This has been one rocky roadtrip already! I am so grateful to say, despite the ups and down, that we did it. The ‘Please Fund Us’ crowd sourced funding campaign reached its target today.
Lets hope the actual trip is smoother from here on in.
Since having the concept of this roadtrip in my mind (forever), feeling confident to deliver it after living in Spain this year for 2 months, having complications with accessible caravans/motorhomes and lots of last minute changes; I am smiling from ear to ear that this project is still happening.
Thank you to everyone who has backed this roadtrip. I can assure you it will be amazing! The route is set, I have my ferry booked for tonight, accommodation for the first nights, interviews set up, media interest and am now making the fundraising page.
You may have seen a tweet or update saying the target for the project costs would be reduced? The additional costs of transport, accommodation and my PA were never going to be totally met, but the crowd sourced funds made the trip possible for me. When the route was shortened I wanted to reflect the changes with the costs.
The rules of ‘Please Fund Us’ state that every backer must give consent to any change of target. Again, thanks to all of you who agreed to this. Unfortunately one person hasn’t replied to this request, leaving the target at £3,500. Fortunately a disability travel trust called Wicked World Tours came to the rescue and pledged £1000. Lastly, a family member wanted me to still make this trip and pledged the remaining funds. Thank you to them for their generosity in making this possible.
In knowing the project could go ahead, it’s been very busy! I packed up and left my London flat, drove to mums house and headed into overdrive. Alongside fitting in some family time, the arrangements have been:
- My PA for the trip, Filipe, training to become a human hoist over the next 2 ½ weeks.
- Draft wheelchairs checking my wheelchair over. I have a new seatbelt, we disabled a sensor slowing me down when I tilt the chair, and streamlined the armrests.
- Andrew Page provided me with all of the equipment required for safety laws abroad. I now have high viz jackets, breathalyzers, a warning triangle, fire extinguisher, headlight reflectors (as we’ll be on the wrong, I mean other, side of the road) and so on.
- Andy, Jan, Russ and Emma Kent plus their team at Andy’s Kars checked the car over for me. We were there yesterday 9.00-3.30; checking the oil and water, taking the back seats out, securing my special mirrors and a few other bits
- Andy has also kindly made me a bespoke tray for my wheelchair. This will help me to work and eat easier whilst on the move. Thanks Andy!
- I have ensured my Motability car can go abroad, taken out breakdown cover, notified insurers and all of that world
- The Ferry is booked from Harwich to Amsterdam at 11.30 tonight. We have dinner and breakfast on Stenas North Sea route, before going to Amsterdam.
- I have written this blog, recorded the video, and put Horizons/other work in good hands during my absence
- Contacted tourist boards, disability groups and political people across Europe (including Brussels) for further leads
Before I sign off – a big thank you again to everyone! Without you, this amazing project wouldn’t happen.
I have the concept and means to make this a success. I am sure things will change, I will have some down days and difficulties, but that’s what adventures are about! More importantly it will be great for disability Europe-wide.
Tune in daily here for written and video updates. Check my magazine www.disabilityhorizons.com for a weekly Monday update too. If you have any feedback or ideas email [email protected], @martynsibley on twitter or comment on my blog.
Heres my itinerary for you to keep up with events!
FRIDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER – OVERNIGHT FERRY TO AMSTERDAM
SUNDAY 23RD – LEIPZIG, GERMANY
TUESDAY 25TH – GORZOW, POLAND
THURSDAY 27TH – GDANSK, POLAND
SATURDAY 29TH – VILNIUS, LITHUANIA
MONDAY 1ST OCTOBER – WARSAW, POLAND
TUESDAY 2ND OCTOBER – KRAKOW, POLAND
THURSDAY 4TH OCTOBER – PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
SATURDAY 6TH OCTOBER – SAARBRUCHEN, GERMANY
SUNDAY 7TH AND MON 8TH – LUXEMBOURG, BELGIUM
TUESDAY 9TH – FRANCE AND UK