Able Magazine talks to backpacker, Richard Farrant about travelling the globe with the inability to walk and his non-profit project, Globe Wheeling.
Richard Farrant is an inspirational adventurer and a courageous global backpacker. He has achieved 23 years of global travel including an epic 8 year continuous trip, travelling solo whilst overcoming the constraints of travelling in a wheelchair. He was born with Friedreich’s ataxia, a disease of the nervous system. He is unable to walk. with limited upper limb movement and has severe hearing loss. He says whilst his disability at times has made the journey a ‘challenge’ his travelling has enabled him to broaden his horizons on a lifetime adventure. He hopes to inspire and motivate others through his travel tales, aiming to educate people about disability and travelling without constraints. Read Richard’s interview below.
Can you tell us a little about your non-profit project, Globe
My travels started as pleasure only and because I wanted to travel the world, then the idea to start the non-profit project became a reality. I
wanted to educate and inspire people that living with a disability shouldn’t hold you back.
I understand you have Friedreich’s Ataxia – did you find you had many travel challenges to overcome? Did you often have to plan ahead for your travels?
It was always a challenge whilst travelling whether it was my mind, body or the process of being able to travel. The planning wasn’t an issue because I like the back packing experience and love to enjoy the country I’m in and see the place I’m visiting, so the plan would change from day to day.
What constraints of travelling did you find the most challenging?
In certain countries, the accessibility for the disabled wasn’t always available and the understanding of the public was a challenge due to awareness and my abilities, for example, my hearing loss and understanding a different language.
Living on a tight budget must have brought its own challenges. How did you find the accessibility of accommodation across the globe?
As a backpacker and my knowledge from visiting places I took the time beforehand and made a plan of the steps and places, I wanted to visit. Although things changed from day to day, my budget was never really a problem as travelling as a backpacker your happy to enjoy the country and the surroundings you find yourself in. In certain countries, the accessibility was a challenge for me but I can be flexible to my surroundings
It’s quite an achievement 23 years of global travelling! What have been some of the highlights over the years?
In particular, my travels to Bangkok, I have written a piece about my experience and my travels, there is another piece about my trip to America on globewheeling.com
What advice would you give to anyone with a disability who is looking to travel solo?
GO FOR IT, I have shown that there are no excuses to avoid living out your dreams and fulfilling a life adventure
How can people support your project? Do you think Globe Wheeling will help to educate people about disability travel?
I hope Globe Wheeling will show people the possibilities of a full and active life if you take away the constraints associated with having a disability. I hope my experience and my knowledge and my love for the world and the people in it will inspire people to create there own experiences. people can email me through globewheeling.com w