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Hot Wheels


IMG_0005_2Hello my name is Amy but if you call me ‘Hot Wheels’ I’ll probably answer. This is down to the fact that due to a genetic condition that causes me to dislocate my joints as a hobby I use a wheelchair. I do also walk with a crutch but as it’s at a speed slower than a tortoise having a nap I generally end up in my wheelchair for most activities.

One of my goals in life is to travel to as many places as physically (financially) possible and consider myself very lucky to have already racked up a few places on the map. Obviously travelling with a disability makes things quite a bit harder, but it’s not impossible. It is only thanks to friends and family who put up with pushing me around, lugging my wheelchair about and putting up with my toddler strops when I get hungry/tired/hot/cold/bored/in pain/drugged up/broken that I manage to go anywhere.

I’ve got two goals with my blog: One is to regale you with the (sometimes ridiculous) stories of travelling with a disability. I hope that regardless of your experience with disability you’ll find some of these stories amusing, and perhaps that I might make you reconsider some of your views towards disability. My second goal is to try and put together some genuinely useful guides to the places I’ve been for travellers with disabilities. Although I’m going to be starting with only a few countries I always find others personal experience invaluable when planning a trip.

 

If you want to get hold of me you can find me on twitter @amyoulton

me

I hope you enjoy my blog!

29 Comments

  1. Hi Amy Hot Wheels! I am going to add a page to my front home page called “Traveling with a Disability” (or, do you think that’s too crass? Please let me know and I’ll change it to something you suggest) I’m asking you because of your experience. Anyway, I’d like to add it as a page and add a list of tips/suggestions that you handle before every airline flight. Obviously, the items pointed out in your post about not getting both wheels! So, I will add those, and anything else you suggest, with a note to contact you directly should anyone else at my website have any further questions. Would that be ok with you? To contact you through your blog? Many Thanks, Deb

  2. I don’t think it’s crass at all, no point beating around the bush!!! I’ll put together a list of things I can think of generally and add them to a post. This one was written to specifically address some of the issues that have been on the news in the UK recently, but I can cover some of the more general ins and outs of airports with a disability for you. Contacting me through my blog is absolutely great. Amy

  3. I had a little trouble finding this page initially(still a bit new to getting around wordpress) but I appreciate the entry and your blog :) Thanks : )

  4. Hi Amy. Since my girlfriend is in a wheelchair as well, it’s a big organisation to get all te trips arranged. We went to Budapest last week, and I must say, your blog was really helpfull in preparing the trip. Afterwards, I wanted to try the same. There must be enough people looking for some helpfull, practical information about travellers destinations for wheelchairs. That’s why I started a blog on myself. For this moment, it’s only considering some info about Budapest, but I’m hoping to add other destinations in the future. Would it be possible for you to put the link http://budapestinawheelchair.blog.com/ on your blog somewhere? Since my blog is brand new, I’m afraid no one will find it without links on other websites. I put the link to your blog in my article as well. Thanks in advance!

    • Great first blog, looks like the cave would’ve been a great one! I’ll definitely link to your blog but being a new blog you’ll actually find you get a bit of random traffic anyway to start with! You must have had lovely weather there last week? I bet the city is stunning in the summer.

    • Also I’m so pleased someone is actually finding my blog useful!

  5. Charkie Charkie

    I love the premise of your blog, and look forward to reading about your future travel experiences!

  6. Thanks for writing such an informative blog. It’s rare to find stories on someone who travels independently in a wheelchair and I am extremely to hear you can do so. I also have a blog about my adventures traveling in a wheelchair and would love for you to check it out. I’ll post a link to your blog on mine. Happy travels!

    http://travelwheels.blogspot.ca/

  7. Hi Amy, I love your blog! I just released my first wheelchair access trip planning guide for Paris, and would love for you to review it. Please let me know if you’re interested :) Have fund traveling around Asia!

    • Hotwheels Hotwheels

      Hey! I’d be happy to review your first guide, and it’s a city I’m quite familiar with too. Your guides look like a great idea – the usual guidebooks are next to useless for people with alternative needs! Are you looking for contributing writers for the project?

  8. My husband uses a wheelchair– MS, but the first bout put him as a T-9 para. Done some travel and I would love to do more.

  9. Just shared your blog on our facebook page. We will be keeping up with your travels. Wishing you all the best.

    • Hotwheels Hotwheels

      Amazing thanks! Your project looks amazing – will definitely be checking that out when I get back!

  10. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back later on. I want to encourage you to continue your great work, have a nice holiday weekend!

  11. Hi! I’m putting together a list of inspirational women-on-the-road for International Women’s Day in March and I’d like include you and Hot Wheels Goes! If you can spare the time do you mind answering a few questions so I can introduce you in the post. Thank you!
    You can reach me at thedoorsteptraveller@gmail.com :)

    • Hotwheels Hotwheels

      Hi Allison, I’m so sorry I didn’t see this in time – I’m getting so much spam I’m missing the important things! If you do it again next year feel free to send me an email on Amy.Oulton@googlemail.com

  12. It’s actually a great and useful part of information. I am just glad that you just shared this helpful info with us.
    Please stay us up-to-date such as this. Thanks for sharing.

