Follow along as Anchel Krishna shares her experiences as mother to Syona, an extraordinary toddler with cerebral palsy.
Dilip, Syona and I haven’t been on a true vacation since the summer of 2011. With the brutal winter we’ve had this year, we decided it was an ideal time for a winter getaway.
I’d been invited to speak at a conference at WindReach Farm in Bermuda after speaking at WindReach Farm (northeast of Toronto) last spring. We decided to take advantage of this invitation and turn it into a week-long family vacation.
The folks at WindReach were kind enough to arrange accommodations at the Fairmont Southampton. The resort was ideal for us because it was close to the farm, had a pool (which is perfect for keeping Syona active and happy) and had a number of restaurants on site (kids five and under are free, which made it more budget-friendly). The hotel was kind enough to provide us with a fridge and microwave in our room, which also helped us stick to our budget. This was also the first time we were travelling with Syona’s wheelchair stroller (I’ll be writing an entire blog post about this with tips in the coming weeks). The hotel was mostly accessible, but there were several areas that weren’t and required us to lift her chair to access a space. But we were mostly able to get around with ease on a daily basis.
Bermuda isn’t known for its widespread accessibility and WindReach is doing many things to change that. The people who work for the organization are incredibly inspiring. I had the opportunity to meet so many people—parents and professionals—who work tirelessly to advance support systems for those with special needs in Bermuda. After speaking at the conference I realized the value of crossing borders when talking about inclusion and the systems that support inclusion, and I will be sure to write about this in the coming weeks as well.
We were also incredibly lucky to meet some amazing Canadians. Justin Hines was a keynote speaker and we got a chance to meet him and have dinner with him, his family and some other awesome Canadians presenting at the conference. We even almost got a chance to see him sing, but a night time concert and three-and-a-half year olds with early bedtimes don’t mix all that well. We also spent the week with another family and, by the end, it felt like we’d known them forever. Syona was completely smitten with their kiddos (12-year-old twin boys and a six-year-old daughter). Fortunately, this family lives nearby and I think it’s a friendship that will last for a long time. Actually, the entire Canadian cohort got along incredibly well. It feels wonderful to connect with people in this way.
Read more: 5 fabulous family-travel websites >
Life is stressful for all of us. Life with a child with special needs even moreso. I didn’t realize how desperately the three of us needed a getaway until we arrived in Bermuda. It allowed Dilip and I the chance to decompress and connect without the daily grind. Even Syona seemed happier and slept better. Finding time to get away can be tough. Sometimes the costs make it out of reach. But what this trip reminded me of is the importance of making getaways a priority because we all reap the benefits.
Does your family go on regular vacations? What impact does this have on them?