Thursday, October 06, 2005

My name is Megan Smith and I am a senior in high school up in Northern California. I have a physical disability where i use an electric wheelchair for the most part, i can walk in a walker but it's difficult. Technically, i'm classified as having CP, but it's my belief the doctors didn't know what was going on and CP is the most general label. But anyway, at this point in my incredibly drawn out process of planning, I hope to travel to either Vietnam or Thailand at the beginning of January.
I have always had a passion for traveling and developed what i call a love affair with the world. For the past four years i have tried to organize several overseas trips through various organizations, all of which has fallen through. Luckily, this last summer i was able to travel to France and England with the program People to People. It was a wonderful experience and it has helped me redefine what i want when i am traveling. Traveling with 50 other high school students is not one of them! But the sights were incredible! Just as a forewarning to any wheelchair travelers going to Versialle, France, those cobblestones are a killer!! Though there is one place in which every person needs to visit when in England, whether you are disabled or not, and this is The United Kingdom Sailing Acadamy. This acadamy took me sailing, kayaking and windsurfing, with all of the accomidations i needed. They even assigned a private trainer to me.
But this trip helped me realize that i really don't want to just travel to the tourist spots, i want to actually live in the culture and offer any service i can to the community i am living with. This is why i am going to Vietnam and Thailand as a volunteer instead of a random tourist. I hope to stay for three to six months so that i will have the opprotunity to at least explore the culture partially.
In my Northern California community i have been active in many of the disablity activist organizations, for both the physically and developmentally disabled. Another hope for my volunteering is to develop an international respect and understanding of the whole spectrum of disabilities. Hopefully my knowledge of American disability rights and activism can influence programs overseas.
Well with all luck and hope my plans will progress!

Meg Smith


Blogger Melissa said...

Megan can you post about your People to People experience? What was it like to go aboard in High school. Was it hard being in a wheelchair?

4:25 PM  
Blogger Wheel Chair Center said...

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7:17 PM  
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4:27 PM  
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12:56 PM  
Blogger winegoddess said...

Hi Megan, my name is Tamara, I just started blogging and I found your posts very interesting. My boyfriend broke his neck many years ago and is permanently in a wheelchair. Travel can be difficult, but we love it. We live in Dallas, Texas, but my boyfriend is from California, and we recently visited Newport Beach and had a wonderful time. We toured the wineries in Temecula, and we went to Disneyland, and got to eat at the famous private Club 33 restaurant(his friends are members). The staff at Disneyland are wonderful, and they work to make everything accessible for everyone. We are really trying to learn more about different places we can travel, because, while there are some group trips out there for disabled people, we are just a regular couple in love, wanting to take romantic vacations, just the two of us. I applaud your traveling efforts and look forward to hearing about your trip to Costa Rica!

8:03 AM  
Blogger Figueroa11 said...

Hi Meg, my name is Adrian, i will be with you the nex weeck, i am ancioso becouse is a familiar esperience for me. I have a aunt, when she was child, she had a illnes named polio and all my childhood and adolescence i help her in all she needed. Actuali every body in my family help her. Today, she has 48 years old and during all her life, she worked to the goberment and is waiting now for her jubilacioon, also my aunt all her life wanted to be lawyer, is this moment just need to finish the thesis, final work. Well with that, just i want to say, i will be delithted with your company and i admire you because your force, charisma, Adrian.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Not sure how this is done,but from Doreen & Jack in Canada(u Know who) be carefull and enjoy asia

1:04 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Jack & Doreen are enjoying your blog and fun. How long will you be there? Keeping the wheels charged each day a problem?..G &G going the big trip with the gang, will you be home in time?..L.V from Canada

4:36 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Stewart and family now living in Switzerland,near Zurich..Finaly out of Singapore.Any news on mom and the western cruise? .. take Many pix ...Maybe in Cal. around Christmas....L.V from Canada

4:49 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:49 PM  

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