staycay part 2: all about the people i met! pic of a cloudy sky with sun rays peaking through the clouds.

Staycay part 2: The amazing people along the way

Hello everyone and welcome back to another blog! We have had a pretty eventful week here in my State of Aus, but nonetheless we go forth!

Today’s post was requested by a reader! You know who you are and awesome suggestion! Thank you!

A few weeks ago I went on my first staycay by myself! I wrote all about how i achieved my independence while i was away in a blog post which you can check out here!

However, my amazing reader wanted me to talk more about the people I interacted with during my staycay, and how that impacted my adventure.

So without further a do lets get cracking!

Staycay part 2: booking my stay!

a blury picture of an entrance of a hotel room.  A bed curtains and table are blury. the door and a persons hand opening it part way are in focus
Let’s be honest.. aren’t all holidays and in fact your staycay all about customer service, not just relaxation?

It is safe to say that even though my so called ‘phobia’ of calling places and speaking to strangers has disappeared, I decided that I would book my little staycay online. Was this choice also because it was 10:30pm the evening before my stay.. Probably..

When I booked, there was an optional request line and so I listed that an accessible room would be fantastic, as they just had a standalone shower instead of a bath/shower combo. I am sure the combos annoy most people, am I right?!

That next morning, I got a call from the reception at the hotel, and they informed me that all the accessible rooms were all sold out, but was there anything that could do to make my stay comfortable. I simply then requested a standalone shower instead of a combo. They said that that was something they would most certainly be able to do.

If I wasn’t relieved enough they went a step further!! They then asked if I needed any shower chairs or extra aids to be in my room when I checked in. I was taking my own toilet chair so I said no.

Trust me this earnt the hotel a gold star in my book! The receptionist didn’t ask any questions as to why I was disabled or questioned my request. She made me feel valued and important.

Safe to say I gave them a great review when I checked out!

Staycay part 2: grocery shopping.

a grocery store with 'save' signs and apples on trays being displayed
reaching the top shelf is always a workout!

It is common knowledge by now that I need help with some tasks when out and about. Especially grocery shopping when I am in my scooter!

Trust me, when you are sitting on a Mobility Scooter, trying to reach food items on a shelf, it is close to impossible without getting out of the scooter!

When I usually grocery shop, I am with someone and am walking so I don’t need much help. Unless I need a 6 foot tall person to reach the top shelf! I can safely report that that is not disability related, but a simple case of being a Hobbit and barely scrape the 5 foot mark! Yes I am a short sh…. ANYWAY!

Due to my stacay being a solo venture, my scooter was a necessity for safety reasons and my mode of travel. Once I reached the shop of choice, I thought I could just use one of the baskets provided. Sadly but unsurprisingly, the basket would not fit on my lap since my control panel was in the way.. Before anyone asks why didn’t I just put it on my foot rest, I did try that too believe me but I then had no where for my feet and the control panel was.. Yep you guessed it still in the way! Go figure!

Once I struggled with the basket for a good 10 minutes, I gave up and decided I would just have to put it all on my lap. Thank goodness I didn’t need to buy a weeks’ worth of food, otherwise that may have been interesting!!!  

My shop started pretty simply, it was just a matter of lining my scooter up flush with the shelf to give me the best chance of reaching things.

However, as I was trying to reach the 2 Minute Noodles (poor food choice I know, and boy did i regret it!) I was struggling to grab them because they were up so high! If I was standing it wouldn’t be an issue, however, I already had food on my lap so standing wasn’t an option. All of a sudden, I had a woman come up and asked me if I needed any help, and if she could grab the noodles for me!

I can honestly say that in my 21 nearly 22 years of being disabled, I have never had someone come up to me and ask if they could reach something for me. People have seen me struggle with baskets and reaching high items and no one has ever asked. Perhaps it is about time that i also get out of my comfort zone and has for a hand i bit more. That would make my life a heap easier!

Staycay part 2: Getting stuck in a lift.

a person pressing a button in a elevator. the L button is highlighted yellow.
Photo by Kelly Lacy from Pexels

Now this should make you chuckle! I am sure most of us has had an issue or two in our lives with an elevator or as us Aussie’s call them ‘lifts’. For some it is being in a lift when it has malfunctioned and you have been stuck for what seems like eternity. For others, it may be just the case of not being coordinated enough to use a scanner and press the required level with the same hand.

