A different take on student life

Our blog is now on our main site, here is an excerpt from our latest post. Please go to tripility to read the rest!

Written by Debs; part of the Tripility team.

This week a very useful article was pointed out to me about being a disabled student. It has been published on the BBC’s disability website OUCH and is full of handy hints for surviving your degree with the added organisation involved when you are a disabled student. Before I began my degree in 2008, I had absolutely no idea how I would manage at university, or what help there was out there to get my through my degree. Being an assisted wheelchair user, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to go to university as I wouldn’t be able to get myself to my lectures. About a year before I was due to go to university, I visited a couple of places to ask about how completing a degree would be feasible and to get an idea of where I wanted to study. In the end, I decided upon the University of Hull as I loved the friendly feel of the campus, it has a brilliant Psychology department and I was very familiar with the city. Read more...

Advertisements

First Hull Trains, we salute you!

Our blog is now on our main site, here is an excerpt from our latest post. Please go to tripility to read the rest!

Written by Debs; part of the Tripility team.

Recently, I made the (not so) long and arduous journey to London. As we were pootling down on the train, sipping a leisurely glass of wine, it got me to thinking about the times I have traveled by train. As a wheelchair user, I find this mode of transport a bit stressful, especially when I am traveling alone. If possible, I avoid taking my wheelchair on the train, but this is only possible if someone can pick me up from a station where there isn’t far to walk, and if I am not going to need my wheelchair after that. The reasons I am not a major fan of rail travel with a wheelchair is; firstly, there is often very limited space for the wheelchair to be placed folded down, even if you find somewhere, passengers tend to pile their stuff on it/around it making it very difficult to get to it when you want to depart. Two, I am not a huge fan of the booking assistance 24 hours before, often, I don’t book my train travel till the last minute, spontaneity anyone?! Thirdly, getting the wheelchair on and off the train, when passengers are impatiently trying to board, is a mite stressful. Often, a friend/family member puts me on the train with the wheelchair and then someone helps me off the train at the other end to try and make things easier. Read more on our main site…

Throwing ice water on your head, but why?

Our blog has now moved to our main site. Here is an excerpt, to read the full thing please click the link at the bottom of the post!

Written by Debs; part of the Tripility team.

We can’t have failed to notice the recent craze that swept the world of social media, the Ice Bucket Challenges. For anyone that doesn’t know about them (ludicrous suggestions, I know), this is something that began in America. Essentially, some lovely generous person throws a bucket of ice water over your head, you have to stand (or sit) there and take it, then nominate others to partake in this challenge as well; once icy cold, you donate money, if you don’t complete the challenge within 24 hours, you have to donate even more money (in theory). Money donated goes to either the ALS Association (www.alsa.org) or the MND Association (www.mndassociation.org). In the few weeks that this challenge has circulated, it has raised millions for both charities. Read more on our main site……

Who thought ice water would be that cold?
Who thought ice water would be that cold?

 

 

An adventure into South America

Written by Mark; part of the Tripility team.

Next year, we are becoming a bit brave here at Tripility, as two of us are off on our travels. To all you nomadic people out there, our trip is pretty tame, but someone has wafted the word hostel about, so I am classing this as travelling! The reason we have decided to do this (apart from the obvious), is that, apart from the odd holiday here and there, we have both never really explored anywhere before. The thought of a full backpacking adventure has Debs quaking in her flip flops, so we are going to do our own version of travelling (one that mainly involves hot showers and proper beds…for the most part). We are both quite nervous about the trip, mainly as we have the added factor of our access needs. However, this is the reason we started Tripility, so people can find out access information about destinations that may have been written off before. So, (luckily for you), we plan on reviewing and blogging our way around our chosen destinations!

The first part of our trip has us landing in Brazil and staying with our extended family in Porto Alegre, after a few days there, our accessible adventure (as it will now be known as) begins! Our first leg has us heading down the coast into Uruguay, so far we don’t know much about access here, a few guides have listed it as being non existent so this could be a challenge! Lucky for us, we will be traveling with family around these parts, so if we find ourselves in inaccessible places, there is someone else to do the piggybacking…! We’ll be passing through into Argentina and heading to Buenos Aires, which again is said to be difficult with a wheelchair, but doable! After starting to plan this trip at the start of the year we decided to visit Iguassu Falls, which borders both Argentina and Brazil. Now, visiting a waterfall in two countries that aren’t world renowned for access may seem a bit of a push, but here a lot of money has been ploughed into making the area as accessible as possible, so much so that this part of the trip should be relatively pain free (compared to the rest of our South American trip). We finish this part of the journey in Rio de Janeiro, where we’ll spend a few days, before flying into the West Coast of America.

