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How a Wheelchair Became a Source of Freedom for a Disability Travel Vlogger

September 25, 2022

How a Wheelchair Became a Source of Freedom for a Disability Travel Vlogger
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In this podcast episode, Disability travel vlogger Helen Lear Grant believes that her wheelchair has been a source of freedom for her. She says that prior to having a wheelchair, she couldn't walk far and her life was limited, but now she can get to many places and feels more connected to nature and the outdoors. Helen advises listeners to accept help when they need it and not feel ashamed to ask for help. She feels that accepting help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and that it is a modern concept to believe in doing everything by oneself.

What Makes Helen Lear-Grant Happy?

In this 5 minute episode, I sit down with Helen Lear-Grant, a Disability Travel Vlogger, to discuss the ins and outs of her happiness.

Connect with us on Instagram at: What Makes You Happy?

Connect with our guest: Helen Lear-Grant

Podcast Summary: 


  • Introduction to the podcast "What Makes You Happy with Jake Pearson" which interviews people on what makes them happy.


  • Jake introduces Helen Lear Grant, a disability travel vlogger, who is today's guest.


  • Helen mentions that her wheelchair is what makes her happy as it has brought freedom into her life.


  • Jake asks how Helen's wheelchair has been a freedom for her.


  • Helen explains how her wheelchair has allowed her to get to places that were previously inaccessible to her as she was relying on her legs and couldn't walk far.


  • Jake talks about the impact Helen's wheelchair has had on her happiness, as it has allowed her to access more places.


  • Helen talks about how her wheelchair has helped her become "herself" again after a big illness stopped her from traveling and living life to the fullest.


  • Jake asks if Helen's wheelchair has allowed her to connect with herself on a deeper level.


  • Helen says that being in nature and connecting with the outdoors is what makes her happy.


  • Helen gives advice to listeners who are struggling to find what makes them happy, suggesting that they should accept help when they need it.


  • Jake agrees with Helen and talks about how accepting help has improved his life, and that humans don't reach out and ask for help enough.


Disability travel, Wheelchair travel, Inclusive travel, Accessible travel, Travel with disabilities, Disability empowerment, Overcoming obstacles, Accepting help, Independent living, Adaptive travel, Adventure travel, Outdoor activities, Empowering travel stories, Inspiring travel experiences, Travel for all, Adventure with disabilities, Life with a wheelchair, Barrier-free travel, Making travel accessible, Encouraging travel for all, Disability rights, Travel without limits, Finding freedom through travel, Embracing help, Travel and empowerment, Breaking barriers in travel, Travel and mental health, Building a supportive community, Traveling with a purpose, Accessible outdoor adventures.


Jake Pearson  00:00

Are you trying to figure out the secret to happiness, we're here What Makes You Happy with Jake Pearson, we want to make that happiness more accessible for you in your life. So stick around as we interview everyday people, inspirational leaders and your favorite celebrities on what makes them happy.


Welcome back to the podcast where we ask the simple question, what makes you happy? 


My name is Jake Pearson. And today we have with us a disability travel vlogger Helen Lear Grant from England or born in England, but now in Scotland. Helen, how are you?


Helen Lear Grant   00:42

I'm good, thanks. How are you?


Jake Pearson  00:43

I'm doing really well and I'm super excited for this episode. Feel like it's going to drop a real knowledge bomb here. So what makes you happy?


Helen Lear Grant   00:52

My wheelchair and I know that sounds a little bit strange because people often see a wheelchair as something that you are bound to or confined to or that limits your life but for me, it's been a huge freedom.


Jake Pearson  01:09

In what way has it been a freedom for you?


Helen Lear Grant   01:11

Prior to having a wheelchair, I can walk a little bit and we're a bit surprised to having my wheelchair, I couldn't get very far because I was relying on my legs which aren't that great and my life stopped at my garden gate, or I could drive somewhere get out of the car and have a look around but I couldn't really walk too far. 


