Now that COVID-19 has calmed down somewhat, it felt okay to take a trip. My birthday just passed so I figured I go to Chicago and meet some friends. I want to share my experience because instead of driving to Chicago, I flew.
First of all, it’s normally hard to get taxis to and from the St. Louis Airport but it worked out well for us. Once we got to the airport, going through security was pretty fast and the TSA people were nice. Checking in for our flight was pleasant. They also were very good with handling my wheelchair at the front. Boarding our flight, the staff was great. Sometimes, it’s not always the best, especially now during the pandemic, but it was very smooth and they were helpful. In general, flying was a little different because of having to wear masks but it was also quieter somewhat, so that was a different experience. Thankfully, my power wheelchair did not get destroyed.
Once we landed in Chicago, the help was also great in getting me back into my wheelchair. They were very patient. After picking up our luggage, we got a taxi fairly quickly and took it straight downtown to where we were staying for the weekend. You do have to wear masks inside, so that was a little weird, but still okay.
Once we got out on the town, everything was very accessible and people were friendly. Sometimes, when traveling in big cities, people can be angry but it was a great experience. Any place we visited had elevators and staff were eager to help. Using iLevel® technology on my Edge® 3 Power Wheelchair definitely gave me some points, especially while we were pub crawling and checking places out. I could roll right up to the bar and order a drink. I could sit there and watch a band. When I am outside, I can drive alongside other people while elevated. It feels great to be social with others.
Overall, my trip to Chicago was a great experience. I hope this gives some of you guys a peace of mind while you consider traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic. I think we’re all getting a little stir crazy. I hope everybody had a great summer.
About Jesse Cuellar: Jesse is an artist and a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. An accident left him paralyzed from the neck down, so he uses his mouth to paint and expresses himself through his art. Jesse lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and enjoys painting and hanging out with his friends. Click here to learn more about Jesse.