How did I get started?
I started to travel in July of 2000, trying to be all things to all people, and not doing very well. I eventually got an old girlfriend to let me arrange her family's reunion cruise from New Orleans to Cozumel in 2010. I actually escorted the group to make sure everyone had a good time, and as I mingled with the cruisers, people started asking how THEY could get a group cruise organized. That blossomed into a business focused on group cruises, which we still operate as a second focus. In February 2012, I had my right leg (below knee) amputated, due to Type 2 diabetes. I was relegated to a MANUAL wheelchair. But I had a best friend back in my '70's California college days who was a paraplegic. Robert and I were president and VP, respectively, of the student government, so we were together a lot of times. I watched him maneuver in a manual chair with such ease, driving anywhere he wanted to go. I learned how to assemble and break down his chair.
So when I woke up in the hospital with half a leg gone, my 1st thought was "What would Robert do?"
I ran my business from the chair until I took a trip to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands in 2013. Apparently, somebody forgot to share with them that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) had been ratified. I had a NIGHTMARE of a time on the island getting into bars, stores, and clubs, even crossing streets by the cruise port!! When I got back stateside, I lamented to my late father about all the issues I had had during that month-long island ordeal.
He says to me "Why don't you come up with a way to help people in wheelchairs who want to travel?"
"I replied "THAT'S A GOOD IDEA, DAD!"
And The Wheeling Traveler was born.
Our mantra has never changed.....
"ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL FOR ALL!!!"
I am a Certified Travel Associate (CTA), having earned my designation from The Travel Institute, the oldest and most respected non-profit certification organization in the travel industry.
These credentials require that I have at least 18 months of travel industry work experience, completed rigorous certification and testing, and continue to fulfill stringent education credit requirements each year. Much like an accountant or doctor with their respective credentials, my CTA designation means that I am committed to upholding the highest standards of my profession while providing expert advice to my customers.
We pay it forward!
We donate 10% of profits to any certified 501c3 nonprofit or educational institution of YOUR CHOICE.