An empowerment that breaks barriers
Nothing can stop the bundle of energy that is Janis McDavid. Whether as a world traveller and student, a writer or a motivational speaker: Whatever the 26-year-old sets his mind on, he will pull it off as he is convinced that “Boundaries begin in your head”.
With this attitude, McDavid is the living example of an “empowerment” that reaches far beyond the inclusion debate.Self-determination is something the globetrotter regularly puts to the test. More than that: He demands it as a matter of course. Not only from others, but also from himself. If his way is not barrier-free, he will work on a solution until the obstacles are overcome. As a motivational speaker he speaks in front of renowned managers: about the power of self-competence and the strength to make the impossible possible. Whatever he puts to the test and sometimes “upside down” is always adventurous, not at all habitual and never boring for sure. The backpack trek to Machu Picchu, at any rate, is not something you would find in a barrier-free travel guide. Let’s follow the travel report of this thinker, fighter and, above all, doer…
Crazy idea. Typical me!
Squeezed into a trekking backpack I am travelling through Peru on my friends’ backs. Correct: I’m not sitting between two pieces of luggage or even carrying one myself – no, I am the contents that need to be carried. It is freezing cold, foggy and it is raining cats and dogs. 2,000 kilometres away: My wheelchair is relaxing comfortably in the half-shade at home while the exceptionally hot summer is causing lasting euphoria in Germany.
This year, not even the most hard-core sun worshippers have the slightest ambition to leave the top holiday destination, their home. So, what, for heaven’s sake, am I doing here?
The starting point for my idea was the following: I (an electric wheelchair user) am going to tour parts of the world that are not accessible in a wheelchair! There you are. I cannot help it. The fact that a certain extent of “against all expectations” had been put into my cradle I cannot deny, if at least for a merely optical reason.
I need a destination that seems as impossible as possible. And here it is: Peru! Of course, not the barrier-free version with wheelchair-accessible hotel facilities. No. I want to reach Machu Picchu on the legendary Inca trails crossing the Andes.
Flight booking comes first, the planning comes later
My philosophy: First, let’s book the flight and create facts without thinking too much, otherwise you start weighing the pros and cons. That is when doubts creep in and in the end, you just keep on dreaming without ever living your dream. Therefore, you first need to create facts and let the pressure pile on. It seems that the “emergency” unleashes a certain creative potential within me, and I start finding the exact answers I need.
Whether this strategy is recommendable and worth following remains questionable. Decide, for yourself and join a trip with friends and pleasure, with extreme experiences and shifting borders. Come with me. The adventure known as life is waiting for us.
January: The early bird books the best flight. My ticket clearly reads the words: “Janis McDavid, July 11th, 2018, Lima”.
Next story, you will be reading about the start of the adventure in Peru and which challenges Janis and his companions have to overcome on their trip…