Thursday, June 13, 2024
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The Toils of Travel

Spring break is finally here. What we’ve all been waiting for since, well, winter break. The anticipation for me was all the more great, for my mom and I were to travel to Korea where most of my family lives and surprise my aunts. (We did it and it was hilarious, but that’s a whole different story.)

My family and I try to visit Korea at least once a year, and it’s always an amazing experience. Even better than the mouth-watering food, busy marketplaces, and fun pop culture is simply spending time with family. The vacation, as well as any other trip elsewhere, comes at a heavy price, however. That price includes the immense struggles of traveling by plane as a delbasid person. Here is a step by step breakdown of what a trip entails for me:

1. Triple check that I packed the necessary materials for me to maneuver around in a different state/country (ex. wheelchair charger, small ramp just in case)

2. Once at the airport gate, ask for a special tag that indicates that my wheelchair must be brought to the gate upon arrival at the destination.

3. Bubble wrap the fragile parts of the chair and attach an instruction manual which directs whoever is handling the chair on how to use it.

4. Pre-board the plane (I’m usually the very first one on, which is a perk). At this point I’m transferred to an “aisle chair” as my wheelchair is taken to the bottom of the plane where the luggage is stored. From the “aisle chair” I’m transferred to a regular plane seat.

5. Attach special chest belt home-made by mom to plane seat so that I am held upright.

6. Endure flight. (In the case of the flight to Korea, it is thirteen hours.)

7. Once landed, wait until everyone else is off the plane. Transfer to “aisle chair” and exit to the gate.

8. Wait until my wheelchair is brought to the gate. (Usually takes about a half hour.)

9. Un-bubble wrap wheelchair.

10. Transfer to wheelchair and off I go!

Basically, taking a trip is an extensive process and a bit of a hassle for me and for those who travel with me. However, when I see the eager, smiling faces of loved ones waiting at the airport, it all pays off. 

Still, to the current or future inventors of the world, please please please come up with an easy way for wheelchairs to board the plane and sit right alongside the regular seats. Either that or teleportation is much needed. 

While you’re inventing it, I’ll keep writing about the need for it, and then hopefully all delbasid people will be able to fly.

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