|With the temperature soaring up to 39 degree Celsius, summer has officially started in the Philippines. And long weekends, in our festive culture, means going out of town for two to three-day vacation or setting up family reunions at the province. Vacations allow students to get away from assignments, examinations, finishing of clearance, staying the whole day at school, and spending time with classmates. For professionals, vacation means a relief from daily pressure to find clients to market a transaction, meet weekly quotas, encode the pending customers by night, and psychological peace after the boss’ dictates on a sagging morale. Therefore vacation is a needed rest for a family that can include both students and professionals. It is a quality time where conversation can go past asking daily allowance to rediscover the inclinations and common ground of the family. And at the end of the day, our common ground is the feeling of inclusion, of belongingness, of identity, of a structure that pushes us to work as one, of a family. So vacation is family time to recreate oneself and cope up with filial relationships.
In this article, we will discuss 10 travel tips for on wheels that can surely reduce our stress levels and make us enjoy the vacation as it is. I will use the term on wheels to refer to persons with disabilities. Having been a Spinal Cord Injury patient myself, I value connotations. Therefore, on wheels is an objective placeholder that promotes neutrality. At the end of our discussion, I hope to share substantial information under the point of view of on-wheels. So let’s go?
1. Pack important things
Usual travelers can go out of town with a pair of shoes, few jeans, t-shirts, a towel and the hygiene kit. However, on-wheels vary on medical items to maintain a daily routine. Some on wheels needed a colostomy bag, urine bag, catheters, wet wipes, tissues, gauze pad, duct tape, rubber bands, scissors, under pads, and extra diapers. Other on wheels are under medications so they need to be taken during the travel. I would like to emphasize that on-wheels who have high spasticity level should take baclofen at least an hour before the travel. Space is limited inside the car and wouldn’t want our legs to go stiff along the way. So regulating our body beforehand minimizes not the only confusion of driver, it only eases the pain during spastic nudges. So it is expected that our luggage will be heavier because we almost bring the whole house.
2. Be physically and mentally ready
Long rides definitely require long sitting. However, not all on wheels can prolong in 90-75% sitting position because we are usually on semi fowler’s, a reclined to a pillow on the bed headboard, position during regular days. So long sitting can cause Upper body muscle pain especially in the shoulder area since we have to hold at handle bars during turns. We can prepare by practicing long sitting few days before the travel. I know the excuses when we mentally tried to be okay but our body wouldn’t follow. Therefore, with enough preparations, our claim will be backed up with an on-the-go body to do so.
I also need to emphasize that we can socialize better during travel time. So don’t be afraid to loosen up, open a conversation we actually care about and lighten being critical.
3. Anticipate long ride
During the long ride, we must do stretching in spite of limited range. Stretching eases muscle pain for it applies greater pain to counteract the current pain. Isn’t funny how pain can actually heal? (insert hugot here). No seriously, stretching is really painful but it loses our stiffed muscles because of the cold temperature from air-cons. But it is better to bring Pain relievers to anticipate any severe cramps. This drug can be taken as needed so it will still be a good option to bring one.
On-wheels may travel by night or day so it is better to enjoy the ride by opening conversations about City’s landmarks, Toll Fee, Rice Fields and its agricultural dependents, mountain ranges and terra formations, and how the Sun actually makes its presence felt by shearing ultraviolet lights and waves that drain us in spite of galactic distance and of earth’s sphere barriers. Still, want to talk?
4. Adapt to new lodging
Change. It will be realized by our body after lying down on the different bed with limited access to our personal items. On-wheels have adjusted to isolated living that cell phone chargers plugged in sockets, random books, daily planner, and exercise pulleys are enough to sustain a busy day.
But new lodging not only exterminates all “items” we used to rely on, it also refocuses our priorities if those items are actually valuable in the first place. It widens our perspective about inclinations and passions we relentlessly pursue into a paradigm shift that the people around us matters more than the gadgets we became experts on.
New Lodging also stirs up new desire in us to go beyond limitations, make new friends in spite of limited time, and discover the world outside our comfort zone. It might expose our basic dependency on hygiene and grooming but it pushes us to become flexible and set up zones again.
5. Acquire enough rest
Afar from loaded statements we present earlier, having a good night sleep dictates our next morning energy level. Therefore, it is important to neutralize room temperature on a “livable” level and change clothes as it suits the new place.
