Welcome back to another installment of “Ask Adrian Anything.” This is intended to give our readers an opportunity to communicate directly with one of our No Boundaries participants, Adrian, about his experiences in the workplace, living independently and out in the community. Recently people asked Adrian a lot about travelling. Adrian answers your questions in an interview format with Tricia asking the questions provided by you, our readers!
Tricia: Do you ever travel? Do you take family trips?
Adrian: Yes. My family and I have been to many states and to Canada. The Frank Sinatra song “Come Fly With Me, Let’s Fly, Let’s Fly Away” would apply since my family has flown to many of the states.
I have been to Florida three times with my family. We visited Disney and Universal Studios. One time I was there – I think I was either 7 or 9 – and we went on these little speed boats. The guy was telling me that is was like driving a car. My thought was, huh? How would I know how to drive a car? We also vacationed in Myrtle Beach and stayed at the sea side resort.
My family and I have also traveled to visit family in Texas, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Ohio and Nebraska. We did fun things in each place, including gold panning, visiting a zoo, and going to weddings. We’ve traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Cleveland, Ohio; Boston, Massachusetts; Detroit, Michigan, and the Twin Cities, Minnesota for baseball games; to tour the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Henry Ford Museum; and to eat some amazing cannolis!
We have also traveled without visiting family. A few years ago my family and I went to Las Vegas, Nevada, where my parents renewed their wedding vows with an Elvis impersonator! It was fun; we dressed to the nines, rode in a limo that was playing all Elvis music and my brother and I stood alongside my folks as they renewed their vows. The impersonator was awesome and we all had a great time. We even got a great holiday card out of it. Our 2017 holiday card had a few of the pictures with the phrase, “Merry, Merry Christmas Baby!”
We took another family vacation to Maui, Hawaii, where we went surfing, parasailing and snorkeling. It took me four tries to get up on the surfboard, but I finally got on.
Two years before high school, I went to Camp Kodiak up in Toronto, Canada. It was an outdoor sporting camp. I got a little pressured into trying an aqua plane on the back of a motor boat, but it was fun. I also got the chance to hear Robert Munsch (a kids book writer) talk about his books. He wrote the book “I’ll Love You Forever” which started as a short song: “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.” I also remember hearing the books “Thomas’s Snowsuit” and “I Have To Go” when I was a kid. My family also saw the Toronto Blue Jays at another time.
Tricia: Have you ever been to other foreign countries or have you ever gone anywhere on a plane by yourself?
Adrian: I have not been on a plane by myself. I’ve also have never left North America. We have family out in Italy so that would be my place of choice. Since my brother will be traveling out to Italy this summer, I think my folks and I may join him; anything is possible. The family that we have there lives in the Tuscany area. I would like to know more about my family. Am the only one in my family with Down Syndrome? Or is there someone further back in my family’s history that had it at one point? I would also like to find out more about the history and culture of Italy and Tuscany. As for the food, I can already tell Italians have great taste… or taste buds.
Tricia: Is it difficult to get a passport if you have a disability?
Adrian: It is highly recommended that people overall have a passport. Whether or not you have a disability, anyone can still get a passport. It should not be difficult to get a passport if you have a disability or not. The process of getting a passport should be the same for anyone. I do have a passport, but the pages are blank.
Tricia: Can you offer any travel tips for young adults with disabilities, i.e. what do you do on a long plane or car ride to amuse yourself? Do you recommend bringing snacks/drinks? How about packing – do you recommend packing light or covering all of your bases with the weather?
Adrian: Reading, writing, gaming, music, TV and movies are just a few of many things people in general can do during long flights and/or car rides. I myself read, write a story or poetry and listen to music when I travel. If you’re driving, bringing snacks and drinks is a good idea. But if you are flying, you may want to pack accordingly. Airport security can be tough and they may stop you even if you’re packing an empty water bottle.
The weather is always very unpredictable. You do your best to pack accordingly, but sometimes things don’t always go the way you plan. Sometimes you just need to improvise.
Tricia: Are you aware of any travel accommodations?
Adrian: I personally don’t need accommodations for traveling. However, I do have friends in wheelchairs and a friend with epilepsy who has a service dog. I believe you get to sit in the bulk head airplane seats if you are travelling with a service dog. I’m not sure what travel accommodations are needed for wheelchair users.
This blog was written by Adrian, a participant in No Boundaries, Train for Work/Train for Life , a program of Search Inc. Adrian lives in his own apartment and commutes to his part-time job at the Fine Line in downtown Chicago. He enjoys writing poetry and stories in his free time.
Below are links to his most recent blog posts: