On October 21st, 2017, I got on a plane headed to Chile with little more planned than a handful of flights that would get me to South America, Europe, and Africa. My goal was to visit all seven continents within a year. It was both an exhilarating and a nerve-racking move. Although I had estimated budget and had scribbled out routes on world maps I had printed, nothing was set in stone. I had quit my day job and was leaving most of my stability behind, while trying to remain active in my role as Vice President of Blue Trunk while traveling.
To stay involved I called in for board meetings, sometimes at bizarre hours in my local time zone, and tried to keep apprised of Blue Trunk’s progress on everything from web development to fundraising. What struck me the most throughout my travels was how much I noticed accessibility—or the lack thereof—everywhere I went. This was my first serious travel since I co-founded Blue Trunk and I realized how deeply this organization has shaped the way that I see the world. I know that if I had taken this trip right after I finished university I would have had a completely different experience. Travel is one of my biggest passions and I have been humbled to be part of an organization that aims to make travel more accessible and inclusive for everyone.
Over the coming months I will be posting reflections on the accessibility I observed throughout my travels. The topics will cover everything from sign language interpreters on the news in several countries, to the extensive use of braille in a Brazilian museum, to an inclusive arts café in Cambodia, to the marketing of accessibility on public transit across different cultures.