I was so happy to hear that we had been able to get a full refund on our holiday and everything was back on track and we rearranged to go for us to go the following year; in summer 2015.
As the intervening year passed I began to plan my holiday from start to finish. As well as the original plans I made the year before, I added more based on friends and family’s suggestions.
I was looking forward to see the different monuments in New York, such as the 9/11 Memorial, Empire State Building and Time Square.
Then in Orlando I looked forward to go to Universal Studios and visit the brand new Harry Potter attractions.
Then we were going on to Palm Beach for rest and recuperation. I decided to take my IPod to listen to music or an audiobook and some writing and coloring to do while I was there as I enjoyed doing this and find it relaxing.
When it came to thinking about the flights, I was a little anxious as it involved me being out of my wheelchair and would feel strange and unsteady in a different chair.
There would be a high possibility of me getting pains in my legs and the rest of my body. Being a wheelchair meant we had to do a lot of forward planning for each flight we boarded.
Then being in an electric wheelchair makes the process of transporting it much harder as it has to be taken apart into pieces. This was frustrating as this had to happen at every location we flew from.
Then when we touched down, the chair would often come back in more pieces than before or come back very unstable which could cause lasting damage to the chair.
My dad had to pack allen keys to carry out the emergency repairs to the wheelchair. We had to make sure these were packed with certainty, without my chair working properly, I would lose my independence during the holiday.
Then there was the task of finding adapted vehicles whilst abroad to travel around in. These vehicles are very limited and difficult to acquire.
We made numerous phone calls to organise assistance on the flights as well as organising an adapted vehicle.
The extent of the planning was complex as a result to the amount of locations we were travelling too. Birmingham to New York, New York to Orlando, Orlando to New York and New York back to Birmingham.
Excited for the holiday, I thought I’d be able to take some real R&R time. After the chaotic year, I had at university, I felt I really needed it. Having our three weeks’ holiday ahead, I couldn’t think of anything better than to do some writing and creative therapy.
Regarding my blog, I find writing about my journey and experiences as a disabled person a therapeutic way of venting my feelings and emotions and feel better about things in my life.
During this holiday, I planned to write about my experiences at university, to try and put the bad experiences behind me and not dwell on them too much – and be being able to try and move on and look toward the future.
Looking back over the year, I began to write down titles in which I would base blog posts upon. Once these titles were determined, I started to brainstorm a few memory joggers for each, to be ready for when I come to write them up.
Compiling this into one notebook, I picked up a fresh notebook and began more brainstorming.
I have always wanted to be a writer, but have never had time to write anything of consequence and meaning as I always have other commitments.
Already having rough ideas for plots, I began to brainstorm notes for my stories. First, I was determined to work more on my first fantasy novel, ‘Middle Earth.’
Already having a rough draft of this, I hoped to develop it more and re write more of the content and add more essence and structure to the story.
I also plan to use some of the elements I’d already written in the first draft to create a second draft, which I would accompany with other content. Compiling ‘Middle Earth’ draft one and two into another notebook, I added this to the pile.
Alongside Middle Earth, I also had planned and wrote plots for a selection of other stories; based on ideas from books I’ve read, television programmes and films as a base line, then I have combined these ideas with others taken from my own personal experiences.
Compiling current and possible storylines into a third notebook, I added this notebook to the pile, ready for our holiday.
The closer the holiday came the more excited I became. I downloaded a countdown app onto my phone, which counted down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the holiday.