Tasmania is the small triangle-shaped island at the bottom of the Australian mainland. Life’s pretty slow down there – it’s known for apple farming, the famous spinning Tasmanian Devil and for its rugged landscapes.

As a teenager I lived close to the capital, Hobart, before moving to Melbourne – a city 25 times bigger. Arriving on the mainland was like a scene from countless Hollywood movies – the small-town protagonist looks out, captivated by the bustling big city.

Visiting a place for the first time ignites something; it’s a mixture of curiosity, trepidation and excitement. As a reader of wheelchairtravel.org you’re probably familiar with the feeling. 

And if you have travelled you’ve in some way overcome your fear. We know travelling with a disability is not easy. If you’ve done it, congratulations – you’ve beaten the little voice in your head saying, “this is uncertain and I’m worried”.

I’m hooked on travel, seduced by it. I started my travel blog, Freewheel Weekends, a few years back to share my passion. The aim is to provide the kind of resources I would use: namely, videos showcasing accessibility.

The latest videos are from a trip to Egypt and Israel. Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the Pyramids, with more to come. They’re short (4-6 minutes) and from the perspective of a wheelchair user. They aren’t quick or easy to make – they’re a labour of love – but I hope they’re helpful and inspiring.

If you’re like me, travel is a passion and in the times between travelling – and where travel is restricted – that passion doesn’t wain. While we can’t indulge right now, we can still dream, plan and promise ourselves to win over that little voice – turning fear into anticipation, “This is uncertain and I’m excited!”

Travel safe and travel well. See you out there.

Ryan Smith
Ryan is a wheelchair travel vlogger and graphic designer. His favourite Venn diagram would be one where travel, wheelchairs and culture overlap. He makes videos and writes about accessibility at freewheelweekends.com.au where his goal is to make the kind of travel resources he would use. He is a believer of disability advocacy through visibility and lives in Melbourne, Australia with too many ferns and not enough soy milk. You can follow his website on YouTubeFacebook and Instagram.

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