8 May, 2022
EVERYBODY DESERVES A HOLIDAY
LOCAL teenager Flynn Rigby loves to travel. He enjoys researching, finding proper accommodation, and preparing for a holiday.
As a person living with autism and an intellectual disability, Flynn realised that there are elements of travelling that are not friendly towards people like him, which inspired him to create a travel blog to record his experiences and raise awareness about travelling for people with disabilities.
Flynn’s blog is called ‘Everybody deserves a holiday’, where he highlights the beauty of Australia and reminds people of the struggles and necessities of people with invisible disabilities.
“Because I have a disability, when I travel, I need some extra help and someone to come with me to help me,” he said.
“I need help with communication and understanding information.
“Sometimes, I also get overwhelmed by sensory stimulation and might need to find ways to calm down.
“Before I travel, I like to research the hotels I’m going to or the cities I’m visiting so I know what it will be like and what I would like to do because it helps me prepare and then I don’t feel so anxious.”
‘Everyboy deserves a holiday’ is proof of the challenges and the triumphs that people with invisible disabilities experience when travelling and how we often ignore the fact that people with invisible disabilities can and desire to travel, explore and try new things.
“I really love going on holidays to the Gold Coast and I’ve been to Thailand, China and Singapore,” Flynn said.
“People should understand that travelling can be difficult and scary for some people who are in new situations and doing things they haven’t done before.
“Often people don’t realise you have a disability because it is not so obvious, but if they can be patient, that makes a big difference.
“If people can explain things with maps, signs or visuals, that is very helpful. It is great when places allow a companion to go along for free to help me.”
Flynn wants to inspire others with invisible disabilities and for the tourism industry to be more sensible about invisible disabilities.
“I hope people enjoy reading my blog and will want to travel, try new things, and go on holidays themselves,” he said.
“The tourism industry should keep looking for new ways to provide friendly and helpful service and realise that people with invisible disabilities will travel more if they feel comfortable and supported.”
The Cairns teen keeps thriving with his blog, which has caught the attention of tourist operators, travel companies and autism groups; with it he wants people with invisible disabilities to experience travel and learn more about themselves.
“Even though it is scary to go to new places and try new things, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone because you can learn a lot from going to new places,” he said.
“When I have travelled, I have learnt to be more patient and become more flexible, and these things are helpful in my life.
“I want to keep visiting and writing about Cairns, the Tablelands, Port Douglas and the Daintree.
“I’d love to go to Hawaii one day.”
Join Flynn in his adventure at: https://www.everybodydeservesaholiday.com/