Our plans for North America as of yet, havent been fully decided, but we know we would like to visit; Los Angeles, San Francisco, Yosemite’s and Las Vegas. We will most likely hire a car for this part of the trip and stay in hotels, hostels and even airbnb. Debs has requested a stop in Nashville, so the plan is to either hire a camper-van or fly into Nashville and spend a few days there. After this we are heading towards New York with a few other destinations in mind, such as; Chicago, Toronto, Niagra Falls, Maine and a few more in between. We plan on being away for 11 weeks, arriving home just in time to de-sand in time for my sister’s wedding. We are just at the start of organising this trip and the helpful folks at Flight Centre are putting an itinerary together for us. Before we can go, I have to finish my PhD (no pressure) and we both have a bit more saving to do. We’ll keep you posted about the trip, from the organising of it through to when we are actually there. If any of you have done something similar or even have useful information, please share!

The brain, what a funny old thing.

Written by Debs; part of the Tripility team.

Earlier this year, I completed a sponsored walk. Anyone that knows me will know that this was a big deal for me, as when I was 14, I became disabled though an illness. The reason I decided to complete this walk was that in March, it had been 11 years since this happened and instead of feeling upset about everything that has happened, I wanted to celebrate the progress I had made by doing something positive. Now, when someone says sponsored walk, it tends to put ideas in your head of striding great distances, often through tricky conditions. This was not the case for me, nope, my walk was a small jaunt on the seafront in the town where I live; but for me, this minuscule distance, was a massive milestone. In my head, I would pop down to the seafront, struggle through the walk (probably grumbling my way along) with my good friend Sarah and then flop back at home. However, my friends and family had other ideas! I am surrounded by a great bunch of people, who through the last 11 years have always been able to put a smile on my face, give me hand when I have needed it and generally kept me smiling through some tricky times. When they heard about my walk, they were all on board to both generously sponsor me and, be by my side for the event.

Debs walk-52

Through my excitement of seeing everyone there with me, I almost forgot that I had to actually walk with people watching me, something I am NOT a big fan of. Due to the difficulties I have with walking, I am very self conscious about the way I walk, it often causes strangers to stare or even to directly ask me, “what’s wrong with you then?”. So, the thought of people being there with the purpose of watching me walk…nightmare! What I had appeared to have forgotten is that all of these lovely people are in fact my friends, all there to continue supporting me as they always had. It turned out to be a great afternoon, the walking was not a doddle, but with everyone there it spurred me on (as did the thought of a big fat cake at the end of it!). I was pretty chuffed with my little self.

A BIG fat cake!
A BIG fat cake!

One of the big reasons I decided to do this walk (apart from the cake), was to raise money for The National Brain Appeal. This is a charity that raises money for The National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, which is based in Queens Square in London. It is a truly amazing hospital filled with the clever-ist (yes that’s a word) of people. I became a patient at this hospital nearly two years ago and I can not praise them highly enough. This month, the charity are celebrating 30 years of amazing-ness (my words not theirs), by looking back at the fundraising events people have held and where the money has been spent. If you, or anyone you know of, has been affected by a neurological illness, this charity is well worth giving to. If you have had any experience of the incredible work that The National Hospital do, or you have raised money for this charity, then let them know. Throughout August, you can share your stories of both the hospital and The National Brain Appeal on Facebook (search for The National Brain Appeal) #30years30days.

My lovely bunch of friends helped me to raise over £900, seen as though my aim was £100, I was pretty blooming chuffed with that!

walk
I think everyone thought it was a race…they were just showing off.

Visit tripility.com Register

Tripility tests Scarborough, gluten free anyone?

This week we have the return of our wonderful gluten free blogger, Victoria! To celebrate the launch of Tripility, we went out sampling some GF treats in Scarborough! Enjoy, Debs.

Visit tripility.com Register

Written by Victoria; an honorary member of the Tripility team.

How do you celebrate the launch of the wonderful Tripility website (http://www.tripility.com/about) with the superstar brain behind it all? Obviously you take her out for dinner, so that you can write a review for said website – hopefully the first of many review dinners in the Scarborough area! Our meal required both gluten free food and disabled access which led to visit The Copper Horse in Seamer. Luckily we were prepared and had a gourmet card (https://www.gourmetsociety.co.uk/) with us, which meant we were able to enjoy starters and mains with a cheeky discount.  Continue reading Tripility tests Scarborough, gluten free anyone?

New York City…what more do I need to say?

Written by Debs; part of the Tripility team.

