The Birth of Travel Navigators
I had the honor to meet Scott over 8 years ago and during that time the conversation, Scott and camping, would never have crossed my mind. A few years ago Scott started to travel with us and then Travel Navigators was born!
After my journey with breast cancer begin I wanted to focus my free time doing fun things and mostly see the world with my friends. Well, my dear friend Scott said, “Yup I'm going too!” Martin and I looked at each other and said well of course then!
Over the past few years we have been to Disney, Universal Studios, Washington D.C, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Ocean City Maryland. We are currently on an adventure in New Jersey (again) but this time we didn't stay in a hotel. We camped! CAMPED! No one would have thought he would do something like this, most would say he would refuse; “tell them to go camping I'll stay in a hotel” he would say but not this time. Over the years traveling together has helped him want to do new things and try new things. While trying new things each time he does a little more out of his comfort zone. In the world of Scott he is a very routine oriented person and some would say OCD, so camping would normally not be on his bucket list but there was no saying no to him.
What I personally think is the selling point to him is that he gets to spend time with his friends. Not always friends with intellectual disabilities but friends he has met meet through his travels that do not have disabilities. He has met friends at the many car shows and in other states. And he loves the community inclusion but it’s not inclusion to him. It’s him spending time with his friends. Scott has his own national holidays, my birthday, his sister’s birthday, his birthday but now traveling with his friends each year our New Jersey trip falls on his friend Mikaila’s birthday. He usually only sees her during our car show travels to New Jersey and Ocean City but friendships are blooming beyond our traditional travels. Once July 16th passes and her birthday is in the rear view mirror, the countdown till next year’s trip and Mikaila’s birthday begins again.
Scott slept in an RV, then a tent, ate camp fire food, went for a short hike and is still smiling. While we focus on all the budget cuts that are happening to people like Scott’s support system and all the negative news on TV. Remember not everyone has opportunities to experience life the way we do, and some need a slow introduction to dignity of risk and most importantly meaningful friendships happen when opportunities are offered!