The Spirit of Travel
by Mavis Hobbs 2001

Mavis Hobbs, of Melbourne, Australia, explains how attitude is everything when it comes to taking an unplanned journey.

Dear Other Disabled Travellers:

Kylee and I flew to Rotorua, which we just picked at random (because it's an ideal place to take in the thermal baths, spas, etc).

Having motor neuron disease, I am very limited with my legs and either use a wheelchair or a walking wheelie to get around. The plane trip from Melbourne was smooth sailing. There was no-fuss assistance getting to my seat or the toilets with the help of an in-cabin wheelchair.  Preparation beforehand is essential.

Luckily, I had a fun-loving young friend. Everywhere we went (with me in a traveling lightweight wheelchair), we were greeted with friendliness. We even went on a wet and wild safari trekking tour in a 4X4 wheel drive run by a burly Maori chief, who put me on his shoulders when the going was rough.

I recommend just having a go at traveling, disability and all. Keep a sense of humour and surround yourself with happy, fun loving people. Driving around was fine; we never had difficulty finding a ground floor motel room with cooking facilities, and friendly hotel managers provided a plastic chair for my shower. Be flexible. When Kylee went dancing in Auckland, TV and chatting in the lounge were fun in themselves for me. I am planning more impromptu trips overseas. In the four years since my disabling disease, I have travelled to Brazil twice to visit the many faith healers. I wasn't cured, but the journey to loving, caring groups of diverse people was quite an adventure. I'm now seeing how people live from a different angle as compared to my totally mobile and active days of past years! My advice is "Do it now and have no regrets later!"

From a happy disabled traveller, 
Mavis Hobbs.  

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