Wheel the World has been pushing boundaries since the start. From Patagonia to New York, we’ve been opening new paths for accessible travel and helping people with disabilities explore the world without limits! Blake Simpson (23), friend, athlete, and wheelchair
“I thought I was only going to sit along for the ride”.
Blake’s initial impressions, before the trip started, were general assumptions about how active and involved he would get to be with the activities we had planned out. “I thought I’d just be pushed around and not be really involved in what was going on,” he told us. Big spoiler alert: he got involved, big time. “I thought, when I saw Wheel the World, that it was people just doing things for you.” So until now, Blake had no idea how intense things were about to get.
“It was an awesome experience to be able to hike by myself for the first time ever”
When the trip started and Blake got to meet our team, the excitement started to build up. We are, after all, internationally known for our irresistible charm. “When I first got to Hawaii, meeting everyone, right off the bat, super good vibes! Everyone got along really well, they all made it really comfortable for me.” The hike started the same day. And that’s when things got really interesting. “I thought that I’d just sit on the device and I’d get pushed, and I thought that it wouldn’t be that much fun… but I was so wrong.”
That device is the Joelette wheelchair, an all terrain wheelchair that is our loyal partner for our most fun adventures. “They send you down like crazy steep inclines, it was bumpy, I had to stay balanced… They made it super fun and intense like I wanted to. So as long as I wanted to go faster, they’d go faster, they just made it as fun as possible for me. It was an awesome experience to be able to hike by myself for the first time ever. We got a lot done and that first day definitely changed my perception of Wheel the World.”
“I thought things would be like – you’re disabled, you’re only going to hop along for the ride. But I was very, very wrong.” The spirit of accessible travel with Wheel the World is to empower people to live their best lives, to get involved, and to feel the passion of discovery with full intensity however they’re able to. We’re just there to help make it possible!
“With surfing, I just felt free. It was one of the best experiences of my life”
Then comes the surfing experience. It’s Hawaii – how can you miss that?. “This is a really good one. I tried surfing before and I hated it. It was in California and the water was choppy and rough, you can’t do too much. Hawaii – it’s clear, I could go wherever I want by myself. I just felt free. It was one of the best experiences of my life for sure. I never thought I could go to the beach and feel free and have fun like that.
“We got to see the sunrise from the top of a mountain over the clouds”
The following day was the handcycling experience, one of our favorite activities that we’ve replicated in several destinations around the world. “It was a 30 mile handcycle down a huge mountain. We got there at 4 am to got the sunrise over the clouds, like how you’d see them from a plane. Then we cycled down the mountain, got to really high speeds, sharp turns. It was just an amazing experience.”
“We were part of a culture and we got to experience Hawaii for Hawaii”
The last part of the trip was arriving, but the fun didn’t stop there. Scuba diving was one of the last activities on the list. “The water was so clear you could see everything. You kayak into the sea by yourself, you jump out of the kayak, and you get to see the beautiful underwater life you didn’t even know existed.” The thing is, with our trips, it’s not all about moving around and exploring incessantly. Blake and the team got to relax, experience a bit of the gorgeous Hawaiian culture and food and take in some of the beauty of the human diversity of the world. “It was not only a trip where we’d do edgy stuff and have adventures. We were part of a culture and we got to experience Hawaii for Hawaii. It was really amazing.”
“By the end of the trip I was sad, I didn’t want to go home! It was the first trip I didn’t want to go home, I wasn’t burned out. I loved the people from Wheel the World and they made it so much fun”.
Watch Blake’s full experience in this short video that captures the whole intensity of the trip! Also, don’t hesitate to book your next trip with us and have the experience of a lifetime.