Before leaving for my trip across Europe my parents and I were worried about getting around with my wheelchair because not every country is as wheelchair friendly as the United States. My parents decided to adopt my motto of “impossible is nothing” and face the obstacles head on as they came along our journey. The first leg of our journey was to Paris, France. After my brother and his wife Raney surprised me by showing up across the world on our first night, they proceeded to be our travel guides, setting up reservations at great restaurants and planning our days. One of the first restaurants they took us to had us scheduled to sit upstairs. We figured that we’d break down my wheelchair and carry it up the steps but the manager of the restaurant wouldn’t hear of it. He spoke to one of the tables in front of the restaurant to see if they’d move upstairs so me and my family could sit. Before he even finished talking, in French so I wasn’t exactly sure what he was saying, the men were up moving a chair for my wheelchair and heading upstairs. The people in Paris continued to impress me with their generosity.
On the second leg of our journey in Venice my parents and I were again worried about getting around. For those of you who have never been to Venice, it is all on the water with stair bridges connecting each island. We traveled all over Venice from island to island and just about every time we had to cross a bridge, my mom would grab me and some random person was there to help my dad get the wheelchair. The journey and the people were amazing but we still had one more stop to make before heading home.
The last stop was in Rome! We weren’t as worried about this trip because we had “reinforcements” coming in to help. The Sitov family, a family that we have known for pretty much my entire life, met us and were ready to help in whatever way they could. On one of the days in Rome we got a tour guide to give us more information about this historic city. He got a little tiring throughout the days because he knew so much information, I couldn’t take it all in. However he was a blessing in disguise because he made sure that I had the best views and was able to see and learn about everything I wanted. He would move people our of our way so we could get through and see what he was talking about and we never asked a question that he couldn’t answer. After having such a great experience with people around the world I can’t wait to keep traveling and connecting with the people of the world around me.