Cory Lee has been in a wheelchair since he was four years old – and still has traveled the world. Traveling in a wheelchair requires a lot of planning, he says, but it is “absolutely possible”. Now he really wants to go to the Oktoberfest.
Cory Lee doesn’t really know a life without a wheelchair. He has been using it since he was four years old. The American was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy as a child – a rare disease that leads to muscle wasting. But that doesn’t stop the 30-year-old from Lafayette in the US state of Georgia from traveling the world. The whole world.
Lee was the first wheelchair user in the world to visit all seven continents. He reached his big goal just in time before the corona pandemic made long journeys impossible: the Antarctic, together with his mother. “We were on the last voyage to Antarctica before the borders were closed,” he now reported on the program “Good Morning America”. “It was surreal. There were icebergs and penguins, everything you imagine and more. I was moved to tears.”
Accessible travel is more complicated, but possible
For Cory Lee, traveling the seven continents of the world was “a goal in life,” as he says himself. At the age of 30, he has now achieved what others have been waiting for a lifetime – and that as a wheelchair user. Because his handicap makes traveling around the world even more complicated. For example, he had to plan the trip to Antarctica for two years, says Lee. Barrier-free travel is by no means possible everywhere.
“As a traveler in a wheelchair, I need a lot more time to look for destinations, to find a barrier-free hotel or to find out which means of transport I can use,” he told the “Travelpulse” portal. In order to help others who are in a similar situation to him, Cory Lee collects information about traveling in a wheelchair and makes it available on his blog. Above all, he wants to motivate people in wheelchairs to set off and explore the world despite their limitations.
Cory Lee has even written a children’s book. “Let’s explore with Cor Cor” was released this summer. The story is familiar to anyone who knows the author’s story only a little: A boy in a wheelchair travels all over the world. Children should not only get to know different places in the world, but should also be able to deal with the fact that others look different and move differently than perhaps themselves.
Cory Lee really wants to go to Oktoberfest
Cory Lee has now been to 37 countries. And what was its highlight? Lee names camel riding in the Sahara and the narrow streets of Marrakech – although he actually had “no high expectations” of Morocco as a country. Those interested can read up on the globetrotter’s travels on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and continue to follow them.
Because even after seven continents, Cory Lee is far from finished. As a new goal in life he has set himself to get to know his own country better and to visit each of the 62 national parks in the USA. He’s already done three. And Lee, who by the way speaks pretty good German since school, will come to Germany again at least once: He really wants to get drunk at the Oktoberfest .