I know it may sound basic, but don’t sleep on perspired backs for its moist can cause a cough and cold or even severe sickness. Therefore, it is our prime responsibility to learn to cope up with our high-maintenance body and be transparent to others when it is nearing limits.
It is advisable to bring an Eye Mask for it helps our body to release “sleeping hormones” because of the absence of light. But please control your imagination not to think that someone is actually kneeling beside your headboard and it’s a child.
6. Anticipate leers.
What I love most about on wheels is that I can present situations from the perspective of those who stroll like me.
First I want to consider that man’s response to new “items”, be it a placeholder that depicts noun as being name of a person, place, things, or event, is to evaluate what they see and analyze it according to the range of perceptual and experiential knowledge life has permitted them to acquire.
Second, on wheels are sensitive. They learned to deflect social leers that communicate pity and rejection but are matured enough to say “hi” or wave back a smile. I think, personally, that on-wheels need to go out and explore the world to rediscover self and find the self identity outside their room.
I assume that leers are an unintended response of the society but it is, rather it was, a serious issue that may affect how on-wheels see themselves and how they perceived to be evaluated by others.
Therefore, on wheels can’t blame the neutral society and the society shall eventually interact with on-wheels. It is a proposition that requires both parties to adjust so the world can be livable just once.
However, nothing beats the morale of an on-wheel who sought out to change the “now” by anticipating that even though some may not offer acceptance as it should be, the totality of wheels doesn’t absolutely define who they are. It is just an avenue to know the person inside.
7. Immerse in the new environment
Having dealt with a social and psychological issue of both parties, we can now move on to a lighter topic that objectively allows on wheels to discover life.
On-wheels must realize that it is not an everyday event that they can go out to see new environment. So the best way to enjoy the new place is to observe how people branded that place, be it “the Summer Capital of the Philippines or the City of Smiles”, and find out why these brands endured the test of time. It is better to stay at Parks and actually enjoy the stay by watching how people walked, who are the current visitors of the town, what historical place may seem untouched by the slew of modernization, how small-scale merchants offer transactions via items or labor, and how prepared are the authorities to manage the influx of visitors with low crime rates.
On a much lighter issue, on-wheelers can argue how romantic that moment can be to stroll around this new place with their significant other that has finally broken through the stony hearts, solidified by time.
8. Don’t miss that comfort zone just yet
After that willful immersion at the Park is a greeting of Wi-Fi’s and a comfortable bed that was molded by your back and an electric fan, oh that faithful companion that seems to withstand the negation of “forever”. It’s the comfort zone’s separation anxiety. But please resist backing down just yet. Since you’ve travel far to unwind then make the most out of it. Take the risk and live the now!
9. Consider the help
However, there are different cases that require unique health care. Some on-wheelers are blessed to move independently or under minimal assistance while others are completely bound to help. Caregiver, if not the immediate family, plays the most significant role to achieve a vacation. So consider them.
Karl Marx’s contradiction against Capitalism that treats the human being as another machine unit is highly congruent to our understanding about the team. The team I am referring to is the asynchronous relationship of on wheelers and their caregivers that are developed by time but prone to break any minute.
On this issue, I am directly talking to on-wheelers to be sensitive and discover when to stop according to the team’s condition. There is no exact way to narrate this stance on a neutral position, however, I would take the opinion instead.
I think that we “on-wheelers” have already gone through a lot and time has taught us the value of the team. Therefore you can assess your team by opening up the real you and anticipating beforehand that they have limitations as well.
This is a team. We don’t monopolize the proper distribution of care according to class biases. If they care for us, we must double the favor by caring for them at the highest peak of vacation mode that requires them to rest as well.
10. Maintain the joy inside
Once all the pocket money is exhausted, phone’ internal memory filled up to them brim, it is now time to go home. Maintaining a joyful attitude eases the long ride and eventual traffic back to the Metro. So relive the memory by narrating it to social media or taking “Instagram-worthy” posts that become a reference point of a “happy memories” we all need as one.
On our discussion, we talked about the preparation on wheels must try to enjoy summer vacation. We also talked about self-care and right attitudes to anticipate change. Lastly, we talked about cultural immersion and the maintenance of the team. I hope to hear responses from you so please comments below. I hope this post is substantial, thanks.