Hear Tim talk about how one can experience the joy of traveling even with mobility issues; the solution being a hackneyed proverb that nonetheless rings true: “Where there’s a will there’s a way.” To Tim traveling means various things. To use his words, it’s a bit of adventure & a source of knowledge but probably most of all it means a connection with his parents & family by seeing places in person that he grew up looking at in photos.
First of all I would like to welcome you to the community that we are slowly creating. My name is Jhilam. What is your full name?
My full name is Timothy but I go by Tim, I'd rather not give my last name since I'm to keep my full identity private on Twitter.
That's ok. Completely understandable. So you were telling us last day that you have some mobility issues, which is a reason why you travel solo. I was wondering if the opposite would have been more convenient. I mean in your situation, many would like someone to assist them, isn’t it?
Don't get me wrong, I do have people assisting me from time to time. I get wheelchair assistance at the airport, train station & ferry plaza whenever possible. The reason I don't have a full-time assistant is partly because I don't feel that I need it, can't afford it & I probably enjoy solo travelling too much.
I see. So what are the things that you enjoy the most about traveling solo?
I enjoy sightseeing, visiting historical sites, museums and aquariums as well as some dining at local restaurants while trying to take in a show at a local club or theater.
So you love Art. What about language differences; especially in the case of a play?
I do have an appreciation for the arts. Luckily I haven't had much of a problem with the language differences since either the people know English or have a working knowledge of the language.
Alright, can you tell us something about the Accessibility Awareness Around the World Journey? How did that happen? What was your role in it?
My Accessibility Awareness Around the World Journey was a solo affair though it didn't start out to be that way. Last year I was just looking to travel to South America then curiosity took over when I started to see what it would take to go from South America to South Africa and then to Australia. Once I found out that South Africa Airways had direct flights to & from each continent the trip evolved into what became my Accessibility Awareness Journey.
Ok, and what is the most significant idea that one can drive home, that you want people to be aware of?
To don't let their mobility limitations prevent to get out and do some traveling, maybe not to the extreme of traveling around the World but if they want to fight somewhere to visit family and friends they should know that there are people willing to help out along the way.
On that note, have people always been considerate towards you?
For the most part, people have been considerate of my mobility issues though there are the few who don't want to be bothered or feel that I & others should just stay in the shadows for some reason. I chose not to worry about the latter and be glad that there's more of the former around. One unpleasant experience was when I was trying to enter a State Park I was told that it wasn't a park for people like me. I was dumbfounded and drove away.
You did the right thing. So for how long have you been traveling solo, and what inspired you? Is there anyone you look up to?
I've been traveling solo for off & on for nearly 40 years. It started in college when I had to drive between Northern & Southern California during breaks. Then after college, I had to travel across the country for a job. What inspired me was that do my non-working related traveling was the fact I wouldn't be able to the places I wanted to see if I kept waiting around for someone to join me. John Muir has been a longtime influence on me, he would regularly travel solo to various parts around the country and the globe.
Alright. Since you are an art aficionado can you name a place where you were least expecting to find something close to your liking, in terms of art and was bowled over?
When I visited the Old Royal Navy College in Greenwich England I wasn't expecting to see murals like I saw in The Painted Hall. It would be a good place for people to visit, sit & observe since each picture has a story.
Thank you for taking out time for this interview and being patient with our inquisitiveness.
You're welcome and thanks for listening to my story.
A passionate traveler and an art connoisseur with mobility issues who has set out to tell the world once again that if there's a will there's no backing down.