Day 18 of 30 Days of MD: Duchenne and Traveling the World
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Day 18 of #30DaysofMD Duchenne and Traveling the World by Colin Werth Traveling is daunting task for many, but traveling with a disability makes it even more complicated. However, for me, the wonderful experiences of traveling around the world are far worth it despite the fact that I live with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. For many, the biggest fear is of flying and risking damage to your wheelchair. I do have a fancy Permobil power wheelchair, but forego traveling with it because it is too heavy to be lifted by hand. Instead I have purchased a smaller, portable power wheelchair that weighs an eighth of what my Permobilpower chair weighs. I’ve brought the chair with me on three trips so far and have had no issues at all. It is really great to have the independence of a power wheelchair while traveling. Anyway, the reason why I believe traveling is a great experience is because of all the wonderful people I’ve met and all of the different fascinating cultures I’ve learned about. I’ve seen everything from the great European cities of London and Paris to majestic sperm whales off the coast of New Zealand. As I’ve gotten weaker from my progressive condition it has made things more challenging, but there are plenty of destinations out there that are very accessible. In December I’m traveling to Barcelona which is supposedly one of the most accessible cities in the world. Other places I’ve been that were easy to roll around in my wheelchair I’d recommend to visit are Vancouver, Canada and Tokyo, Japan. There are plenty of resources. I am using the group @Disabled Accessible Travel to help plan our upcoming trip to Barcelona. Another great resource is the blog of fellow traveler Cory Lee who lives with SMA. Feel free to reach out to me for travel advice too; I’d be happy to help. The reason I chose the pictures above of me in Japan is because it is my favorite country I have visited. The people are so kind and helpful, especially to those with disabilities. It is fascinating to see the experiences of modern day and ancient history collide. Super-sleek bullet trains whisk you from city to city where ancient temples abound. Japan is truly a beautiful country!