At age fourteen, I was paralyzed in a horrible car wreck that took the life of my father, crippled my mother and injured my younger sister. That one moment transformed my entire world, but it couldn’t damper my spirit. I graduated high school on-time and received a scholarship to USC where I graduated with honors.
After high school, a group of friends and I traveled to Greece. It was tough getting around, but for fourteen memorable days I had the time of my life. Years later, I went to Berlin and had a totally different experience with more accessibility. Those two trips lit a fire in me to discover more. I wanted to see the world! Now that I was paralyzed, I wondered, “What can I see and do now?”
After college I was employed for four years before I quit in 2006 and founded wheelchairtraveling.com. The website was designed so that not only I but anyone around the world could share their travel experiences – from basic travel needs to thrill seeking adventures. Finding accurate accessible travel information is challenging and sometimes non-existent and I wanted to change this. Plus, we all have different interests, abilities, and things we are or are not willing to put up with, and all of these perspectives are needed to be represented when it comes to the world of accessible travel.
Between natural wonders and man-made masterpieces, traveling fuels us. Despite modern accessibility challenges, there is still a lot to be discovered and experienced in this world, whether it’s a big city or countryside, the beach or mountains, leisure or adventure travel, local or exotic excursions. Even the most unexpected place or person could forever impact you while traveling and end up being the highlight of the trip, so be open to the unknown because like life, travel is full of surprises.
Breaking away from boundaries and testing our limits takes courage and that makes the journey of life all that more satisfying. That’s the main reason I founded wheelchairtraveling.com…to remove mental and physical barriers surrounding travel. I want to see and experience the world and I want anyone else who feels the same way to have the tools to do so. Everyone is a part of this world, be a part of it.