Home Inspirational Lady With Arthritis On Travelling to 59 Nations in a Wheelchair

Lady With Arthritis On Travelling to 59 Nations in a Wheelchair

Lady With Arthritis On Travelling to 59 Nations in a Wheelchair


Parvinder Chawla was only a schoolgirl when her household started to watch one thing amiss along with her physique. She struggled with the correct motion of her joints and jaw. By the age of 21, she obtained a analysis of rheumatoid arthritis.

“Issues took a flip for the more severe at that time. I endured fixed ache and located myself unable to maneuver freely. From being a fun-loving and outgoing woman, I began counting on others for help,” she displays in a dialog with The Higher India.

Quick ahead to 2023, and Parvinder is now not the individual she as soon as was. She has reworked right into a globetrotter, who has travelled solo to 59 international locations — together with Dubai, China, Australia and extra — in her wheelchair.

Describing her life as the best journey, she displays on her journey and imparts suggestions, methods, and classes she discovered from solo travelling as an individual utilizing a wheelchair.

‘Journey change into an indication of my independence’

“When the signs [of rheumatoid arthritis] first surfaced, it was extremely horrifying. It started with my knees and jaw however progressed to have an effect on my whole physique,” she remembers.

Hailing from Mumbai, Parvinder was a sociable youngster. “I loved partaking with folks. I used to be extremely extroverted and relished spending time open air. Nevertheless, because the ache intensified, these very folks grew to become a supply of concern. I remained vigilant to keep away from any bodily contact,” she shares.

The escalating ache and dependence on help began to surround Parvinder in self-imposed isolation. The sickness introduced with it quite a few physician appointments and years of endless ache.

“My situation worsened and there was a time once I was confined to mattress, not even capable of change sides,” she says.

Throughout her darkest and most painful days, Parvinder vividly remembers that her mom’s unwavering religion in God was the driving drive that saved her going. “Every single day, my mom inspired me to imagine in God and belief in His work. Whether or not it was this steadfast religion or her sheer willpower to inspire me, I did discover some reduction by means of Ayurvedic remedy,” she recounts.

Parvinder was only 21 years old when her symptoms started to worsen leaving in pain
Parvinder was solely 21 years previous when her signs began to worsen leaving her in ache. Image credit score: Parvinder Chawla

Whereas she remained depending on a wheelchair for mobility, the relentless ache subsided. “As soon as I used to be free from that ache, my ideas grew to become clearer. I used to be decided to do no matter it took to show my goals into actuality. It was my mom’s religion that had sustained me for thus lengthy; now, it was time to find my very own function,” she expresses.

And the place did she discover her function? In travelling!

It was a visit to Vaishno Devi along with her mates that helped her realise that she can also journey. “That journey made me really feel that there’s a world on the market which is open for me to discover. I made a decision to not let my situation or a wheelchair cease me from dwelling my dream,” she says.

Following this, Parvinder launched into a journey to Dubai alongside her sister. A big turning level occurred when her cousin and her husband gifted her an computerized wheelchair.

This considerate present not solely instilled in her the arrogance to navigate freely but additionally marked a transformative second in her life. “Travelling makes me really feel alive and likewise makes me really feel unbiased,” she provides.

‘Be assured and belief the method’

“I’d not say travelling whenever you’re in a wheelchair is straightforward, however it isn’t one thing that can not be achieved,” says the solo traveller.

Recalling the difficulties she confronted on her quite a few journeys internationally, she shares. “I used to be in Italy and I had booked a lodge for my keep. In prior analysis, I had spoken to the managers if the lodge was wheelchair accessible and so they stated that it was. Nevertheless, once I reached the place, they informed me that there have been 4 to 5 steps that I must take.”

Whereas it will be arduous for her to climb the steps, she would have been capable of do it with some assist. “However the administration stated that I can’t keep right here as a result of it’d trigger inconvenience to their different friends,” she provides.

Parvinder has travelled to 59 countries and has no plans of stopping anytime soon
Parvinder has travelled to 59 international locations and has no plans of stopping anytime quickly. Image credit score: Parvinder Chawla

“I used to be breaking down whereas alone, not realizing what to do,” she says. “So I sought refuge in a Gurudwara till I might discover another place to remain.”

Trying again on the incident, Parvinder says that it was an expertise that she wanted. “Each journey that I’ve been on prior to now years has added to my life experiences. There’s at all times one thing to study from such incidents,” she says.

The incident in Italy helped her perceive that It is rather essential to be one hundred pc positive whether or not a lodge is wheelchair accessible.

“I now dedicate a variety of time to analysis earlier than I e book a spot,” she says including, “Such incidents solely added to my confidence. I’d at all times assume ‘If I can survive this, then I can survive something’,” she remarks.

Travelling in a wheelchair and on a funds

I don’t come from a household of plentiful assets. I work to repay my bills and fulfil my goals. “My father needed to make me an unbiased particular person. He at all times supported me and helped me to journey with a funds,” she says.

For anybody who’s affected by an sickness or is a wheelchair consumer, Parvinder has a number of suggestions that may enable you to go a good distance.

“Trust in your self. When somebody is a wheelchair consumer, there tends to be a normal stigma and pity related to such folks. Nevertheless, understanding your capabilities, being self-aware of your limitations, and recognising what you possibly can obtain is the important thing. It is going to empower you to interrupt free from constraints,” she advises.

One other helpful piece of recommendation from Parvinder is to be open to accepting assist. “Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Whereas I perceive that the world could be intimidating, there are at all times good folks on the market keen to assist,” she emphasises.

Reflecting on her personal experiences, Parvinder shares, “Throughout my numerous journeys, there have been cases the place I couldn’t discover a street or wanted help with my wheelchair. In these moments, there have been at all times folks keen to assist. Some would exit of their strategy to help. So, don’t be ashamed or afraid to ask for assist.”

When it comes to logistics, Parvinder stresses the significance of being ready for numerous conditions. “Understanding your physique and its wants is essential. Carry medicines and needed tools with out fail,” she suggests.

Elaborating on her personal journey preparations, she provides, “Earlier than visiting a brand new nation, I totally study each facet — scrutinising the lodge, the nation itself, and its wheelchair accessibility. It’s important to name the lodge or homestay upfront to verify if they’re absolutely outfitted to cater to the wants of a wheelchair consumer.”

“Ask questions, and ask a number of them, in order that what you’re getting your self into. For budget-friendly lodging, there are tons of homestays and Airbnb choices which are disabled-friendly and straightforward on the pocket,” she explains.

In keeping with Parvinder, thorough analysis concerning the place you’re visiting may help you navigate numerous difficult conditions and guarantee you’ve got a great time exploring a brand new place.

Whereas Parvinder has travelled to varied international locations, she nonetheless feels India can change into extra wheelchair accessible. “I’d urge all of the younger folks to boost your voice. Assist folks like me change into extra unbiased by making each public place wheelchair accessible. There are such a lot of locations in India that I’ve missed out on as a result of they don’t seem to be wheelchair accessible,” she shares.

The 54-year-old says she lately suffered a stroke, forcing her to hit pause on her journey plans. However she is getting higher and slowly getting again to creating new ones. “I’ve solely lined one-fourth of the world; there are various locations left. I’m holding my spirits excessive for the longer term,” says Parvinder.

You may comply with her unimaginable journey right here.

(Edited by Pranita Bhat)



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here