Why you should travel - My Take
The philosopher St Augustine has said that life is a book and those who don't travel, read only one page.
Then why should one deny himself or herself from reading this beautiful book called life just because they have a disability?
Travel helps us to broaden our view towards life. We value experiences more than anything and learn to live in the moment.
We become more open to different ways of life across countries and cultures.
This is how travel leaves a mark on each one of us. But when a person with a disability travels, it enriches not only that person but also influences others who have had an inadequate exposure to disability or people with disabilities.
Travelling to unknown places lead to many questions in their mind. Inaccessibility, lack of basic facilities and poor understanding from others are some of the barriers they may face.
They are often looked upon as people who need support or sympathy. When it comes to travel and other leisure activities, this is something many people don't consider them doing.
When Planet Abled started taking groups of people with all disabilities to tourist places we were stared at. We even got vulgar remarks and were made fun of. We were told things like why they have come out of their houses.
But over the months, these reactions have changed. The more people with disabilities are seen out in the open, the more the community recognizes and accepts their existence.
People realize that there is nothing different about a person who lives with a disability. They are the same people at heart with the desires, dreams and aspirations.
They realize that making things and places accessible, can enable persons with disabilities to lead a comfortable life with less difficulties.
They carry this message in their respective groups and the barrier breaks. We move one step closer to an inclusive world.
So when a person with a disability travels, they empower themselves and change the world around us by creating a sensitive awareness about his or her right to a free existence.
About the Writer
Neha is the founder of Planet Abled, which provides for accessible travel solutions and leisure excursions for people of all disabilities. A one-of-it's-kind in the world, people with different disabilities and without disabilities travel together to create a platform for inclusive tourism. Planet Abled was the winner of the NCPEDP - Mphasis Universal Design Award 2016.