Publicado por: Ricardo Shimosakai | 03/06/2014

Life of a wheelchair traveler

There are so many great opportunities to experience when traveling with a disabilityThere are so many great opportunities to experience when traveling with a disability

As I go down the aisle of the plane toward the bathroom in my wheelchair, I can sense the stares of the other passengers. This is one of the challenges of traveling with a disability.

I have cerebral palsy and have been traveling since I was about nine years old. It may take more time to prepare, but in the end it’s the experience that counts and makes it worthwhile.

There are many challenges and necessary preparations for traveling with a disability. One needs to pack medications, a wheelchair charger (if a power chair is used on the trip), tools in case the chair breaks down and other necessary items for that individual’s particular disability.

To prepare for a long flight, one needs to wear comfortable clothes and drink fewer liquids as it is difficult to use the airplane’s lavatory during the flight. It is also important to move in your seat in order to get your blood flow to circulate throughout the body.

Worrying about a forgotten toothbrush or deodorant is not so bad because you can get those when you arrive at your destination.

However, worrying about everything that could go wrong with a wheelchair is a different story. Wheelchairs are necessary for some people, and if they break down or are lost, the whole trip is ruined.

I haven’t lost my chair yet, but anything can happen.

Because of my cerebral palsy, I am unable to relax my legs when sitting down in an airplane. I get a lot of spasms in my legs and it is difficult to control them. My left leg hyperextends and when I try to bend it, it wants to straighten back up again.

Accessibility has sometimes been a problem when I travel. Not many countries are wheelchair accessible.

On the other hand, there are so many great opportunities to experience when traveling with a disability.

One can go to many different exciting places in the world and eat different, tasty foods.

I have been to many places in the world. I’ve gone to Israel (three times), England, Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Canada, Maui, the airport in Japan, Thailand, Greece, Chicago, Phoenix, Indianapolis and Minnesota.

It makes me happy to travel to faraway places.

Roll in my wheelchair one day and see how it feels to be me, a traveler. Being able to travel brings the good out of me, the good out of all of us.

Individuals with disabilities can travel.

It may not be easy, but it is worth it!

If you were me, you’d be stoked to travel somewhere far away. After all, what’s traveling without the fun?

Individuals, with or without disabilities, have a right to travel and it brings the travel bug out of them. I can’t get enough of traveling.

Source: Spartan Daily

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