The hardest part was deciding when we had time to travel, as soon as we picked our dates and destination most everything slipped into place.
When Emily was a resident in Royal Rehab (RR) in Ryde we had the opportunity to stay at the Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) apartment at Breakfast Point, booked through our hospital social worker. It was an opportunity for us to stay with Emily as opposed to just visiting her during the day. It also introduced us to being away from home, enjoying a different community, restaurants and facilities. It built confidence in our ability to address travel and change. I recently visited the SCIA website to download their information concerning travel. See here
The staff at RR had a checklist for packing which I tweaked and use for all our travels. We have rested and sipped a glass of wine or two in the Hunter Valley. We progressed on to test ourselves on a short flight to Melbourne, then accomplished the longer Cairns flight and last year we enjoyed a break in Singapore. It is only with experience that I have managed to relax as a travelling carer so a holiday does become a welcome break.
I think that travel is about new experiences and so there is no right or wrong, although there is no doubt that detailed preparation is paramount. We take care with booking appropriate accommodation and transport, Emily arranges carers for our stay, we organize equipment to be delivered. However short our break we have learnt that we need to be prepared for all eventualities.
Our latest trip was with Jetstar to the Sunshine Coast, we traveled with just 20kg checked in luggage! We have also flown with Qantas and Singapore Airlines – both were accommodating and easy. I find it comforting that travel has become more routine with a wheelchair, more hotels have facilities, access is becoming better at destinations worldwide.
Realistically travelling with a wheelchair is expensive so “A change is as good as a rest.” I change things up as often as possible so we feel fresh even in our daily routine. Everyday can have an element of travel and exploration. Today we are off to France for coffee at our local L’Ami De Pain Boulangerie Cafe. By supper Emily in I may pop to Mexico for a delicious enchilada wrap or maybe Thailand for a Thai green curry?
A recommended movie for the weekend is The Trip to Italy – Two men, six meals in six different places on a road trip around Italy. Liguria, Tuscany, Rome, Amalfi and ending in Capri. That’s an ideal short-haul trip to the cinema for Emily and I especially as rain is predicted.
I have great hopes that we will travel far and wide with Emily but when have we the time to travel and where do we want to go? Such a dilemma, such a happy dilemma because it’s all do-able!