Wheelchair traveler Nath blazes accessible global trail

Wheelchair traveler Nath blazes accessible global trail
Image supplied - Nath Fernandes

By Ellise Hollie Hayward, 22, Disabilities Correspondent, Jill Dando News

For most people, booking holidays can be a hassle, but for Nath Fernandes, who has cerebral palsy, traveling the world presents an even greater challenge.

However, that hasn't stopped the intrepid explorer from visiting far-flung destinations like Armenia, China, and Uzbekistan.

Fernandes, who runs a children's birthday party business in Bristol and London and is also a qualified life coach, has a passion for travel that began at a young age. As a child, he accompanied his parents on road trips around Somerset, poring over a road atlas before the days of GPS navigation.

As a teenager, he convinced his parents to let him catch the train to Weymouth with friends, kickstarting a love affair with exploring the UK by rail.

Image supplied - Nath Fernandes

After earning a first-class business degree and settling into independent living in Bristol with a team of personal assistants, Fernandes set his sights on exploring the world. He started The Wheelchair Traveller blog initially to let his parents know he was safe, never imagining the impact it would have on the accessible tourism sector, especially post-COVID.

Drawn to destinations considered "off the beaten path" for wheelchair users, like Belarus and Kazakhstan, Fernandes has found that some of the most welcoming hospitality comes from unexpected places. In countries like Armenia, locals go out of their way to assist disabled tourists, whether out of curiosity or pure friendliness.

"Whether it's out of intrigue or just pure friendliness, you can always count on the locals to come to your aid albeit speaking a different language!" Fernandes said.

Image supplied - Nath Fernandes

While navigating aging infrastructure and poor accessibility legislation can be challenging, Fernandes has encountered heartwarming acts of kindness. In Armenia, a local stepped into traffic to stop cars, allowing Fernandes to cross safely in his electric wheelchair, affectionately named "Superbunny."

These experiences inspired Fernandes to use his blog as a platform to encourage other individuals with disabilities to explore the world. Last year, when planning a trip to Tunisia, he faced difficulties securing accessible transportation until connecting with a company that transported patients to rehabilitation centers. Not only did they agree to provide transportation for his visit, but they also sourced a ramp for Fernandes to access the UNESCO World Heritage site of El Jem Amphitheater, a first for the ancient ruins.

"It is one of his greatest travel achievements to date," according to Fernandes.

You can follow Nath’s never ending travel adventures via the following:

Blog – Welcome - The Wheelchair Traveller

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/thewheelchairtraveller

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/thewheelchairtraveller/

X – Nath Fernandes (@VEUcan) / X (twitter.com)

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/@thewheelchairtraveller

For more stories from Jill Dando News click: www.goodnewspost.co.uk

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