Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Travel is one of my favourite things...
...I love the thrill of being somewhere new, full of people to meet (growing up in a small town makes feeling anonymous quite nice!) and the excitement and anticipation that comes with being in a strange place.
For most of my life I travelled ‘mainstream’ – booking hotels through a high street travel agent, hobbling on to transfer coaches, re-arranging furniture in the room to accommodate my wheelchair. Luckily, I’m quite mobile; I have CP affecting my lower half but have been known to fling myself up a flight of stairs when the mood has taken me!
It wasn’t until I started working for Tourism for All that I realised, travel can be made easier!
Until a couple of years ago, I’d never seen an accessible hotel room. Things like automatic doors, low level wardrobes and roll-in showers were an absolute luxury. I no longer had to clamber on to a chair to hang my clothes up, or perform acrobatics to get in and out of the bath!
Overall, the thing I love most about travelling is the sense of independence. Dependant isn’t a word most people would use to describe me (would probably be more along the lines of stubborn and headstrong!) but travelling alone, managing it all, and sometimes struggling but pushing myself to carry on, gives me a huge sense of achievement. Living in a small, close-knit town, it’s very easy to get used to knowing everyone and everything, where every dropped curb is, which shops are easy to get into. Sometimes it’s a harsh wake-up call going somewhere new and having that comfort taken away, but isn’t that what travelling is all about? Going to new places, seeing things with fresh eyes, taking in new experiences.
Sometimes it can be a little more difficult for me, but that’s not going to stop me any time soon!