book trips way in advancement (+6 months in advance) aI zazwyczaj mogę uzyskać lepsze oferty na loty i hotele, robiąc to. Potrzebuję też znacznie więcej czasu na planowanie, ponieważ muszę planować z myślą o dostępności.

Również punkty nagród są moim najlepszym przyjacielem! Korzystając z SkyMiles i oszczędzając 400 USD na lot, mogę sobie pozwolić na dostępną kosztę kosztów 400 USD.

Jakie wskazówki dałbyś innym w swojej sytuacji?
Powiedziałbym im, żeby po prostu wybrali to. To prostsze powiedziane niż zrobione, ale dla każdego problemu istnieje rozwiązanie. Jeśli linia lotnicza uszkodzi krzesło, naprawią to. Jeśli twoje krzesło zepsuje się, gdy jesteś w miejscu docelowym, użyj mocy Google i zrób listę warsztatów na wózkach inwalidzkich w okolicy przed wyjazdem. To było dla mnie bardzo przydatne po tym, jak moja ładowarka na wózkach wózka wąsała w Londynie. Właśnie spojrzałem na moją listę warsztatów w okolicy, o nazwie One, aw ciągu kilku godzin miałem zupełnie nową ładowarkę, która zadziałała.

Czy są jakieś grupy lub organizacje, o których ludzie powinni wiedzieć?
Istnieje kilka innych, które kołyszą również dostępną scenę podróży. Lonely Planet uruchomiła „podróż dla wszystkich” społeczności Google+ jakiś czas temu i są zaangażowani w promowanie dostępnej turystyki. W ubiegłym roku uruchomili nawet pierwszy w historii przewodnik LP poświęcony wyłącznie dostępności.

Ponadto połączenia podróżne Tarity są świetne, jeśli potrzebujesz pomocy w planowaniu dostępnej podróży. Tarita jest biurem podróży ze stwardnieniem rozsianym i naprawdę wie, jak zaplanować idealną podróż na wszelkie umiejętności. MobilityWorks to niesamowita firma, która wynajmuje również samochody dostawcze dostępne dla wózków inwalidzkich. Mają lokalizacje w 33 stanach, więc jeśli podróżujesz w USA, jesteś ustawiony.

Jeśli nie podróżujesz w USA i potrzebujesz informacji na temat dostępności w wybranym miejscu, skontaktuj się z lokalną radą turystyczną, a oni powinni być w stanie skierować cię w najlepszym kierunku.

Cory Lee jest 25-letnim uzależnionym od podróży i niedawnym absolwentem college’u. Zdecydował się założyć blog podróżny na wózkach inwalidzkich, ponieważ zawsze miał silną pasję do podróży. Jego blog, Curb Całkowicie za darmo z Cory Lee, jest poświęcony dzieleniu się światem z perspektywy użytkownika wózka inwalidzkiego.

Stać się kolejną historią sukcesu

Jedną z moich ulubionych części tej pracy jest słuchanie historii podróży ludzi. Inspirują mnie, ale co ważniejsze, inspirują cię również. Podróżuję w określony sposób, ale istnieje wiele sposobów na sfinansowanie twoich podróży i podróżowanie po świecie, i mam nadzieję, że te historie pokażą, że jest o wiele więcej niż jeden sposób na podróż i że osiągnięcie celów podróży. Oto kilka innych inspirujących historii ze społeczności:

Jak Jim nie pozwolił, aby nowe upośledzenie zmieniło jego podróże

Jak (i ​​dlaczego) ten 72-latek plecakuje do świata

Jak ta 70-letnia para tradycyjnie podróżowała po świecie

Jak ta para Boomer podróżowała po świecie przez rok

Zarezerwuj swoją podróż: sugestie logistyczne i sztuczki
Zarezerwuj swój lot
Znajdź tani lot za pomocą Skyscanner. To moja ulubiona wyszukiwarka, ponieważ wyszukuje witryny i linie lotnicze na całym świecie, więc zawsze wiesz, że żaden kamień nie pozostaje obrócony.

Zarezerwuj swoje zakwaterowanie
Możesz zarezerwować swój hostel w Hostelworld. Jeśli chcesz pozostać gdzieś niż hostel, użyj, ponieważ konsekwentnie zwracają najtańsze stawki dla pensjonatów i hoteli.

Nie zapomnij o ubezpieczeniu podróży
Ubezpieczenie podróży zabezpieczy Cię przed chorobą, obrażeniami, kradzieżą i odwołaniem. Jest to obszerna ochrona na wypadek, gdyby coś poszło nie tak. Nigdy nie wybieram się na wycieczkę, ponieważ musiałem go używać wiele razy w przeszłości. Moje ulubione firmy, które oferują najlepszą usługę i wartość, to:

Bezpieczeństwo (najlepsze dla wszystkich)

Zapewnij moją podróż (dla osób powyżej 70)

Medjet (dodatkowe pokrycie ewakuacji)

Gotowy do zarezerwowania podróży?
Sprawdź moją stronę zasobów dla najlepszych firm do użycia podczas podróży. Wymieniam wszystkie te, których używam podczas podróży. Są najlepsze w klasie i nie możesz się pomylić, używając ich podczas podróży.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *