Do you ever get stressed out about venturing to a new place because of access uncertainties? Although I have traveled and done a lot of new things, I still get a baseline level of stress whenever I am going somewhere new. Whether it’s a new city, a new sporting venue, or even just a restaurant, there are situations that can stress us all out. Here are a few tips about how to deal with mobility-related stress and new places:
1. Look at a picture
With Google Street View you can see many places as if you are standing right in front of them. I find that when I am going somewhere new, it helps immensely to reduce my stress if I simply look at the street view of the place. It’s a great way to scope out steps, parking spaces, entrances, and even what happens to be next door! I also like to use street view to check out regular streets in other countries just to remind myself that these places are often just as accessible as the U.S.!
2. Call in advance
If looking at the picture doesn’t calm you enough, then calling somewhere ahead of time is a great way to reduce stress too. For example, a few years ago I was nervous about going to a concert during Milwaukee’s Summerfest down at the lakefront. I called ahead and discovered that they actually have special volunteers who take disabled guests from the ticket gate all the way up to their seats and also answer any questions along the way. This really eased my nerves. Often times if you call ahead then the good places will be prepared for you and even keep a look out.
3. Remind yourself you’re not the first person to ever go where you’re going.
This is a trick I use when all else fails! I have mentioned this before in my blog, but it bears repeating. If you are really starting to freak out about how something is going to work out then take a deep breath and remember that you’re not the only person or disabled person to ever do what you’re about to do. Unless you’re planning on cutting a path through a nearby forest or take a trip to the dark side of the moon, you’re not going to be the first person going where you’re going. Others have gone and managed. You will too.
4. Get there early!
If you’re ultra concerned about accessible parking or getting into a place or other logistics, the best thing you can do the day of your new adventure is get there early! If you know you have ample time before the event then you’re not going to freak out because you can’t find a parking space or you don’t know where the accessible entrance is.
Do you have any tips you use to calm your stress when you’re going somewhere? If so, please post them in the comments section.