My name is Nick Westermeyer. I am a quadriplegic from a gymnastics injury sustained at Michigan State University in April 1991 who is interested in global travel and participating in activities not normally associated with disabled people. I’ve always enjoyed traveling but since being injured this passion has grown. Two books that helped realize my dream are The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau and Vagabonding by Rolf Potts. I was recommended these books while following my friend Wendy, and her husband, Dusty on their travel blog roamthepla.net.
I’ve not seen many people in wheelchairs while traveling and I believe this is because they don’t think places are accessible or don’t think they can travel. I’ve been to many places that aren’t accessible but there are ways to do and see much of the same things as able body people. People I’ve met while traveling have been more than willing to help out when needed.
I’m currently on an adventure that will explore worldwide handicapped accessibility. Many people have travel blogs, but there are none that I know of that come from the vantage point of a wheelchair user going off the accessible path. Some activities I’ve done include sky diving, scuba diving, whitewater rafting, snow skiing and water skiing. I have already visited places like Fiji, Egypt, Indonesia, Utila, and Brazil. On every trip I’ve encountered some obstacles I’ve had to overcome and my goal is to share this information with other disabled travelers. I don’t believe everything needs to be accessible; accessibility is what you make of it.
My most recent trip was an African safari in Botswana, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Cape Town, South Africa. In Gansbaai I went cage diving to see a great white shark (video). My trip started December 26th, 2013 in Sydney, Australia for 3 weeks. From there, I went to New Zealand to visit Queenstown, Milford Sound, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, and then headed back to Australia for Melbourne, Alice Springs, Perth, Darwin and ended up in Cairns to scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef. In Queenstown, I went paragliding and bungy jumping. I am also planning trips to China, Peru, and Iguazu Falls. I have friends and family that may meet me at places along the way, but for the most part, I will be traveling alone.
Great site I think the link worked
This is fabulous, Nick!!! Great idea!!
How did your meeting go?
This is awesome! Sad to see you leave Tomak but couldn’t be happier for you to get out and see the sights. I am jealous and wish I could have traveled like that! Have fun and be safe!
I met your parents while I was travelling in Cairns. They told me of your story. I just want to say what a remarkable thing your doing and have so much respect that your still living the dream.
You inspire all of us Nick!
Hi Nick, not sure you remember me, my name is JUDY Birkmeier, and I was your PT at Sparrow Hospital after your SCI. I am vacationing in Key West and met a quadriplegic in the pool. He is a former Rugby player and is now a world class marathoner, who also is involved in developing rigorous rehab programs. Made me think of you, so I googled you. I knew you would be doing amazing things!! So glad to see that you are! Take care and Keep on your adventures and advocacy!
Hello Nick. It is very good to see you doing well. Your helping and inspiring people and that is awesome. We competed against each other when we were younger. I was at Tri Country Gymnastics in Cincinnati. Amanda Borden and others you knew.
I’m Greg Troehler. It’s nice to see you are as always leading the way. You have always been a fierce competitor and seemed to never have a challenge you could not beat the crap out of. lol
Have a good one brother.