SaskBooks Book Picks - 'Wheel the World'

“Wheel the World: Travelling with Walkers and Wheelchairs”
Written by Jeanette Dean
Published by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing
Review by Shelley A. Leedahl
$19.95  ISBN 9-781988-783505

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I’ve just spent a pleasant afternoon with Jeanette Dean’s book Wheel the World: Travelling with Walkers and Wheelchairs. As the entire world’s currently anchored with the Coronavirus pandemic, we need travel books like Dean’s: over a few hours and 202 pages, she took me on well-described journeys around the globe, across Canada, and through my home province of Saskatchewan while I practiced social isolation on my comfortable couch. The title infers that this might be a “How To” book, but I’m suggesting it’s a wonderful armchair- adventure title for people with mobility issues or fully able bodies.  

In her latter years, Dean’s arthritis has seen her transition from walker to wheelchair, but these challenges have not metaphorically slowed her one iota. She states: “Above all, this book is intended as an expression of the joy of travelling itself, regardless of the challenges.” Planning, she advises, is the key to successful travel for those with limited mobility, and one should “recognize what [one] cannot do easily and enjoy the rest without whining”.

I made copious notes while reading this well-written, interesting, and often light-hearted book. I reminisced as Dean described places I’d been, ie: Melbourne and Moose Jaw, and made notes about the destinations I’d like to visit. Dean’s anecdotes about a “safari-like park” in small-town Glen Rose, the River Walk district in San Antonio, and Moody Gardens in Galveston compel me to visit Texas.

With our aging population and contemporary society’s penchant for travel, the subject of mobility-challenged travelling will become increasingly topical.  

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