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Wheelchair Travel Newsletter: Tourist Traps, The Big Dig and Avoiding Bathroom Emergencies
Mount Rushmore labeled a tourist trap, an accessible transformation in Downtown Boston, and the tool every wheelchair user needs to prevent bathroom accidents.
“Traveling allows you to become so many different versions of yourself.”
I pull from a large library of travel quotes for these newsletters, always seeking to highlight those that I can draw a connection with. This week’s anonymous quote seems fitting, as I’ve just returned home after a couple of weeks on the road and trips to Juneau, Atlanta and Lake Tahoe. In each destination, I was a different person — or rather, each city brought out different components of my personality.
I have always considered Atlanta to be a “no nonsense” city, and I had to assume that persona when my hotel left me stranded at the airport. Although the ADA requires hotel shuttles to be wheelchair accessible, staff told me there was nothing to do except cancel my reservation. Ha! I did not back down from the fight and was ultimately accommodated at another hotel (at their expense).
Juneau activated the explorer in me — I was in unfamiliar territory and frustrated by the rain-soaked weather, but I still wanted to press on. I made it to a handful of tourist attractions, ate at the local restaurants and surveyed the accessibility of three different hotels. It’s a good thing that I got out, as I had some really fantastic conversations in Alaska, a couple of which I shared in a previous email: The Last Frontier: How a Mileage & Milk Run Led Me to Juneau, Alaska.
Lake Tahoe is where my “fun” side really came out — the party started early, as I ended up on a flight with four of my friends! Although we were all traveling for a conference, no event on my calendar is more fun than ZorkFest — it brings a diverse group of people together for cocktail hours, foodie experiences, and a bit of learning. Among so many friends, I was really able to let loose! Next year’s ZorkFest will take place in Las Vegas from November 1-3, 2024 — mark your calendars now, as I’ll be taking the stage as a speaker and would love to see you there!
We travel for many different reasons. Perhaps this week you are traveling for work, and next week you are taking a wheelchair accessible safari. Later this year, you might visit Nashville to see the Grand Ole Opry (it’s really great). With each trip, you get to explore a different facet of your personality and, whether you are testing out new things or retreating to what you know, the choice is yours — you can be whoever you want to be!
I’m going to be in Boston for the next couple of weeks and look forward to enjoying this amazing city that I call home. At the start of November, I’ll be back in the air with trips to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (a GREAT city!), Miami and (hopefully) Tallahassee, Florida on the horizon.
Below, you’ll find some new and dare I say interesting content that has been published to the blog. Keep an eye out for additional news early next week, including an invitation to the next Accessible Travel Chat.
Be well and have a great weekend,
P.S. If you’d like to show your support for WheelchairTravel.org and the accessible travel resources found there and in this newsletter, please consider upgrading to a paid subscription. Upgrading costs less than a quarter a day!
Latest Accessible Travel Articles
Ranking the World’s Top Tourist Traps — I think?
Mount Rushmore is a tourist trap, but South of the Border isn’t? You’ve got to be kidding! USA Today recently ranked the world’s top 100 tourist traps, but the list leaves more questions than answers — Like what is a tourist trap, anyway?
The Big Dig: How America’s 2nd Largest Infrastructure Project Elevated Accessibility in Boston (and made me want to live here)
Boston's Big Dig sent a major highway underground and in its place rose a premier urban park that is an accessible gateway to the city.
No Accessible Airplane Lavatory? Wheelchair Users Should Pack This Item to Prevent a Bathroom Disaster
Airplanes lack accessible toilets for disabled passengers, but this tool has prevented disaster and allowed me to relieve myself in the air.
Latest Accessible Travel News: Accessible Diving at Great Barrier Reef, Hot Air Balloon Rides and more
Round-up of accessible travel news, including access improvements at the Superdome, wheelchair accessible hot air balloon rides and more.
Accessible Travel Chat: Conversation with All Wheels Up’s Michele Erwin and Alan Chaulet
Last week, I interviewed Michele Erwin and Alan Chaulet of All Wheels Up, an advocacy group focused on achieving wheelchair securement spaces on airplanes. If you missed the live chat, be sure to watch the recording at the link!
In Case You Missed It
11 Years and 11 Days Before Now
Some people ascribe special meaning to these days, referring to them as “life days,” but I often have to be reminded of the date everything changed.
Check out these articles too:
Canadian Government Rules Airlines Must Fly Larger Planes to Accommodate Wheelchair Users — The Canadian Transportation Agency says that airlines must swap-in larger aircraft to transport passengers' wheelchairs and mobility devices.
Guest Post: Creating Accessible Travel Videos to Help Wheelchair Users Explore the World — Ryan Smith started his travel blog, Freewheel Weekends, to share his passion for travel and as a place to produce videos showcasing accessibility.
48 Hours in Bangkok: 5 Wheelchair Accessible Things to Do — I’ve traveled to Bangkok multiple times, but here are some of the best things to do when your time in the city is short (or you just have a long layover)!