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Our Accessible Journey: the Dominican Republic

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Marte and GK in the water of a waterfall in Dominican Republic

Hi everyone, Marte here! Today, we’re excited to share with you the incredible journey we embarked on in the Dominican Republic. This trip was about pushing boundaries, trusting in the kindness of others, and exploring the beautiful landscapes and culture of this amazing country.

GK: That’s right! This wasn’t just another vacation; it was a test of our resilience and adaptability. We want to clear up some misconceptions and share the real story behind our adventures, including some unexpected moments that truly defined our experience.

What were some of the challenges you anticipated for this trip?

GK: This was our first international trip together and mine in a wheelchair. So when planning our trip to the Dominican Republic, we knew we’d face significant accessibility challenges. Given these uncertainties, we actually decided to purchase only a one-way ticket. 

What were some of the challenges you faced during the trip?

GK: Traveling with a wheelchair always adds an extra layer of planning. From the moment we boarded the plane, we had to be proactive about communicating our needs. But once we landed, the real adventure began.

Marte: Yes, and the terrain isn’t exactly wheelchair-friendly, which meant we had to rely heavily on local help. The people in the Dominican Republic were incredible. They didn’t just offer help; they went out of their way to make sure we could enjoy our experience fully.

Can you share a memorable moment from your trip?

GK: One of the most memorable moments was when we needed to get to a location that was not accessible by wheelchair. A local came with a donkey, and believe it or not, they helped me onto it. It was a mix of hilarious and heartwarming, but it got us where we needed to be!

Marte: And let’s not forget the wheelchair adventures! We had a situation where GK’s wheelchair needed a quick fix, and a local craftsman stepped in. He repaired it in less than an hour—a job that would have taken days back home. It was amazing to witness such willingness to help.

What did this trip teach you about traveling with disabilities?

GK: It reinforced that while the world isn’t built perfectly for everyone, the kindness of strangers can make all the difference. It also showed us that with a bit of trust and lots of communication, we can find solutions to almost any challenge. 

Marte: It also taught us about the power of visibility. By sharing our experiences openly, we hope to encourage others, regardless of their situations, to explore and experience the world. The responses we’ve gotten from sharing our journey have been overwhelmingly positive and encouraging.

How has sharing your journey online influenced others?

Marte: The impact of sharing our travels online has been more profound than we ever anticipated. After posting the video of our beach adventure, which showed me helping GK in a completely unplanned moment, we received an outpouring of messages from around the world. People reached out not just to express their admiration but also to share their own stories of overcoming personal barriers. 

These messages have reinforced the importance of visibility for people with disabilities and have encouraged us to keep sharing our unfiltered experiences. It’s heartening to see that our journey can inspire others to embrace their own adventures, regardless of their challenges.

Closing Thoughts

Marte: This trip was a reminder of how much beauty and kindness there is in the world, and that accessibility isn’t just about physical locations but about the willingness to help and adapt.

GK: And to anyone thinking about traveling, especially with a disability, know that it might be challenging, but it’s absolutely worthwhile. Trust yourself, ask for help when you need it, and embrace every part of the journey. Discover more about our journey and see videos on our Instagram.

What are your travel plans for the future? Where do you hope to go next?

Marte: We have a few destinations on our list, but Japan is at the top. We’re both fascinated by the culture, the technological advancements, and of course, how they handle accessibility. We think it could be a great test of our adaptability and a fantastic new chapter in our travel diary.

GK: Yes, Japan offers a mix of tradition and innovation, making it incredibly intriguing for us both. We’re curious about the accessibility options there and how we can navigate the unique challenges it might present. Plus, the food, the history, and the scenery are all huge draws for us. It’s about broadening our horizons even further and taking on new adventures that push our limits.

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