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Jonathan Herskovitz considers himself active, competitive and someone who loves life. He was a runner and an outdoorsman – until he was diagnosed with CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) which has had a huge impact on his mobility and his life. Determined to still be able to do what he loves with the people he loves, Jonathan draws on his can-do attitude to find ways to literally keep moving. Jonathan keeps up with an active business, his terrific family, and just returned from a dream vacation in Italy and Switzerland.
Jonathan shared his top travel tips with the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy from his recent adventures. Below are Jonathan’s top tips:
Number one tip: Work with travel agencies and guides who know the local landscape and have worked with people with mobility and other limitations similar to yours. Jonathan used Sage Traveling, an agency focused on accessible travel.
Be clear about your own limitations and capabilities. It is important to know your own capabilities and to be able to communicate these to your travel coordinators and your travel companions.
Expect to use whatever devices you have to help your mobility. Jonathan used a narrow, compact scooter to get around. He made sure he had everything necessary to use this device – and had all the measurements, weights, limitations, and capabilities of the scooter well documented so his plans could accommodate what he needed.
Plan in advance. Special travel needs special accommodations – and this takes time!
Accept what you can and cannot do. Prioritize your ‘must-sees’ so you and your travel companions do what is most important to you.
The journey itself is an accomplishment – and can be exhausting. Plan to do nothing but get there and rest the first day. Touring can start the second day.
Think through the process of the journey. For instance, do you need help getting in and out of taxis, are you able to walk through security at the airport or do you need special assistance, are you able to accomplish these ‘tasks’ with the help of your travel companions or do you need extra help.
Involve your travel companions in every step of the planning process. It is important that they know what to expect and how they can help you. You and your travel companions are on this adventure together!
Be flexible and able to adapt to change.
Know you are out of your comfort zone, for all the wonderfulness and terror that can bring.
Be a strong self-advocate to make sure you and your travel companions get the assistance they need.
Don’t be afraid to ask. There are special arrangements that can be made for people with disabilities such as museum entrance without having to stand on line and other arrangements that can make travel easier.
And Jonathan’s biggest tip: Smile! Smile! Smile!
To read a profile on Jonathan and more about his story, click here.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this living well tips is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified health care provider. You are strongly encouraged to consult a neurologist with any questions or comments you may have regarding your condition. The best care can only be given by a qualified provider who knows you personally.