If you are looking for an accessible city destination, New York is definitely the place. Having experienced this city as a wheelchair user, I found it to be incredibly easy to get around. The people I came into contact with were very friendly and helpful, if anyone saw you struggling to navigate a non-automatic door (although this was quite a rare find), they would stop what they were doing in order to help you. Buildings had lifts and automatic doors, even old buildings were made accessible, often by connecting through to the building next to it and using their lifts. Attractions were made easy by staff being on hand to navigate any small steps, or provide access on and off boat tours and there is no need to think about queuing. Every attraction I approached, I was encouraged to the front of the queue to avoid any hanging around, or having to navigate through any difficult barriers. Below is a mini guide to the attractions I visited and an outline of services that can be accessed as a disabled person in New York City. More information about the services can be gained through NYC Go website: http://www.nycgo.com/accessibility
Continue reading New York City…what more do I need to say?

A little guide to London…plus a mini festival no less!

Visit tripility.comRegister

 Written by Debs and Mark; most of the Tripility team!

As the sun is shinning (hoorah), I have been thinking back to the things Mark and I got up to last summer (enough to cheer me right up), so I thought I would share our experiences of our first music festival. Now, let me just put you on the right track straight away, this was a one day music festival; no tent, no lack of showering and no over-flowing portaloos, I am not that brave!  This was a very civilised one day affair at the Olympic Park, to see Mumford and Sons. We decided to turn this into a mini holiday to London and (because we are so kind), we have jotted down our access views from our trip, hope you enjoy… Continue reading A little guide to London…plus a mini festival no less!

Tripility.com has launched! We need your help.

Visit tripility.comRegister

All of us here are excited to announce that www.tripility.com has gone live! The website is aimed at providing disabled, dietary and family travel reviews. We would love it if you could check it out and provide us with some reviews from your previous holidays (along with some feedback, good and bad).

All you need to do is sign up, add any companions and travel concerns and off you go! It is just the start, we will be adding destination and restaurant reviews soon. The more reviews, the better the site will get, so if you know of anyone who can share their latest holiday experience, then please share the information with them too.

Thanks!

Mark

Yorkshire Grand Depart!

Visit tripility.comRegister

Written by Debs; part of the Tripility team.

So, last weekend I donned my official Tour de France t-shirt, painted my nails yellow (I’m a VERY supportive person) and headed on down to support the Lycra clad cyclists speeding through Yorkshire at ludicrous speeds. It was absolutely brilliant! I have never really paid much attention to this great race before and cycling hasn’t really come onto my radar. However, with the introduction of the electric bike, this has all changed (although gutted to find out electric bikes aren’t part of the Tour de France?!). Last week we informed our lovely social media followers about all of the accessible routes that had been outlined for people wanting to watch the Tour. Mark and I decided to forgo our own advice and off road it (although we actually stayed on a road). We set off relatively bright and early on Sunday to grab a great view, we were staying with family just outside of Knaresborough, so it was a 2 minute stroll to the cycling action. We had heard on the village grapevine, that people were going to be camping out from first light in order to get the best view of the cyclists whizzing by. Thankfully, our little group decided we didn’t have enough Tour fever to do this and that 2 hours before would be sufficient enough to get a good spot and hopefully grab some goodies (sadly I was disappointed on the goodies front). The cyclists would be passing by the main road at the end of the street near us and when we got there, we were extra pleased we had not camped; there was loads of space. I was using my wheelchair for this task and Mark’s nephew was all snug in his pram, so we wanted to find a good spot to park up both vehicles and ensure that people who were standing did not block our view. This was when we realised just how pleased we were that we didn’t get up early; no matter how brilliant a spot you have, someone will always come and stand in front of you!

Le Tour...2 hours waiting paid off.
Le Tour…2 hours waiting paid off.

Since having to use a wheelchair, I have found events a very different experience; going to watch a band, going to fayres (which I of course do often) or local events is just that bit different. I often find that once I have battled to get a good view, or even just to get near the event, depending on the terrain, I am just a bit over the whole affair. Watching other people dance around and throw themselves into joining in, can often make me feel a bit left out and envious. Don’t get me wrong, just because I am in the wheelchair does not mean that I can’t join in and life is what you make of it, but it is different. Having said that, after making loud disgruntled comments to the man that blocked my view of all the Lycra at the weekend, it was utterly brilliant to see the Tour de France going through Yorkshire. The atmosphere was amazing and the cyclists (although I only glimpsed them as they whizzed through at a great speed) were bloomin fantastic; I have know idea what drives them to cycle every day for 3 weeks, but they looked like they breezed through it!

If, unlike us, you used some of the accessible routes, how did they work out? Did anyone attempt the steep climb of Buttertubs? More importantly, did anyone manage to get their hands on some free Le Tour Yorkshire Tea?! I for one, did not: I was devastated.

Spot the major supporters by their t-shirts!
Spot the major supporters by their t-shirts!

Visit tripility.comRegister

Tripility is a user driven travel resource, giving disabled people, those with dietary requirements or families of children the informed choice for their trip.

%d bloggers like this: