I catch up with Emma Muldoon in the first of my Traveloholic series, founder and writer of Simply Emma, one of the leading blogs for everything disability related in the UK.
My name is Emma and I am the founder/writer of Simply Emma. I live in Scotland and I have a progressive muscle-wasting condition called Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy which means I am a powered wheelchair user. Simply Emma is a travel and disability blog focused on accessible travel and life experiences from a wheelchair user’s perspective. I created this blog to encourage others to travel and show them that even though it sometimes doesn’t seem like it, the world is worth exploring and becoming more accessible. Simply Emma combines a lot of my personal stories with accessible travel guides, accommodation and holiday reviews, live event reviews, accessible sports/activities, travel tips and resources.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment I caught the travel bug, but I believe I was quite young. I used to love going on family holidays and day trips. It was always so exciting to go somewhere new. As I’ve gotten older my passion for travel has grown so much more. I love the feeling of adventure and new experiences. It doesn’t matter where it is, I just love the feeling of exploring, whether it’s in my local town, a European city or somewhere further afield.
Oh, there have been so many amazing experiences. I always try to make every destination I visit an amazing experience as I’m all about making special memories in each place. However, visiting New York City is one of my most amazing experiences. I had wanted to visit NYC for such a long time that when I finally visited in 2011, I ended up leaving a piece of my heart there. Since that trip, I’ve been lucky to visit the city a few more times, each as amazing and magical, especially the last time when we visited during Christmas. It was a dream come true, so to speak.
Thankfully I’ve never had any major disasters whilst on my travels. Although I did break my thumb on the armrest of my wheelchair whilst enjoying a relaxing birthday getaway at a lodge in the Scottish Borders. After a few hours, the pain was getting more unbearable and using my hand was becoming more difficult. We decided to head to the nearest hospital which was 30 minutes away and the x-ray confirmed the break. It wasn’t quite what I had in mind for my birthday, but it could’ve been worse. We were still able to enjoy ourselves and it gave me more reason to relax. Win-win!
Yes, I have definitely found the same whilst visiting different countries. I especially loved the attitude towards disability in Barcelona. Everyone we came across and everywhere we went in Barcelona seemed very positive and actively improving barriers to accessibility. We stayed at MICs Sant Jordi which is a fully adapted accommodation with everything we needed for an accessible holiday including 24hr care and equipment such as hoists. The beach wheelchairs and accessible beaches meant I was able to enjoy time on the beach and in the water with my family for the first time in 25 years.
I really want to visit more European cities, but also the little and more unknown towns/villages outwith the main cities. I want to visit more States in America and also Canada. Honestly, there are so many places I would love to visit and I’m hoping 2018 is going to be a great travel year for me.
You can keep up to date with all my travel stories and adventures by visiting my blog at www.simplyemma.co.uk.
You can also find me on the following social media channels where I post a lot of photos and extras bits and bobs.