Dare to imagine

France / Monday, January 8th, 2018

You are in the center of Paris, France.   You are at the Place de la Concorde looking up the Champs-Elysees toward the Arc de Triomphe. Slightly to the left is the Eiffel Tower.

Directly to your left, across the Pont del la Concorde is the Left Bank and the French National Assembly. Behind you is the Musee Orangerie with Monet’s great murals, and further is the beautiful Tuileries Garden, then the I M Pei glass pyramid and the Louvre.

To the right is the renowned Hotel Crillon, a bit farther the United States Embassy. You haven’t moved an inch yet, but the enchanting City is unfolding before you.

Yet, you chose not to go. You chose to stay home. Your disability, whether difficulty walking or in a wheelchair is, for whatever reason, stopping you from getting there.

I am here to tell you that you are making the wrong choices.

Traveling today is there for you if you want it. It is no longer impossible, nor even that difficult. With a little extra planning and thought, you can enjoy the world instead of just watching videos.

Some years ago my wife became wheelchair bound. We were determined to keep our lives as “normal” as possible for as long as possible. We have been travelling with that wheelchair since 2005 and still going strong even at my age of 67.   Hopefully, we will continue to for many years to come.

I am writing this because it saddens me when I see my wife the only person on a plane who is disabled.   The world is out there for you and I am here to help you as much as I can to show you how do it.

From making reservations to getting on and off a plane I will let you know how it works. What do you do on the plane?   How do you get to and from the airport to a hotel in Europe?

I want to share my experiences with you and hope to get feedback from other travelers who have had additional experiences, then share those with you.

Cities like Paris are as disability friendly, if not more so , than NY. Certainly the people there are easier to deal with than NY, as crazy as that sounds.

Tip of the day. If you want to rent a ramp van in France you just contact “Benedicte Defrennes at Handynamic, bdeffrennes@handynamic.fr”. They meet you at the airport and you are on your way to any place in France. This is a small example of the information I wish to convey to you. I am here to encourage, inform, cajole.   It is all at your fingertips but you need a little courage, especially the first time. I am hoping my experiences will do that.


4 Replies to “Dare to imagine”

  1. Looking forward to learning more. I am fully scooter/wheelchair bound and my husband and I fly a lot within North America, but never Europe. Any and all tips are appreciated.

  2. As a former social worker at the International MS Management Practice, I want to thank you for publishing this much-needed blog. Too many people with MS and other disabilities believe that travel is not accessible to them. Knowing the tools for accessible travel can literally open the world up to them again. Thank you and I hope that many people reach your blog! If it is ok with you, I would like to share a link to it on my website and Facebook page.
    Beth DiBiase, LCSW

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