Andrew Jamieson was born in Bunbury Western Australia, but grew up in Cairns Far North Queensland. After completing his studies he returned to Western Australia, working in the demolition industry. It was there at work in 2003 where he sustained a spine injury, when an excavator bucket fell on him, breaking his back. The workplace injury resulted in Andrew being paralysed from thoracic 6, he has used a manual push wheelchair ever since.
Tell us about one of your great Australian adventures!
Travel is one thing I live for. I regularly get away with my wife and son – Western Australia is one of my favourite destinations. I especially enjoy the south west region. Places like Margaret River, Busselton and Dunsborough to name a few. The tall timber forests and the fresh air makes for amazing driving between some of Australia’s best brewery’s and winery regions.
Outside of Western Australian, Tropical North Queensland is additional favourite. The Great Dividing Range meets the coast – where the rainforest meets the reef. Picture lush rainforest meeting crystal-blue waters, this region is a tourists must.
What do you love most about travelling?
There’s something special about travel, the planning and build up to the trip, the research of the destination, the history, the different vibes each place has and the ability travel has to take you away from the daily grind of day to day living, empowering you to sit back and reflect on what life’s all about.
What do you find challenging, travelling as a wheelchair user?
Travel as a paraplegic can prove difficult, one thing I’ve learned over the years is, and sometimes no amount of planning will mitigate the unforeseen dramas. From airlines differing travel policies to accessible accommodation, that may not meet the standards you envisaged.
How do you plan your travel?
We get our cyberstalk on and uncover the crème-de-la-crème of travel destinations.
My wife is an amazing travel planner, a majority of our trips are planned and booked online – without the use of an agent. When traveling, we have a tendency to return to familiar regions, however research and future planning is typically done while visiting the region. Scouting out other hotspots to return to next time we’re in the region.
What would be your top-travel-tips for other wheelchair users?
Plan ahead, talk and engage with likeminded tourists and adventure seekers. For international travel cruising can prove beneficial if you want to see a variety of places in a short amount of time – cruising enables you to unpack once and avoid the airports. Try and spend a few days in each place, either side of the cruise.
If you’re uncertain about the access of particular accommodation or destinations, request or seek out some photos or more information from the hotel/attractions.
What’s on your bucket list?!
Europe, and South America is high on the priority list. Although our next trip will be New Zealand – cruising out of Sydney Australia to New Zealand, return.