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Editor’s Note
By Tarryn Tomlinson

A woman with a stylish bob haircut, reading a large, open book. She is wearing a dark blouse with long sleeves and a distinctive zipper pendant necklace. The setting appears to be a room with a patterned carpet, suggesting a comfortable and elegant ambiance.
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Welcome to the spring edition of our Accessible Journeys Magazine. My name is Tarryn Tomlinson, a wheelchair user, writing to you from sunny South Africa. As your guest editor, it is my pleasure to guide you through the exciting landscapes of accessible luxury travel and share the remarkable stories that I hope will inspire you with new ideas as you head into spring.

I was a teenager when I first watched the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, a romantic comedy starring American actress Diane Lane. In the movie her character was a heart-broken writer who said yes to a crazy idea, ditched her old life and moved to Italy. It seemed to me like a pretty logical thing to do and so, I decided to follow in her footsteps.

The storyline captured my imagination and cinematography captured all my senses and my heart. Set in some of the most beautiful villages and towns in Italy, I fell in love. I fell in love with the beautiful scenery, the culture, the language, the architecture and beautiful men. I decided there and then that I too would go to Italy. 

I wanted to live longer than a year and I wanted to live in absolute luxury. A believer in the Law of Attraction, I started to visualize myself in Italy and began to plan for my eventual landing. I learned the language and started to research the places of interest I would visit. Whilst I was preparing, I came up against the disbelief and ridicule of family and friends. “How are you going to get to Italy,” they asked? I’m sure to them that sounded like a pretty logical question, one I didn’t know how to answer. I mean, I didn’t have a job, nor a trust fund and I was a wheelchair user living with rheumatoid arthritis.  I simply told them, “The Universe will sort it out”.

I didn’t know how but my faith paid dividends, one by one a magical trail of coincidences led me down a path and within one year I was living on a luxury estate of one of the most famous Italian lyricists of all time. I ‘gotta to eat’, the best foods, drink the finest wines, travel to destinations I’ve always wanted to visit and boy, oh boy did I live in luxury for nearly two years.

My friends and family members were gobsmacked (many were jealous). They could not believe that a woman who uses a wheelchair could live such a rich experience! Living a dream that they would dare to dream.

And my question to them and to all other people with that same disbelief is, Why not?. Why can’t someone who uses a wheelchair or has any other form of disability desire the absolute best life can offer? We are equally as entitled to and worthy of the abundance offered by this Universe. Why do we only need to think about what is possible for us as opposed to what we want for ourselves.

Travel is a universal desire that transcends physical and cognitive differences. It’s about discovering new cultures, forging connections, and creating memories that last a lifetime. 

One of the most heartening developments is the increasing number of destinations embracing universal design principles. 

From accessible transportation and accommodations to inclusive attractions and activities, you will find out how Cape Town Tourism is becoming Limitless ensuring that everyone, regardless of ability, can fully enjoy the wonders Cape Town has to offer.

I will also take you on an adventure into the bush to visit Ximuwu Luxury Safari Lodge and hear from the owners about their commitment to creating inclusive spaces. I have highlighted some of my favourite luxurious countries and experiences and will introduce you to some interesting people along the way. 

I am also going to share some of my favourite designer fashion items that I never leave at home when I go on holiday.

In this edition I want to ignite the spark within you, the reader, to dust off your travel bags and dream bigger than you ever thought possible. Because as cliche as it sounds, If I can do it, then so can you!



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