International travel and school grants. Yes please.

Hello Internet world I've been MIA for a while now but thought I would drop by for a bit and write here. To cap off my last post I was contacted by some devotees expressing concern on my experience to which I thank, it was very nice of you and eye opening. There are good people and bad people in the world and the same goes to that category. Moving on. So... I just got back from a trip to peru, south America where I visited my family, all million members, and as one may imagine it was a very emotionally charged trip. It being the first time many of them had seen me since before my injury. Needless to say I had a blast, theres nothing like family. Peru has got to be the most beautiful place on earth so I'm going to make a note to post pictures from all my trips. It went through some rough times politically but the city was nuts Peru has really grown. But I'm not writing this post to talk about that aspect of my trip (though I'm very open about speaking about it if anyone is interested via email, Facebook, etc) I thought I would hit on the quad related aspects of the trip in case any quads out there or family members are travelers or are interested in hitting up other countries. I'll probably end this most likely dragged out post with some getting ready for college stuff since I've been dealing with that as well. I start in less than 20 days!!!! Holla!!!! Haha yeah.. Not going to lie I'm pretty stoked about it but also really nervous. I know, 'Lou? You?' hey I'm human.. Awesome. But human. Anyways here we go.

I decided to take this trip alone even though it was my first time traveling post accident because like many other things in my life, I can, independence is kinda the focal point of this blog. I'm also a boss. When you're going to fly being prepared is pretty much the most important part of it. If something goes wrong you have to be ready. Book that flight early and let the airline know you're going in a wheelchair. When you pack 'more is better' is always important in regards to bathroom stuff. Catheters, lube, the works. Everything else you can buy when you get there if it gets missplaced. The airports in America are awesome when it comes to wheelchair service. A quad can get dropped off by a taxi and from that point he won't need any help. If you need it someone will carry your bags, you get zoomed to the front of every line, help in and out of your seat (the life, right?). Do be careful if you plan on being there a while, US airports tend to be a lot of carpet and thats pretty tiring. I personally had issues flying with spirit airlines. 12 hour delay at a layover on my way down and more delays on the way back plus they lost my luggage and tried to send me on a 5 hour bus ride. The workers were fine it seemed like it was a management problem. I wasn't a happy camper, but I was prepared. Look even if you can write what stops you from asking someone to fill your little papers in like 15 seconds. If in doubt at an airport just ask, they want to get you through faster than you want it.

Depending on your needs and especially if you're traveling alone you might need to think ahead and hire a CNA and bring extra supplies of EVERYTHING. Also, be wary of eating anything too seasoned at first, let your stomach settle. This goes for alcohol too... Don't be like me and end up face first on your grandmother's dining table three hours after the plane landed after not seeing her for four years with pee on my shorts. I asked her where dad was and she said, 'sleeping in his room.' Thanks dad. Hahaha I love my family. If the liquor isn't from your country chances are its going to mess you up. Another thing is there is no ADA regulations out of the US. Don't expect all doors to be wide enough or all places to have sidewalks or ramps. I would suggest you learn car transfers with a sliding board if you go to south America. That is if you're fortunate enough to have a manual chair because power chairs will require a van which is still a possibility but the more rural the location the less likely they'll have them available.

Man, I came to write all these ideas, hints and other "stuff" but I'm seriously brain blanking right now. I guess that's all on the flight for now if anyone gets any ideas just write me please. I'm really good about returning messages though sometimes it takes me a while. Oh yeah, schools coming up and I was surprised at all that was available in regard to accommodations from the university. America rules, it's nuts really, they really hook you up. More time on tests, note takers, teacher notes.. I'm not going to tell them no haha and neither should any of you. Also, don't forget about state programs like vocational rehabilitation. These programs help you pay for schooling and other important things like car accommodations and even a CNA you just have to know what you want and go in with a plan. Why should they give you that moolah if you don't know what you want to do. Voc. rehab. is a program specifically dedicated to get you working again so be smart about it.

Well that's it for now I'll leave you with this classic salsa song since I'm still in Spanish mode. Look up the lyrics if you ever get bored and like the song, it's hilarious. :) My first time hearing it I was in the car with my dad and his best friend and we almost crashed we laughed so hard. I wonder why they knew it so well.


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Meet The Author

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Hey! Welcome to my blog. My name is Luis Gonzales. I have made this Page to share my experiences. When I was 21 I suffered A diving accident that left me paralyzed from the chest down. Technically speaking my injury is at the C-5 and C-6 vertebraes. There was so much to learn during the first few years but to be honest wether you are getting used to life in a wheelchair or just Life in general the learning process never stops. Hopefully my experiences can help those who are searching for answers. At the very least maybe brighten your day. I'm a very positive person and if you're trying to make yourself a little more independent than you were yesterday in any form I am always happy to help in whatever way I can. If you need to contact me you can use any of the social media devices I am on. You can find all those links at the top left corner of this page. Have a great day. Si es mas fácil... Aunque yo no escribo en español si lo puedo hablar.