At 16 Eliza had Meningococcal Disease and ended up with both her legs and most of her fingers amputated as a result. She uses a mixture of wheel chair and prosthetics so in her words, has ‘the best of both worlds’! She is a mum of 3 and a para athletics wheelchair racer, as well as a director of a national charity… travel is in her DNA!
Tell us a bit about a great Australian getaway? Our family of 5 are avid campers. We have a black world turbo tent which assembles easily as well as a camper trailer. My husband also has mild cerebral palsy, but this hasn’t stopped our mutual love for the taste of adventure both domestically and internationally!
What do you love most about travelling? Seeing new places and meeting the people. Even a trip to the local markets or supermarket is an opportunity to discover something new! The more you travel you realize the things that make us all different actually bring us all together!
What do you find most frustrating about travelling? It’s always a slightly nervous trip to the baggage claim when traveling with our racing equipment, you always hope to see it arrive in the same condition you farewelled it in… Luckily I have only ever heard ‘those” stories and never had any thing too bad happen on my watch! touch wood!
How do you plan your trips away? We are quite flexible with our arrangements. I typically look into the accessible rooms on booking sights and see which room will suit us best. I am fortunate to be quite able as far as access goes- if the no wheelchair accessible room has better views… I will crawl up stairs to experience the view… but I am lucky that I am able and willing to do so! But having a inclusive tourism website destination (like Push Adventures) will take a lot of stress out for travel for people with disabilities!
Do you have any tips for other wheelchair users? Don’t be afraid to ask questions. What people believe to be accessible and what is can differ. Also check in nice and early when flying… sometimes they upgrade you as its easier for them to get you up the front of the plane!
From your time spent at the AIS, where is your favourite place to take visitors in Canberra? In Canberra my must do’s are the National Arboretum – if you happen to be there on a good day the manager may even give you a buggy ride around the grounds! Also the war memorial is amazing and very accessible as one would expect. For eats I adore sweet bones bakery in Braddon.
What’s the next big race on your competition calendar? I have just come back from Swizterland which as amazing. Next up in Gold Coast marathon and a few other domestic road races finishing off with Chicago, New York and Oita marathons before our Summer track season kicks off again in 2019… then full steam ahead to Tokyo 2020!
Where to next.. what’s on your bucket list? One day an African adventure or a trek through Russia visiting Orphanages. Who knows… we may even bring a new family member home!