Alysia Kezerian is showing the world that if you want to travel enough, nothing can stop you.
Alysia had always loved to travel growing up and was raised with a true sense of adventure. She was hiking in Oregon while in college when she took the fall that would change her life forever. While bouldering, the rock she was holding on to broke off in her hand and she tumbled down a hill for 40 feet. Once she stopped falling, she was happy to be alive. But then she realized that she couldn’t move her legs. “The start of my new life began in that moment. Everything else that I knew before was completely gone.” She recalls.
Alysia had injured her spinal cord, and she would be wheelchair-bound forever. She went to a rehabilitation center ‘boot camp’ where they taught her how to live with a spinal cord injury, training her to live life in a wheelchair. When they took the patients to the airport one day to teach them how to navigate air travel with a wheelchair, Alysia realized that being in a wheelchair didn’t have to stop her from doing the thing she loved the most – travel.
Since then, she studied abroad in Vienna and visited more than ten different countries. In 2017, Alysia had one of the best days of her life rolling 11 miles around London on her own. She remembers, “That day, I felt, well, if I can do this, then I just need to continue to believe in myself. It was on that trip that I came to peace with everything and realized that I may not know where my life is going—there is a lot of ambiguity that comes with spinal cord injuries—but that’s okay.”
Alysia started an Instagram account call Wheelies Around the World to share her story and advice on how to travel in a wheelchair. But then, people started sending in submissions of their own travels, and now it has become a community page where wheelchair users all around the world inspire each other to travel despite their limitations. Alysia’s story shows us that when you love to travel, nothing can stop you!