As the saying goes, practice makes perfect – right?
Over the last couple of months since I last wrote a post, the progression of my trip has moved significantly but we’re also not any further ahead. It’s exhilarating and frustrating in equal measure!
Lets get the frustrating bit out the way first. I still haven’t heard explicitly from Virgin whether I can fly or not. They’ve basically said yes (yay!) but they’ve been so ambiguous on the subject that nothing is yet concrete. This has meant that I still don’t have a confirmed date for the trip… We have a date we’re aiming for but because there are so many things up in the air we can’t completely commit to it. Very frustrating. We’ll get there though!
Right! Now on to the progression!
If you have been following my various social media platforms you will know that last weekend (14th-17th September 2017) I went on a ‘practice road trip’ with the team I’ll be doing the America road trip with. It. Was. Awesome. We went to Cornwall, one of my favourite places on Earth, specifically Helston – that’s roughly between Falmouth and Penzance.
Not only was it super fun, it helped us visualise road tripping in America and what we will need to do in order to make the journey as smooth and as uneventful as possible. Here are the top 5 things we learned from our little Cornwall adventure…
1. Write lists
As many as possible! I have an incredible amount of stuff, even for just three nights away in this country, and a fair amount of that stuff is important to keep me, well – alive! Therefore it was vital we didn’t forget anything or leave anything behind. I highly recommend writing lists. It takes the stress out of needing to remember and it’s extremely satisfying being able to tick things off!
2. Two is company, three is not a crowd
We learned that I really do need three people who can provide me care at all times whilst away. Though I only require two at most for the physical care, having the support network of three people around me means that there is less pressure on those providing that support. If someone one day is not feeling their best we will have that flexibility of sharing out the workload so that someone can go and rest if that’s what they need. If you are planning a trip away and require physical assistance always plan for the people assisting you to get ill or hurt themselves. The last thing you want is to a) Endanger your assistants and b) Get stuck somewhere with inadequate support so you risk your health and safety and those who are left to support you.
I love spontaneity, but not everything is advisable to be spontaneous. We figured out that in order to be efficient with time and to reduce decision making (which between four people can be difficult) we need to plan who is going to do what and when. Now I’m not saying plan every minute of every day, but for someone who takes an hour and a half to two hours to get up and go to bed, structure can be incredibly helpful. In fact, for me, having structure allows me to be more spontaneous. Sounds backwards but it’s true.
We worked out what equipment would work and what other equipment we still need to obtain. I’ll write more on this when I actually start collating the equipment.
5. We get on!
It is incredibly important that if you have complex health care needs and are wanting to travel, you have people with you that can handle all that is needed for you to stay healthy and safe. Nevertheless that’s all very well and good but if you don’t get on with those people you will have no fun whatsoever. And that would suck. I’m ridiculously lucky to have the best of both worlds. Not only are my road trip team very skilled in care and nursing, they are brilliant people who I enjoy the company of. Our personalities click and we had a great time being together – we had many laughs! Oh the laughs….
We stayed in a Premier Inn which, I have to admit, was one of the best Premier Inns I’ve stayed in. The wheelchair access was sublime. Ok, not perfect, there were no hoists or electric beds but for someone who might be less physically challenged than me would be able to manage with enormous ease in this hotel.
The three biggest things that were brilliant in terms of access were:
The two front doors were automatic.
The key card system for the bedrooms was a swipe motion rather than a slotting motion.
The bedroom was a decent size and the bathroom was a walk in shower/wet room with ample space around the toilet.
Another thing that made my personal situation easier was that they gave me access to a fridge for any medical things. I’ve never had a hotel offer that before if there wasn’t a fridge in the bedroom.
The only downside I would say is that there were limited disabled parking spaces so it was a gamble if we got one after a day out. We managed though without too much difficulty. It helped that there was a loading bay right next to the front door. This meant we didn’t have to walk far at all to unpack all our luggage from the car.
I don’t really know what else to say other than I thought it was a very successful trip. We all have more confidence about the road trip which is excellent and we can actually see it happening now! If you don’t follow me on social media (if not, why not?! Get following! Links are below!) here are a few of photos of our little adventure.
Thanks for reading! I’m delighted things are coming together, but we still have a long way to go…
If I get my act together I might actually post another update by the end of the week, but who knows! Stay tuned!
Until next time, be kind and live your dreams! ❤