I thoroughly enjoy a road trip. There was the time when my family and I got into a camper and drove up the Eastern states. One of the funniest things happened on this trip. We were all so stressed because two of the kids were constantly arguing. Apparently that stress really got to me by the time we hit up state New York.
We were 45 minutes up the road headed toward Canada when my step mom looks back and asks, “Trey, where’s your chair?” Yep. I had forgotten to ask someone to put my wheelchair in the camper. We drove 45 minutes back to the restaurant and my wheelchair was sitting in the parking lot where I had climbed in.
I have a good bit of experience in airplane travel, too. My late cousin and I traveled to see my mom and step dad while they were living in Italy. They lived so far north that we were able to enjoy a meal in Italy, France, and Switzerland, in the same day. I loved crossing the different cultures.
My grandfather flew the company plane when he worked. I remember times when he would let me fly the plane once he got it in the air. Exhilarating! I’ve also traveled commercially, too. One of the perks I get when flying alone is that someone is always waiting to help me get through the airport to catch a connecting flight.
The most difficult part of traveling for me was when I took my first solo road trip in my car. I was filled with anxiety. But I remember when I crossed the Lake Hartwell Bridge, my first trip in the car alone, out of my state. Once I got over the bridge, I felt like I had “made it” It was like a rite of passage for me. As a kid crossing that bridge with my family, I had always looked forward to the day I could do it myself.
I am so thankful for the airlines and how efficient they are in helping people in wheelchairs.
Tonight, even, my sister and I have talked about taking a trip with her family to Alaska in 2017. That’s a place I have always wanted to visit. More to come on that in the future!
As a person in a wheelchair, I take independence very seriously. For me, the more independence leads to more confidence, which leads to more freedom.
Achieving independence for me has no doubt been a team effort. Whether it’s helping me up a flight of stairs, teaching me how to cook, or helping me get out of my comfort zone, if you’ve had any part whatsoever in this, I want to say, “Thank You!”