This is what unfortunately happened to me. Don’t get me wrong, I have been in multiple lifts with my scooter before, but have never had to use a scanner and press a button at the same time.

Being at a lower height you would think that doing this somewhat simple task would be easy! Well my friends you guess so wrong! Being in a scooter you are restricted in your positioning to the wall. You can’t turn your whole scooter to face the wall, like you would with a wheelchair. So, you have to twist your body to meet the wall.

With the positioning, it then restricts your opposite arm from reaching the buttons. Well this happens to me anyway.

So, once I had finished my shopping, and returned to my accommodation, I had the catch the lift to the 5th floor. As I entered the lift, I man said to me he would wait for the next one to go to his floor. So in the lift I went, and attempted to swipe my card and press the button with the same hand.

Safe to say this epically failed, and I couldn’t for the life of me get the scanner to register so therefore I couldn’t press my floor! This led to the lift simply not moving at all!

I kept trying, then the doors opened. I had then realised that the bloke had thought he waited for my lift to go up before pressing the button on the outside. However it is safe to say that he would have been a bit surprised to see me when the doors opened!

Although, instead of laughing or saying ‘oh, I will wait for the next one’, he simply asked ‘are you ok, do you need a hand?’.

He then proceeded to get in the lift next to me, asked for my floor and used his key card to activate the button. I then simply thanked him and just laughed saying ‘it is one of those days’. He just laughed back and said ‘you would have got there eventually’. Once I got to my floor, I thanked him once again and then made my way to my room, and used my scooter as a battering ram to open my door.

I always do enjoy smashing into doors that are too heavy! There is just something therapeutic about it.

Staycay part 2: What we can all learn.

a silhouette of a group of people with their backs to the camera. they have their arms stretched in the air looking at the sunrise.
All it takes is a collective effort to make everyone feel included and fulfilled.

I think throughout this staycay, I learnt a lot of things thanks to the people I met. I learnt that I do need to ask for help a lot more, yet be understanding when people refuse to help me.

Most people are also uncertain of asking if someone needs help perhaps out of fear that they will be yelled at, or not wanting to make the other person uncomfortable.

However, I think people asking me if I needed help, gave me more faith in humanity. Whenever I go out shopping, I get glared at most times and can hear comments and questions asked by little kids to their parents about what is supposedly wrong about me. It isn’t to say that that is a constant issue (even though it can be) it can actually provide me with some humour. Let’s face it the questions asked my kids are adorable and hilarious at the same time!

Therefore, the simple art of the receptionist asking if I needed any aids in my room, made my day! That was hands down the first time that I have been made to feel like everyone else, and someone of value by a stranger!

I am blessed to have family that will ask if  I need anything when I visit or lend me their bathroom so I can keep my toilet frame in there. What can a say independence is certainly bliss! (see what i did there??)

If everyone can ask someone throughout their day if they are ok or if they need help reaching the top shelf at a supermarket, the world may become a little more inclusive.

I am sure you all have needed help at some point! It is just something that is a part of life, whether you are disabled you not. When you are the helper you feel a sense of fulfilment, and when you are helped you feel gratitude and understanding.

So all in all, thankyou to the receptionist, and the two strangers for asking if I was ok and if I needed help. It meant more than you know. It has given me more confidence in solo staycay adventures.

So folks, that wraps up another blog. However, I have some pretty incredible news to share! 6 weeks ago I recorded an podcast episode for Dylan Alcott and Angus O’Loughlin on ListenAble. We talked all things Disability and MD. Nothing is off limits, and believe me you will want to check out their bowl of uncomfortable question they asked at the end! It was a pleasure to record this, and I can’t wait for you all to hear it! Be sure to check out their socials as well as mine to be the first to hear it when it drops! The ListenAble Podcast is truly incredible, and the guests they have on are the most amazing and inspirational people! Their stories truly help in reducing the stigma of disability, and they are so educational as well as hilarious!


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