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Hey there! I’m Cory Lee and I am absolutely thrilled to be the Guest Editor for this issue of Accessible Journeys. This magazine is such an incredible resource in the accessible travel industry, so I happily jumped at this chance. I hope that you enjoy this issue we’ve put together for you.
When choosing a theme for this issue, I immediately thought of adaptive adventures. I have always loved to travel and throughout my travels, I have been able to enjoy some pretty epic adaptive adventures as well. I am the type of person that truly believes that anything is possible, even if we have to do it differently than everyone else. I try to constantly push past my disability and find a way to make it possible. I don’t want to let my powered wheelchair hold me back from living life and seeking thrilling adventures, and I hope you’re just as adventurous.
My first taste of adaptive adventure was when I participated in a summer program for adapted water skiing when I was 15 years old. As I sat there, strapped to the ski being pulled across the lake, I’ll admit that I was scared to death. But that moment really set the tone to do more and try more. Of course, I did end up flipping and breaking my shoulder, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Right?
As my blog, Curb Free with Cory Lee, has grown and my travels have increased, so has my desire to be more adventurous. I thirsted to find adaptive adventures that would get my heart rate up and get my adrenaline flowing. I wanted to do more than sit in my chair and see things from that same seated position day after day.
Once I began trying adapted adventures, it was like the old saying of trying to eat one potato chip, “Nobody can eat just one.” I wanted more! I have since ziplined over a lake filled with alligators, gone adapted rock climbing in Wisconsin and again in Utah, ridden a bicycle around Vermont, gone hot air ballooning over three continents, flown across Gulf Shores, Alabama in a gyrocopter, seen the aerial view of the Hawaiian islands in a helicopter, ridden a camel across the Sahara Desert, and I am currently planning a bucket list item of mine to paraglide over the Swiss Alps later this year.
I get excited just thinking of all of my past adaptive adventures and dreaming of what experiences the future has to offer. Without various organizations around the world offering adaptive adventures, I would be left sitting on the sidelines and watching while everyone else had all the fun. And what fun would that be? Instead, I am ready to live life outside of my comfort zone and I hope that by the time you finish reading this issue of Accessible Journeys, you will be ready for an adaptive adventure of your own!