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Lighting the path to limitless travel for all
By Nancy Baye

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As autumn descends on the northern hemisphere and makes our days grow short,  Accessible Journeys is grateful to have so many illuminating contributors, shining the way. Our writers might come from different parts of the globe, but they all share the love of travel and the desire for it to be limitless.

Guest editor, journalist Saada Branker lights the path through another invisible disability, rheumatoid arthritis (RA). With her intelligent insight and keen investigative skills, she unpacks what life with RA looks like and offers sage tips, notably on managing stress.

This issue includes more personal stories on RA, other chronic illnesses and invisible disabilities — providing valuable tips on life and travel strategies. Our hope is that this wealth of experience allows us to help more people, by sharing diverse perspectives. Mariah Zebrowski Leach weighs in on RA, the critical importance of support and her hard-won lesson on learning to ask for help. Many contributors echo the same sentiments, with a reminder that aid is not only helpful to the person who asks but also the one who offers.

Bringing news back from the successful TravelAbility Summit 2023, we share a study from Miles Partnership. The marketing company, focused on travel and tourism, pulls back the curtain on their recent study of travellers with disabilities—and some of the data is surprising.

Mama-bear wisdom is dispensed by Jennifer Allen on the challenges of travelling with a child with special needs. Christine Staple Ebanks tells of how those challenges change upon young adulthood, that “once-manageable option has evolved into a complex challenge, adding to the intricate puzzle of accessible travel.”

Like so many people, Norwegian Charlotte Bergslien spent decades of her life struggling with hidden challenges. She admits, “it was like the rest of the world was running on Windows but I was running on Mac OS, and I functioned a bit differently. . . ”  Welsh advocate Daniel Jones details how he’s learned to leverage technology in his travels and to enrich his life, outlining what he uses, how and when.

Since mental health is always key, we have Paralympic gold medalist and life coach Ryan Neiswender’s take on motivation, which begins with him asking himself the guiding question, “is that an expansive thought or a constricting thought?”

As always, social media and its content creators are the backbone of our magazine. We appreciate all the featured bloggers, vloggers and Instagrammers who work to make every journey more accessible. Lindsay Murray uses social media to raise awareness about chronic illnesses and disabilities, but also to empower her and her followers to feel less alone. And maybe at the end of the day that’s what we all need to aid our journeys, the chance to grasp an outstretched hand offering help, the illumination of lights dispersed on our path. Proof that we’re never alone.

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