  13. I just want to say I am just beginner to blogging and really liked you’re web-site. Probably I’m likely to bookmark your blog post . You absolutely have fantastic article content. Thanks a lot for revealing your website page.

  14. Donna Donna

    Hi Amy I’ve just left a comment on your old blog, not realising you have a new one. Not sure if you’ll get it, was going to copy and paste it to here but now I can’t find it :( I was just wondering how accessible Budapest might be for a powerchair user? I noticed you said there were lots of people offering to help, which I thought probably meant them manhandling you in your chair (we’ve all been there haha) but my power chair is pretty much impossible to lift, let alone with me in it! So just wondered if you could give me your opinion? Hope this message finds you well :) Donna

    • Hotwheels Hotwheels

      Hi Donna,

      It’s a pretty long time since I went now but yes I’m fairly sure there was some chair manhandling! That being said, most of the main tourist attractions have got good accessibility and often have disabled toilets too. The main issues I would see would be getting around the city as I am still unaware of any wheelchair accessible taxi service – some of the trams are accessible, as are some of the buses but if just one on the route is it will be listed as an ‘accessible service’ but you could be waiting there for hours and hours for nothing. I would suggest possibly looking up/contacting one of those hop on hop off tourist bus companies as they are quite often equipped with a ramp. If you’ve got good power in your chair though then from what I can remember drop kerbs were quite good, although sometimes you’ll have to find a convoluted way around major intersections. The second problem is that most restaurants and shops are up a couple of stairs, but this doesn’t make the whole city impossible you just can’t rely on ‘grabbing something here’. The options I can see here are: Plan your days including where you’re going to eat, the entire city is now on google street view so it should be easy to find places with no steps, or eat in the major tourist attraction cafes, which is a bit boring but if you’re not near any place that provides an alternative you’re not going hungry. Finally, if your chair is extremely beefy could you carry around some of those very lightweight telescopic ramps? I don’t know if it’s feasible but just a thought. Are you travelling with someone?

      I think it’s a trip that’s doable but at times might be a bit challenging. Don’t let that put you off though! The http://www.meosz.hu/index_23_04.php website has got more useful information on places that are accessible, including restaurants.

      • Donna Donna

        Haha, I thought there might have been! Well, I haven’t really got that far into planning a trip, I basically just thought “I want to go”, there’s this beautiful disabled dog there, a handsome pointer, and I was thinking about adopted him, but I would need to meet him first to see how well I could manage him. My chair isn’t like a bariatric one or anything, just a pretty standard mid-wheel-drive power chair, but there’s no way anyone could lift it up. The maintenance guys had to tip it over a while back to sort something out underneath, and they really struggled. The telescopic ramps are a good idea though, will look into that. If I had someone to come with me as a pusher, I’d consider going in my manual, but it’s not got such good supportive seating as my electric, so I’d be really uncomfortable. Plus it’s horrible going from an electric back to a manual, so much hard work and less independence :/ that probably sounds really lazy, but I think I’ve probably lost a lot of the upper body strength I had, since using my powerchair, and now I’ve got problems with one of my thumb tendons, so self propelling atm would be impossible.
        I’ll have a look at what you’ve suggested, Google street maps is a great idea! Thanks so much for your response :)

  15. Hi,

    I publish an Australian website on disability news and opinion at:
    https://mydisabilitymatters.com.au

    and was wondering if it might be okay to republish articles from your blog and any other relevant ones on our website, with appropriate credit and a link back of course.

    It would help spread your work and gain a wider audience for you.

    Hope we can work together and I am quite happy to publish other articles you may have written that aren’t on your blog also.

    Thanks,
    Dale.

    • Hotwheels Hotwheels

      Hi Dale, As long as you link back to me that sounds great.

      Thanks
      Amy

    • Hotwheels Hotwheels

      Also I’m so sorry for the delay in replying to this, I get SO much spam I miss a lot!

  16. Zoe Zoe

    Dear Amy,

    My name is Zoe and I am a student from UCL and currently studying for my masters in Spatial Planning. I am conducting research for my dissertation on historic buildings and wheelchair access and was wondering if you would be interested in sharing you experiences?

    I look forward to hearing from you

    Zoe

  17. Atul Kulkarni Atul Kulkarni

    Dear Amy,

    Your blogs are very well written and inspirational. Myself being an avid traveller and physiotherapist, i really liked your written posts. I am currently compiling 20 stories for my international blog and wanted to know whether you would be interested to post me one your story during your travels. I would provide you more details once you email me as to why we are compiling the stories. Thanks and enjoy your travels.

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