Most of us want to follow that deep-rooted wanderlust and venture to every corner of the world. After which (or during), we put it up on our social networks to make our friends jealous, educate some about what they can do or some who may be more intrinsic, non-exhibitionist, and feel travel is personal, for their soul alone.
Well, whatever travel persona you possess or don’t, and whatever challenges are stopping you from making that happen, be it money, age or time, it probably isn’t much like that of 29-year-old, Kevan Chandler.1
Kevan was diagnosed with muscular atrophy after he was born. And by 2014, after living with his family in Greensboro, North Carolina, he decided to live on his own and moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana.
An adventurer at heart, Kevan loved to challenge himself everyday and lucky for him, his friends have his back as he has theirs.
What sparked his travel adventure was an incident that happened a little before he moved. Kevan and his friends went on an urban exploration adventure into the Greensboro’s sewer system. Complete with a DIY backpack, all his friends took turns carrying 65-pound Kevan while they were underground.
While venturing around that tunnel, Kevan came out of that experience and thought- ‘We could do so much more!’
This included fulfilling his dream of going to Europe, although he knew he’d face trouble because some regions were not accessible or made easy for him to go around on his own.
Soon after, Kevan and his friends chose the cities where his favorite personalities in history were, and by June 19th, they started making that dream a reality.
Their journey’s pitstops included, a 6th century monastery in Skellig, an island near Ireland, which was inaccessible for those in a wheelchair because visitors have to climb around 700 steps to get to the top.
The next visit was to Samois-sur-Seine in France. This was the home of legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, Kevan’s all-time idol because, Django did not give up playing the guitar even after he met with an accident that permanently damaged his left hand. Instead he found an alternative way to continue playing, turning that pain into power.
The final and most anticipated destination was Kensington Gardens in London, because this was where Kevan’s ancestors and the author of ‘Peter Pan’ J.M. Barrie, lived.
Kevan chose this as the last stop because he wanted to connect with his roots and see the place where most of his favorite writers were inspired to create the books he grew up loving and eventually turned Kevan himself, into a writer too.
Kevan ran a GoFundMe project to raise funds for his three-week adventure, while Deuter, a German sports equipment brand, also created a modified baby carriage to carry Kevan.
Although a few aspects about the expedition made Kevan nervous, such as safety or cultural differences, he said, those are the kind of worries that any traveler has or overcomes, whether they are disabled or not.
So, taking the travel-junkie bravado a level higher, Kevan said “It’s going to be a challenge, and I’m up for it!”
We could all have friends like that or at least buckle up our personal fears that stop us and just go for that adventure we crave…
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