PREFACE: My dad and I have written this book for all those who are disabled and dream about traveling but are afraid of the challenges they may face, or for those who have traveled but have not enjoyed it either because of their limitations or fears of leaving the security of their homes. We know firsthand what the risks of travel can be. We also believe that travel not only can be done but that it can also add greatly to the quality and enjoyment of life. The old saying “No risk no gain” is true, but it is also true that with careful planning, an awareness of limitations, and a “can do” attitude, almost anyone who is mobile can travel. We also believe that travel can best be accomplished with a caregiver or companion who is not disabled and who can be your “eyes and ears” while accompanying you on your trips. It is very important to choose the right travel companion. Not only must you enjoy this person but your companion must also watch out for your safety and be willing to research those places that are accessible and enjoyable for you. Such a person can be a friend, travel guide, family member, or caregiver. We emphasize that you should choose this person deliberately and carefully. The right travel companion can make or break your trip. If you are a person with a disability who wants to travel to expand your life, read on! We have traveled extensively for several years, and nothing has stood in our way. We think you will be surprised at the many unusual trips we have taken together, my dad and I. He is not only my dad but he is also a fun-filled person who likes the things I like, and he is both my caregiver and constant travel companion. As for me, travel has meant so much. It has expanded my thinking, taught me many things, and changed my way of life. I have met people from all over the United States and other countries. Now I know firsthand how people from all walks of life pursue their own lives in their own ways. It has enriched my life so much. We need to clarify at the outset what we mean by “travel.” While trips are often thought of as exotic, extensive, and both time consuming and expensive, that is not what travel necessarily involves. People with disabilities often cite these as reasons for not traveling, but these are excuses, not good reasons. You should not miss exploring your own world. We believe travel means leaving the security of your home to explore new places and do new things. It may include brief trips to local places, day trips around your city or state to see new things, or even trips to attend various functions or meet new people. For example, a new support group has recently formed in a nearby city, and my dad and I plan to attend and make it a special trip complete with going to dinner and then meeting up with people who have my disability and their family members. These are people we have never known, and this is just like my longer travel trips because it is an opportunity to meet people and have new experiences. Opportunities to travel abound. It just takes a “can do” attitude and a little more preparation than for people who have no disabilities.
Paperback: 100 pages
Publisher: WishingUwell Publishing (2015)