No matter the number of flights I do in a year, or where I’m going, I continue to get a huge thrill and learn so much from the experience of travel. I like to have fun with my dreams when going through airports and on occasion opt for the incognito look not because I need it, no one knows who I am, but it feels so damn cool walking of a plane with sunnies and a cap on, the imagination of what could be possible goes on overdrive; there’s cameras, autographs, and a shiny black limousine awaiting my arrival. But all that imagination was quickly disturbed by a customs officer on my recent arrival into Cairns, Australia.
From the moment she saw me her eyes were locked on me, not like Juliet on Romeo but more like Terminator on Sarah Connor and out she yelled “hey hollywood, over here”.
I don’t think she knew I had Cerebral Palsy, I think she thought I was nervous, hiding something and I was her 'bad egg' for the day. As my bag went through the scanner I was questioned about what I do, why do I travel so much, but the real opener for this really holding up my travels was when she asked who pays for my travel. As a speaker most of my travel is paid for by clients, I later learnt that not paying for your own flights is the number one trait for international drug traffickers. As I told her that other people pay my suitcase was ripped open faster than a christmas cracker. Thankfully I’m not a drug trafficker and every part of my story added up but as the human race hate to be wrong she was determined to make me feel guilty for something and finished the ordeal with “no one needs this many pairs of shoes for such a short stay in Cairns”.
On the journey of life there may be obstacles that arise purely because of the perception of others. Although misjudged they can potentially make us feel intimidated and question our beliefs, but rather than letting obstacles question us, let’s make them educate others through:
- Owning our style: There is no rule book on how we have to be, sunglasses aren’t just made for sunny days, owning who we are helps us stay cool at all times.
- Knowing everything about all that we have to offer: Be educated on and develop the skills of things that are at our fingertips. If there is a piano in the house… play it, a book in the house… read it, be able to answer everything that people may question us on when they look into our life.
- Becoming a surprise: Some of the most inspiring moments in life come from the things we less expect, be that surprise and inspire a life.
- Been prepared for anything: Why did I have 5 pairs of shoes for only a 3 day trip? Was it excessive? or was it to cover all of what I desire whenever I travel; beaching, walking, clubbing, dining and speaking.
Our accomplishments are us unique as we are and they all begin with that “crazy” imagination, they may not be achieved tomorrow but if we can still believe in them through all the distractions on the way, they will happen.