THE BLOG

Highlights and Hopes

01/01/2016 23:39 GMT | Updated 31/12/2016 10:12 GMT

Martyn in Tenerife - featured

For this year's 'New Year' post I wanted to summarise my highlights from 2015. I haven't gone into much detail, but I've linked to the original posts if you want to go deeper. Finally I've shared some lessons I've learned from the past year, and my hopes for 2016. Happy New Year guys!

January - The year kicked off with three beautiful weeks with Kasia's family in Fuertaventura. Unfortunately I had a few air travel issues, but nonetheless we all had an amazing time together.

February - Kasia and I did the most random thing and spontaneously drove to the Austrian mountains. Here's the video too. I worked from the mountain top while Kasia and her dad hit the slopes. An amazing week.

March - Disability Horizons launched DH Discounts which is like GroupOn for disabled people. I also started going out more into nature for mindfulness.

April - I was nominated for a national diversity award. Also I liked to get a bit political here and there.

May - Accomable launched after Srins hard work prototyping it. I managed to get my contacts in tourism, charity and media to help us spread the message. Kasia and I visited Barcelona for one month. We stayed at the awesone MIC Sant Jordi. This was all part of the Accessible Tourism Roadtrip starting in Aviles, Spain and ending in Poland over two months later!

June - We were lucky to be invited on the Europe Without Barriers project. This was arranged by AISM of Italy and co funded by the European Commission. We tested an accessible itinerary in Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria and Germany.

July - I worked as a video presenter at the Roman Baths. Plus as a Disability Awareness trainer in the tourism sector.

August - I crowdfunded to publish my first book. It's called 'Everything is Possible', was fully funded, almost finished, and will launch shortly. I also had lots of good summertime fun with family and friends.

September - I was invited as a conference speaker in Madrid on accessible tourism. Here is my summary of Madrid from a tourism perspective too.

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October - I wrote an update on battling to maintain my foundations. Being disabled continues to be such a slog in accessing vital funding and services. Plus I had another all too familiar air travel issue happen.

November - A beautiful trip with my mum, step dad, Kasia and our family friends to Tenerife!

December - AT LAST I WENT SKIING!. You really should watch this video if you haven't already :-) Finally this year I launched Accessible Cambridge tours.

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Wow. What a year. It's so important to look back and appreciate what we've achieved. In terms of lessons, I would say these tips came to mind in 2015:

1) Stay ambitious and dream up big goals for yourselves.

2) Be prepared for things to go wrong, change or become less relevant.

3) Accept your own limitations and never get angry at yourself for trying and failing.

4) Failure offers a chance to reflect, learn and then progress.

5) Beyond all of our self fulfilling BS, our health/relationships/experiences are most important. These give us true happiness.

6) Always enjoy the moment. Never have regrets.

So going into 2016, in many ways I'm less driven for new and crazy ideas. I want to stay healthy, maintain those foundations I bang on about so much, keep seeing family/friends, travel to new and old places, and collect more amazing experiences.

For my work on Disability Horizons and Accomable with Srin I look forward to further success. These projects have done so well so far. Also I will push my media/charity/tourism/marketing work on with rapid pace.

Overall I simply want one thing - I believe that other people struggling to get their foundations in life should stop struggling. It's 2016. Not 1916. We need to sort this.

By up skilling myself by reading lots, I plan to write more about science/design/technology/business/politics and explain how they can enable disabled people within society as a whole.

For example I wrote this article last year about my personal technology wishlist. Also my friend Billy found these links about a robotic chair and on automated cars/taxis. Imagine how these would make a big difference to disabled people. On the second article in the second picture you can see a really cool taxi from the future!

After lots of reflection, reminiscing, past highlights and future hopes; I'm off to get drunk with my loved ones :-) May you have fun whatever you do for New Years Eve.

Thank you for your support and encouragement this year. I couldn't do it without you! Here's to a great 2016 for us all.

Martyn

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Co Editor Disability Horizons

Co Founder Accomable