Japan, Paris, Ghana, Havana, Morocco – little Carlyle in the UK – the list over places that can easily be enjoyed and explored with a wheelchair goes on and on, and traveling is a perfect opportunity to quiet whatever naysayers you have in your life – or head, that implies that you can’t. Because they are wrong. You definitely can.
You see, as the world is getting smaller, it’s also getting more accessible, and with some imagination and determination, there aren’t many places that would be impossible to go to with a wheelchair. But that’s not stopped us from making this list of adventurous experiences for adventurers in wheelchairs!
Pro tip: Do as the boy scouts, and be prepared. Get the right insurance, look up transportation and have a backup plan – and don’t forget that there’s a solution to every problem!
We might as well start big, right? Right! In the deep Ecuadorian jungle, surrounded by green leaves and the smells and sounds of the rainforest, a group of bungalows – and some other cool stuff! Are tucked away, and that’s far from the best part: locally designed wheelchairs will allow you to explore the deep forest and its inhabitants (monkeys and parrots!) and you’ll even get to visit a zoo that’s really an animal rescue for little creatures who would be very difficult to spot in the wild.
Bali is absolutely amazing, and while it might not be the most accessible place it’s definitely worth the effort if you’re into beaches so white that they’re almost hard to look at, that kind of water that somehow manages to be crystal clear and colored in blue at the same time, and beautiful underwater vegetation. But who is, really? Just kidding: we definitely are, and if you’ve never tried scuba diving before you can take a beginner’s course – that includes dives, of course! Just remember that you can still get burned by the sun if you’re close to the surface. I learned that the hard way.
We tried and tried to pick just one of all the fantastic safaris, but it just couldn’t be done because there are so many great and exciting ones! Like the one in Uganda with tree-climbing lions or Botswana with the Victoria Falls. In Rwanda, you can play with (or at least look at) our cousins the gorillas, and in South Africa (our favorite!) you’ll see the whole cast of the Lion King! Watch giraffes bow down to have a drink and laugh at (or with) silly baby elephants, and if you’re lucky you might even spot a lion lazying in the sunshine!
From African elephants to their Indian siblings, this big Asian country has so, so much to offer and amazing things to see! It’s almost too big, in the sense that it can be tricky to know if a location fits you or not – but this tour has all that covered, so you can just relax and enjoy the ride. And what a ride! Visit Delhi and Taj Mahal, live like a local in Jaipur, listen to the stories of acid attack survivors, and – you know it! – play with rescued elephants (if they’re in the mood)!
Note: this is far from the only place where you can have snowy fun, check out France, Canada, Vermont, or any other place you’d like to visit! Should you happen to be in the Colorado – or Telluride, more precisely – you can take both skiing and snowboarding courses and learn how to fly like the wind down the white, fluffy but oh-so-fast slopes no matter your age or ability – unless you’re lacking in the bravery department! If you definitely do not, there’s also heliskiing, snowmobiling and ice climbing. You’re gonna sleep like a log after all this!
If you really like the idea of a board but prefer your water in liquid form, Hawaii is where you want to go, and not only for the gorgeous flowers and delicious plate lunches and really cool volcanoes, but for the surf! Every now and then there are events where you can learn how to surf, but if you already have game then there’s nothing stopping you from riding the waves whenever you feel like it! The freedom that comes with letting the water carry you toward the shore is rather addictive, so you might have to move to Honolulu if you don’t watch out!
Whistler is the unofficial mountain bike capital of the world (or perhaps it’s been made official by now?) and is getting more and more accessible every year. There are several different kinds of hand-bikes that are just waiting for you to come and give them some attention, and you can choose between everything from paved trails to off-road single track trails, or go on a guided tour, or practice some turning, balancing or other tricks! And they have canoes, too. The only problem will be your tired, tired arms at the end of the day. Definitely worth it.
We really hope you’re as excited as we are about all the awesomeness that’s waiting for you all over the world! Don’t forget that you can take our suggestions and adapt them to work awesomely for you, and we’d also love to hear all about your adventures!
Post cover image: by PacoRomero / Getty Images