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Perpetual travelling while disabled

Back in March this year I wrote about why I want to be a perpetual traveller. I still want it, but since I wrote that post I’ve learned a lot about what’s likely to be involved with perpetual travelling, in the context of my own capabilities. It’s been an eye-opening period of research and understanding for me.

Because my back gives me problems, I can’t walk for more than 5-10 minutes before I need to sit down and rest. Considering a lot of travellers end up walking for quite long distances, I need to take into account when planning my travels. I essentially need to drive everywhere, or be able to take some form of transport to my destinations.

That rules out a lot of different locations around the world. Places that the only way I can see them is if I walk to them. So I’m going to have to just enjoy seeing other people’s photos of them instead.

But there’s still a lot of places I can travel to, as long as I plan to avoid walking.

Shanghai, China


Back in 2011 I spent a couple weeks in Shanghai, China (I took the photo above). That was fantastic, I loved it. I saw a lot of the city without too much of a problem, day and night. It was hot, and I had to rest a lot, but we got around in taxis all the time, and a couple times on the subway. Having Fanfan as my partner, guide and translator really helped, that’s for sure!

But the great thing is that I was able to travel around while disabled.

I want to see a lot more of China – Hong Kong, Beijing, and more of Shanghai. I want to see Guangzhou (Fanfan’s home town), and Shenzhen. I want to see Japan too, and Mount Fuji and cherry blossoms. I want to see Thailand, Fiji, and Singapore. I want to see Canada and its forests and mountains and snow. I want to travel around Europe and see its various cultures and history and scenery.

I can do all this – as long as I don’t walk everywhere!

But ensuring I cater to my back also means ensuring I cater to my back – not just with walking, but with accommodation too.

Over the Christmas and New Year period almost a year ago, I did a camping holiday for a couple weeks, seeing a lot of locations in Victoria and South Australia that I’ve always wanted to see (or see again).

The Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia


Isn’t that a beautiful photo? Yes, but it was even more beautiful to be there, taking that photo. It’s that kind of beauty that inspires me to go travelling around the country, and around the world.


For that holiday I did months worth of planning and preparation, researching the best way to go travelling and camping in a way that I thought I could handle. I ensured that I had an easy camping setup, with a tent that would be easy for my back, so that it wouldn’t be a problem. I bought a ‘3 second tent’ that would take just a few seconds to setup, and a few seconds to pack up when finished.

It was a lot of fun, as you can probably imagine from this picture.


Now, even though it was fun, and I really did love it – I didn’t love how my back felt during the process.

See, the tent took 3 seconds to setup, but what they didn’t talk about in the reviews was the process of attaching the lines from the tent to the pegs, and then hammering them into the ground.

It required me to crouch down or get on my knees to whack away at the pegs, and then get back up again to do the same to the next peg. After 5 minutes of doing this, my back was killing me!

Packing up the next morning wasn’t too bad, but still, with my back and its weakness, it was still a pain in the ass that left it feeling sore.

And then there was the time we tried to find a camp site in the Coorong National Park. We went to a number of sites, but the sites were either too exposed to the wind and sand, or the ground was hard as a rock and covered with ants.

No sooner had I laid the groundsheet and walked back to the truck to get the tent, the groundsheet was absolutely covered in ants. Regardless of location. After spending a couple of hours trying to find a suitable site, I was over it.

From that point on, my body was telling me that I NEEDED to stay in hotels that didn’t require me to kill my back on a daily basis.

So in the future, as I plan my holidays and my travels, I’m going to need to make sure that hotel accommodation is included in the plans. As much as I love camping, it’s too much of a pain in the ass for me.

Of course, there are other options. Like pulling a long a caravan behind us as we travel around, dump it somewhere as a ‘base camp’, and then go off-roading nearby, knowing that there’s a campsite to return to that doesn’t need to kill my back with setting up a tent, etc.

But being able to afford a caravan is a long way away yet.

Something like this would be nice enough:


There are ways of becoming a perpetual traveller around Australia, with offroad vehicle and caravan, but they involve either having lots of money, or being able to earn money while travelling.

Since I don’t have lots of money, my choice is to earn money while travelling.

So the caravan will need an internet connection. It’s achievable with mobile phone connections acting as a data and wifi hotspot, but obviously not out in the middle of the outback.

It’d be a nice adventure though, and something to look forward to. Travelling around Australia, seeing the beautiful countryside, camping in a caravan that would be better for my back and our outback lifestyle than camping in a tent, and earning money along the way.

Maybe from writing about the adventure and taking photos of it.

A question for you

Would you pay a reasonable monthly subscription to receive updates of my travels and photos of the country? Including the occasional travels around the world?

I’m considering all kinds of options to help me travel, and having you, the interested reader, assist me by paying me for my writing is just one of those ways.

There’d be lots more articles like this, that’s for sure. And lots less articles about feminism and other things that are meaningless in the context of life and the wonderful experiences it offers.

I’m excited just thinking about it. And that’s why I want to do more than just think about it.

Thanks for reading! Please add your own thoughts below.

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