Hi there, my name is Asmae! I’m a 24-year-old travel blogger from the Netherlands, and my passion lies in exploring the world while advocating for wheelchair accessibility. I live with LGMD2D, a form of muscular dystrophy, which has given me a unique perspective on the challenges that wheelchair users face when traveling. Through my blog, Roll on Adventures, I share my travel experiences and provide practical information about wheelchair accessibility at different destinations. My hope is to inspire and encourage to embrace travel and enjoy new experiences. Alongside my blogging, I work full-time as an ICT trainer. I find it incredibly rewarding to help others build their digital skills. In all areas of my life, I am dedicated to raising awareness about accessibility. I believe that everyone, regardless of their physical abilities, should have the opportunity to explore the world and create unforgettable memories.
Best and worst travel experiences
My best wheelchair-accessible travel experience was in Barcelona, Spain. The city has an excellent public transportation system, including buses and metro stations with accessible entrances and elevators. Many of the major tourist attractions, such as Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia, have accessible entrances and ramps. The city’s flat terrain also makes it easy to navigate in a wheelchair, and the people were friendly and accommodating. The highlight of the trip was visiting the Gothic Quarter, where I was able to explore the narrow streets and admire the historic architecture. Overall, Barcelona is an excellent destination for wheelchair users.
My worst wheelchair-accessible travel experience was in Sicily, Italy. While the country has a rich history and beautiful scenery, the accessibility features were lacking. Many of the historic sites and attractions were not accessible, and the streets were narrow and crowded, making it challenging to navigate in a wheelchair. Additionally, many restaurants and shops were not accessible, making it difficult to fully enjoy the local culture.
One of my must-return-to places is Scandinavia. The region has some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen, with fjords, forests and mountains. The accessibility features are also excellent, with many cities designed with wheelchair users in mind. The people are friendly and welcoming, and the culture is fascinating. I would love to explore more of the region, including Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
Travel or equipment advice
My travel advice for wheelchair users would be to do thorough research before going on a trip. This includes researching the destination, the accessibility features and any potential barriers. It’s also essential to pack appropriately and bring any necessary equipment, such as a portable ramp or an Allen key. Additionally, it’s crucial to be respectful of the local culture and customs, and to interact with locals whenever possible to get a better understanding of the place you’re visiting.
Advice to your younger self
My advice to my younger self would be to embrace the challenges of (wheelchair) travel and not let them hold me back from exploring the world. It’s essential to remember that accessibility features vary from place to place, but with proper research and preparation, it’s possible to have a fulfilling travel experience. Additionally, I would advise my younger self to be open-minded and to embrace new adventures, even if they seem intimidating at first. Finally, I would remind myself to take lots of photos and to cherish the memories of each trip.