About Me

 

mesmallHi! My name is Karin, and I love to travel – specifically, I love to road trip! My blog is a bit different from other travel blogs, because I’m different. I have cerebral palsy due to brain damage at birth. Doctors told my parents that I’d never walk, speak, or feed myself, and that I’d probably have mental disabilities. My parents refused to accept that – they fought for me to have equal rights in education and in life. I have my BA in English from Stanford, MA in Psychology from Antioch, and I live in my own home – so that shows you exactly how much the doctors knew.

I am indeed significantly physically disabled; I use a power wheelchair, and need assistance with many tasks of daily life. But I don’t let that stop me. I am determined to live a full and exciting life, and surround myself with wonderful experiences and people.

A few years ago, I was trapped in an abusive marriage. I endured verbal abuse, financial exploitation, and was stuck at home most of the time. I watched my whole life, all my hopes and dreams slip away from me – until a sudden chance to road trip to NYC changed my life. There, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, surrounded by friends, I felt free again. I realized that all the terrible things my abusive partner said weren’t true, because there I was doing everything she said I couldn’t do. I started to believe in myself again, to realize that I could still achieve my hopes and dreams. Soon after returning home, I got divorced, and spent the next three years rebuilding my self-esteem and my life.

Things were going great when life threw me for another loop – I was attacked and thrown out of my wheelchair in a home invasion robbery perpetrated by a former caregiver and her boyfriend. They subsequently sent me death threats, and I was forced to leave California and move to a location in the Midwest that for now will remain undisclosed. 

Recovering from violence is a hard road with many bumps along the way, but I’m doing well now. I have my life back, and I’m determined to live it on my own terms. I’ve been back to New York City since my move, and have plans to visit many other amazing places. I travel because it reminds me that my life is mine now. I travel because I can, and I won’t let anyone tell me differently. I travel because it is in my soul.

I blog because I hope that my experiences can help others who are trying to find themselves after their world got turned upside down. Maybe someone with a disability is out there reading this, and never realized or believed that they could travel. I’m here to tell you that you can. I don’t mind inspiring people, I hope that what I do is inspirational. But being disabled and traveling doesn’t have to be an inspiring act. It can be something you do because you want to see your family, or you want to visit a place you’ve never been before. If I can make that possible for others, then I will have succeeded.

Karin & Aria

Karin & Aria

I travel as much as I can now, and I bring my service dog Aria or her buddy Daisy with me. Sometimes I post about wheelchair access and my experiences traveling with a disability, but I’m just as likely to post photos of a beautiful place, or crazy roadside attraction, or review of the restaurant where I shared an amazing dinner with friends. When I can’t travel, because of money or life factors, I’ll post about local attractions and fun wherever I happen to be. Sometimes topics get serious; discrimination, and struggles to get care and services I need are a part of my reality. I hope to shine a light on issues that affect me and other people with disabilities.

This is a blog about my journey of life. I hope you’ll join me on the path.

For more information and answers to FAQs, try these pages:

Work With Me – sponsorship and advertising opportunities

 All About Aria

Want to connect? Please email me at karin@freewheelintravel.org – I look forward to hearing from you! Or you can contact me via the form below.

Contact Me

karin@freewheelintravel.org

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