I had promised my family a Gold Coast Holiday. My children wanted to go to the theme parks. We were really excited when we finally booked a trip. I was surprised how easy flying was. Airline staff were very helpful. The hotel was also accessible. But they had to hire a toilet seat for me. We visited Movie World, Sea World and Dreamworld. The children loved the rides. But the queues were long. I enjoyed the animal shows at Sea World. The theme park staff were helpful. There were also plenty of accessible toilets. It was a great trip.
The Borneo Tree Top Canopy Walk is amazing. It is high above one of the oldest rainforests in the world. It is a great place to visit. But the walk is very long and steep. I have a vision impairment. I found the narrow rope bridges very scary. They swung from side to side. I had a very bad experience. I was terrified. But I am determined not to let fear beat me. I am going to do the walk again.
Mount Everest and Nubtse from Kalapatthar photo Pavel Novak
A view of Mount Everest from Kalapatthar. Image: Pavel Novak
Gerard Gossins and Nick Gleeson have climbed some of the highest mountains in the world. Both men are blind. They have climbed Mount Everest. They loved the challenge. They had support teams to help. But the climbs were very dangerous. Nick had a dangerous fall on Mount Everest. One of his companions also got sick when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. But both Nick and Gerard say the hard work was worth it. Gerard wants to inspire other people with a disability. Nick says you need to believe in yourself.
Check your medications are legal in the countries you are visiting
I love travelling overseas. But I need to take a lot of medications with me. It can be difficult. I have some tips to share. Start by getting travel insurance. You should also have a check up with your doctor. Check each country that you are visiting about their rules about medications. The airline might also have rules. Pack your medicines in two separate bags in case one gets lost. Keep medicines in their original packets. Keep your prescription and a letter from your doctor with them. You should only carry with you what you need for the flight. Declare needles and syringes at airport security.
There is increased awareness about accessibility for people with a disability
Cruise ships can provide a great holiday for people with a disability. I recently took a cruise to New Zealand. I received great service. It was good not to have to carry luggage around. Many cruise ships are now accessible to people with a disability. Features can include ramps, lifts and accessible bathrooms. Information can often be provided in Braille and hearing loops are available on some ships. Staff can also provide personal assistance. But shore excursions can cause difficulties for some people. It is important to discuss your needs before you travel.
I once swam with dolphins at Sea World in Queensland. I felt so excited. A dolphin jumped over my head. I got to hug one. It was very soft. I also sang to the dolphin. But he didn't like it. He dived under the water. I also saw penguins at Sea World. I especially liked the little babies.
I had planned a holiday to Antarctica. But my friend rang with bad news. My friend said the ship I was about to travel on had sunk. Fortunately, it was a different ship. It just had a similar name. My trip had other surprises. Getting around the ship using my wheelchair was easy. Seeing my first iceberg was a highlight. Later I got to see icebergs and animals up close in a small boat. I was also treated to a trip onto the land. Antarctica was unforgettable.
Tarzan made riding an elephant look like fun. It was something I could do despite my vision loss. I decided to ride an elephant in Malaysia. I did not want to sit on a seat or in a basket. But the elephant was very big. Sitting on his back was like doing the splits. I had to hold on tight. I was tossed around. It was scary. It was such a long way down to the ground. I was glad to finally get off the elephant.