Saturday, July 28, 2012

Goodbye Chiang Mai

Our time in Chiang Mai came to an end as we boarded our flight to KL on Monday morning. This city made a real impact on us all, we were all sad to leave. Pepper and Woody are going to miss their very special friend Ning who played with them every morning while we ate breakfast. I would often find Pep sitting at the tour desk chatting away and drawing and uploading pics to FB and having real girly time! Thankyou Ning for making our mornings very special and being my daughters best 28 year old friend! We wish you every happiness xx

 

Cooper still wants to move to Asia. Pepper misses her Nanny and Poppy. Woody adores the warm weather and water.

When we first arrived in Chiang Mai I thought it was so big but it really is so easy to get around by foot or by transport. With a wheelchair and pram it was a real adventure and what was suppose to be a five minute walk often turned into a half hour. We definitely found it easier to go out in the early morning and then keep the baby indoors or in a pool in the afternoon.

 

We loved just walking around and exploring the streets, finding new street stalls or places to eat that seemed undiscovered by tourists.

Traveling with children really is the way to go as far as meeting people. Back in Melbourne my kids are going to get a shock when no-one greets them, squeezes their cheeks, asks their name or takes their photo. We met so many lovely people everywhere we went. We were always welcomed and nothing ever seemed a bother.

 

We had three weeks of not one single person asking why Cooper used a wheelchair whereas we get it most days in Melbourne if we head out somewhere new. Everyone assumed Cooper understood and he was greeted as an individual and not ignored or asked questions through me. I know people wanted to know why he was in his chair but perhaps they thought it was rude to invade and ask? And perhaps it is what it is so why does the origin matter?

As much as I miss the supports at home for Coopers independence like his powerchair, toilet rails, walker etc I do not miss having to explain that we need things to be different or accessible. In Chiang Mai there is limited access but that also makes for not having to explain yourself or pre organise everything. You just turn up as yourselves ( one of which happens to use a wheelchair) and do what you want to do with people there to help. We did not need to ask for a ramp onto an elephant, we just turned up, people came forth and we got onto the elephant and off we went. We did not have to go through all the OHS crap that Western society enforces, we were responsible for our own and our childrens actions. You might think a wheelchair loaded onto a tuk tuk is not safe in Western safety standards, but it was fun, easy, and people were always willing to help load Cooper up.

On more than a few occasions people would say how they admired that we traveled with the three children especially having one child with the extra needs that Cooper has. They said in Thailand people may tend to focus on their abled bodied kids and not give their children the same opportunities. They would comment on how Cooper was just part of the family, that he did not see himself as different, that he was getting to do everthing his brother and sister were doing. We just do this naturally as parents and we see Cooper reap the rewards as he gains so much insight and pleasure into learning about the world around him.

 

Thankyou Chiang Mai.

 

11 comments:

  1. I am so happy you have had such a good trip. So well deserved and thanks for taking true time to blog about it. Inspiring and definitely a destination we may consider in the future. Look forward to catching up when u r back in town to hear more and see more pics xx

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    1. Thanks Di, i really enjoyed blogging with fresh memories and yes see you soon before your trip!

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  2. I'm happy to find you blog and am your newest follower. I joined the Linky Party on Love that Max and shared a post written from a teacher/mom point of view: Is there a Child with Special Needs in the Classroom? Hope you will visit my blog sometime. Beautiful photos and post you have today.

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    1. thanks for visiting Susan, I will check out your blog for sure when i am ready to face reality of being back in routine and school! ;)

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  3. Found you via the link at love that max... glad to meet you and your beautiful family! Glad to see that your trip was so nice... you have more adventure in you than I could possibly have. I would have been scared to death to travel that far with a child with special needs!
    New follower,
    kim
    tiarasandbowties.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi
      Kim, i was a little hesitant but moreso with a baby than with Coop. We also had travel insurance so that kind of gave me some security x

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  4. New follower here too. What a gorgeous family! I am so happy (and a little jealous) that you had a holiday from the constant questions that come with having a child that uses a wheel chair and that cooper was able to be just another one of the kids! I am sure it was nice for all of you! Would be so nice if everyone could just accept that some people use wheelchairs, some use walkers and that is just the way it is and that is okay.

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    1. hi Kat, it was refreshing not having to explain everything! Funny though as the three weeks we were away we only saw one wheelchair user so it is a very hidden thing unfortunately.

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  5. Found you via Ellen at love that max. WOW I am anxious about taking Boo to a hotel in another state, and you went to another country? You are my hero!

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  6. Kerri thanks for dropping by and again Boo is soooo cute! We hope to come to the States one day but that is a big trip!

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  7. Wow! Your travels sound so ambitious to me. We have a difficult time with a trip to the library.

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Thankyou for leaving a comment and sharing our journey. Lovely to meet you via blogging and thankyou for your words. Bron

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