Now I have my wheelchair, I can really get an awful lot of places. Of course, the world isn't set up for accessibility, and there are barriers but I'm always up for a challenge. So like recently, I've got to the Colonish stones and on the Isle of Lewis, which I didn't think would be possible but that was such an incredible experience that I couldn't have done if I didn't have my wheelchair.

Jake Pearson  01:55

That's incredible and I guess that taught me that really ties in to your happiness and being able to get out to places that you once saw you weren't able to access.


Helen Lear Grant   02:05

Yes, definitely. I think especially because what I classes like in a previous life, pre-disability, I travelled around Australia and New Zealand, lived in the back of a van had all these adventures, and then wow, this big illness came in 2014 and put a stop on everything really and I thought how am I ever going go get back to being me again, in this new body as it felt? 


But my wheelchair has helped me be me again. I've grown of course. You're not static. I'm not who I was in the back of a van in 2011 in Australia, but yes, I've grown and has helped me do that as well.


Jake Pearson  02:47

Yes, and do you think by just having that wheelchair and that ability to go further than the front gate you've connected with yourself on a deeper level again? Or what was that process there that allowed you to sort of become you again?


Helen Lear Grant   03:02

I think it's connecting. Yes, with the outdoors with all of these places that really make me feel good. So getting to the coastline and obviously, I'm not going up any mountains, getting out to the coast, getting into forests and just being amongst nature, I'm really settling down into that and and feeling connected to that.


Jake Pearson  03:27

Beautiful and do you think Helen that would tie in to some advice you might give for someone to listeners who are struggling to find what makes them happy?


Helen Lear Grant   03:34

Yes, I think obviously, I would say just to anyone who's struggling with their mobility, though, don't wait to get a mobility aid. Do it, it's going to change your life but also on a wider perspective, I think that it kind of relates to accepting help when you need it and you can still be independent, you can still be strong, and you can still be in charge of your own happiness but sometimes you're going to need a little bit of help along the way and that's fine. 


That's normal and it's good to accept help, and people want to help as well. 

Jake Pearson  04:09

Beautifully said, I think I have felt in my own personal life, though, when I've accepted help and overcome that barrier because sometimes that's a huge barrier. It's just swallowing the pride and asking for help that my life has definitely improved in ways that I could not have foreseen and that could have been like, there was a an older guy at the gym and I asked for help and/or asked my parents for help somebody was really uncomfortable with or my best friend or even a sibling or just someone around you. Reaching out, don't you think is something that we as humans don't do enough of?


Helen Lear Grant   04:46

I absolutely agree. Yes, I think we feel like we should be able to do everything by ourselves and that we should be able to make it on our own and that's not the case and it was very modern thing. I think that's modern way of looking at things but If you look back to the past, it was all about community, all about supporting each other and I think if we can get back to that and accept help in whatever form that comes in and ask for help, then I think that can help lead us to happiness.


Jake Pearson  05:15r

Reuptake I'm just-- I don't know, I'm my brain goes to weird places but I'm thinking, if humans weren't meant to ask people for help or need the support of other people, there wouldn't be many of us because we'd be very, we wouldn't have grown to this extent and we haven't grown to this extent by being by ourselves, but for relying on each other, and existing and building each other up and pulling each other along. 


I think it's a very important step that you take in your life to ask for help. It doesn't have to be drastic. You don't have to say, hey, I need help with everything but just to the smallest of problems for you. Just getting another perspective sometimes is the most important thing you can do to help you get some clarity in your life.


Helen Lear Grant   06:05

I agree. Talking to people is often  the most powerful thing you can do.


Jake Pearson  06:11

Well, Helen, thank you for coming on the podcast and sharing all things that make you happy and if you'd love to connect with Helen and find out more about what is going on in her world, you can do so by checking out the podcast episode description below. All the links will be there to connect with Helen, and follow along. 


Thanks for listening to the podcast. We hope it gives you something to think about on your quest to discover what makes you happy. Make sure to check out to connect with today's guest and follow us on all our social media platforms and to stay up to date on what's happening next and what makes you happy. Don't forget to share this episode with a friend and we'll see you next time.