Today I’d like to introduce you to disability travel blogger Cati Waters, who left a career of teaching to travel the world.
In her guest blog post, she shares her experiences of living with and travelling with the neurological condition Dyspraxia:
Clumsy. That word sticks out in my memory. I’m the one who fell up the stairs with a tray of food; the one who always has a smashed phone screen; the one who stumbles and falls over nothing. Except I’m not just clumsy, I’m dyspraxic.
Dyspraxia effects individuals differently but one of the main factors with dyspraxia is a lack of coordination. For me, my difficulties with dyspraxia definitely lie in the realm of spacial awareness.
Living with Dyspraxia
As a child I was constantly told my handwriting needed improvement. As a teenager I consistently misplaced phones and purses. When I was teaching, that meant falling over small children, bruising my hips on table edges and getting paint in my hair pretty much every art lesson.
Cooking is also a minefield for me. I love to cook but if I lose concentration that can mean a cut or burn. Just take a look at my hands and you’ll see what I mean. Oh and let’s not forget eating, somehow I always end up with food in my hair.
And whilst we’re on the subject of losing concentration, my dyspraxia gives me difficulty with focus. I’ll regularly have 3 different things on the go, my brain jumps around from idea to idea and I’ll often stop in the middle of doing one thing to start something else. I often have to purposely slow myself down to make sure I organise myself properly.
Dyspraxia also means I’m constantly tired. Things that require no energy from you, require a massive amount of energy for me. If I lose concentration, I could fall over or something will just fall out of my hand. Now it’s not like I have to concentrate hard to hold on to something, my brain has adapted and knows what to do, but if my mind is elsewhere (and it usually is) the probability of me or my phone ending up on the floor increases tenfold.
Travelling with Dyspraxia
My sense of direction is absolutely awful. It may take an average person maybe five times to know their way from A to B. I can go somewhere 10, 20, 30, 40 times before I know the way. This has massive implications for me now as I travel the world you might imagine. I am that person you see, google maps on their phone, turning in circles trying to find the right direction to start walking in.
But I don’t let dyspraxia stop me. I can dance and dance well, letting the rhythm of the music guide my movements. I can drive, there were tears and frustrations of course whilst learning but I drive well. I hike up mountains, it’s just the getting down that is the difficult part. I tried downhill mountain biking and didn’t fall off, much to the surprise of my friends and family.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that I will never be a graceful girl. But that’s okay. I’ll continue to live my life like nobody’s watching anyway.
If you would like me to be a guest blogger and/or you would like to feature as a guest blogger on my blog, please contact me.
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