The MS Gym Podcast

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October 28, 2020  

ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL with Sylvia Longmire of Spintheglobe.net: Traveling Fearlessly with a Disability

October 28, 2020

Today's episode is all about wheelchair and accessible travel, but our guest, though an international expert in this field, brings way more to the table than just that. For instance,

She's an award-winning accessible travel writer, blogger and photographer, travel agent, author, entrepreneur and disability rights advocate.

She's a service disabled US Air Force veteran, full-time wheelchair user, single mother and former Miss wheelchair USA.

She's the founder of the award-winning Spin the Globe travel blog where she shares her traveling experiences from around the world in a power chair. She shares tips and tricks from her own travels, she gives fellow wheelchair users the tools and the confidence to create their own travel adventures without fear. Her travel articles have been featured in the New York Times, New Mobility Magazine and Lonely Planet and she's published three accessible travel-related books. And, I don't want to forget her 130 travel-related videos that she's created and produced from around the world. Videos led to voiceover work and that led to voiceover acting.  She is a powerhouse!  But there's more...

Though all Sylvia's accomplishments I've mentioned so far are related to what we're going to be talking about today, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention one of the most intriguing areas of her resume. Sylvia is an expert on Mexico's drug war and border security, and has been a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NBC Nightly News, to name a few. She's also been a guest expert on the History Channel's Brad Meltzer's Decoded in America's War on Drugs and has consulted for producers of the National Geographic Channel's Border Wars and Drugs Inc. series She is also an author of two books on these issues as well as hundreds of articles for Homeland Security publications.

To say that Sylvia is "more than her MS" wouldn't do her accomplishments any justice.

Join me now as I get the inside scoop from Sylvia on why travel post-disability IS possible, is way more accessible than you might imagine, and how your dream of traveling solo with a disability is absolutely achievable. 

EPISODE NOTES:

  • A quote to set the tone
  • Documenting everything
  • The psychological grieving process
  • Preparing for what's to come
  • Anticipating medical retirement
  • Keeping one foot in the door of her career
  • Pivoting from drug trafficking, border security and human trafficking to her passion for travel
  • Travel as a form of healing
  • Finding the confidence to travel alone with a disability
  • How a 16-hour flight to Dubai set the bar
  • Becoming a professional travel blogger and the birth of Spin the Globe
  • How doing your homework on a destination is key
  • Accessible travel 101
  • Identifying your limitations
  • Taking incremental steps to find your comfort zone
  • Traveling solo
  • Asking for help
  • The biggest travel-related setback she's encountered so far
  • Frankfurt and a broken scooter
  • Timing layovers to accommodate your ability
  • The country that is surprisingly more accessible than you might think
  • Patience, patience, patience
  • Personal boundaries
  • Projecting positivity while traveling in a wheelchair
  • Being grateful for what you CAN do
  • Wheelchair vanity. It's a thing.
  • When people look at your mobility device as cool
  • Arranging MS drug therapy with your travel schedule
  • Three things a traveler with a disability should never travel without
  • Being resourceful when hotel accessibility is a challenge
  • Wheelchair accessible cruising
  • Cruising during the Covid era
  • Expert advice to new wheelchair users
  • Adapt and overcome
  • Where to find all of Sylvia's resources

LINKS:

Spintheglobe.net - Sylvia's blog, travel consultations/opportunities, books (travel & drug war-related), photos, cool merch, media kit and more!

The MS Gym

Brooke Slick