How The Wheelchair Nomad Inspires Travelers With Mobility Issues
By DeAnna Taylor
About a year ago, we had the chance to speak with Fletcher Cleaves. Since then, the Tennessee native has been busy traveling and speaking to people all over the country to share his inspirational story.
If you aren’t familiar with Fletcher’s story, in 2009, he was hit by a woman who was texting while driving. His car flipped two times after being run off the road. That accident left him with a broken neck that caused him to become paralyzed from the chest down.
However, none of this has stopped Fletcher from living life to the fullest. He has traveled to countless U.S. destinations and even abroad.
2019, was a personal growth year for him. He wrote a book, started a nonprofit, and will soon launch a brand new YouTube channel to follow his travels.
Of course, he did some traveling as well. He focused more on domestic destinations that he has always wanted to visit and will pick back up with the international traveling in 2020.
He went to Vegas, Chicago, and San Diego with his friends and family. He’s flown a plane, swam with dolphins and partied it up on boats. This man is truly living his best life.
“It’s crazy because when I was on these trips, people would recognize me and tell me what an inspiration I am to them,” Fletcher told Travel Noire.
As a way to inspire even more people, Fletcher’s new YouTube channel will serve as a means to educate others on how traveling in a wheelchair really is.
“My channel will feature my everyday life of being paralyzed as well as how I fly and get around when I travel.”
The most important thing is for people to see that traveling can be done even with limitations. He’ll highlight the ins and outs of how he selects hotels and places that are accessible to those in similar situations.
“Just because you’ve been dealt a bad hand, doesn’t mean you stop living,” Fletcher explained. “I’m just having fun and enjoying life like any other young Black man.”
As his motto says: “where there’s a wheel, there’s a way.”
DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel blogger, author, and writer. While Charlotte, NC (her hometown) is her base, she's always somewhere on a plane. Catch her on IG: @brokeandabroadlife.