James Ballardie is currently backpacking for 15 months through South America, the USA, Japan, China, South East Asia and Australia. Him and his girlfriend started travelling on January 5th 2014. The interesting thing is that James is backpacking in his wheelchair. He is doing a brilliant blog called http://lookatallthepoorpeople.com in which he details his adventures, and has posted fab pictures.
“As far as I can tell this is the first travel blog site ever to detail the preparations that go in to backpacking around the world in a wheelchair. That’s because I am the first person ever to go backpacking around the world in a wheelchair, as I quickly found out whilst planning for the trip. I have no proof of this, of course, but I can only assume the sheer lack of infrastructure for wheelchair backpackers means I’m blazing some sort of trail. For example, if the diktats of the travel insurance industry are to be believed then seemingly nobody in a wheelchair before me has ever left the UK for more than 30 days at a time. We talked about stacking multiple policies back to back, but no, that’d mean I’d have to come back in to the UK at the beginning and end date of each policy. At one point it looked like I could maybe get away with only having to fly through British airspace (not including colonies or protectorates) at least once every 45 days”.
James is an NCTJ trained journalist, with a law degree from Leicester University. Before backpacking he was a BAFTA winning TV producer living in London. He has also appeared as a pundit on Channel 4 News, BBC Radio 5Live and have been published in the Metro.
Backpacking is difficult at the best on times, but doing it in a wheelchair is heroic. Total respect to James! We are following his story with great interest at Sesame Access and love James's approach to life. We'd love to meet you for a beer when you get back to London.