In Spring 2002 Patrick (Pach) and Ali Knox had the idea that they would like to take a year out to travel the ‘wicked world we live in’. These brothers both had Freidreich’s Ataxia, a life shortening degenerative condition. Family holidays and everyday living had given Pach and Ali experience of the barriers that exist for disabled travellers but they wanted to research the potential for wheelchair users to enjoy adventurous travel. They dreamed of having a bus that would not only take disabled travellers to their destination but provide fully accessible accommodation on board. Instead they travelled by public transport and minibus, and broke the world travel into 3 legs.
As friends and family we formalised ourselves as a group to raise funds to help them do their ‘wicked world tour’, to develop their idea of an accessible bus and to research travel opportunities for other people with disabilities.
In December 2002 Wicked World Tours registered as a company limited by guarantee, and also as Scottish Charity: SCO33913. In 2012 we became a SCIO, Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. We have a Board of Trustees, nominated and elected by our members at our Annual General Meeting.
To find out more about who we are, please select a profile from the menu on the right.
Pach and Ali became the core of the action research team, learning more every day about how accessible (or not) the world is for disabled travellers. They kept diaries, took photographs, made a movie and sent blogs back to those at home as they travelled round the world.
Ali returned from a wonderful trip to South America in July 2007, but sadly became seriously unwell a few months later and died on the 11th of October. He will be missed by everyone, whether or not they knew him well, but at least he enjoyed his life to the full.
On the 13th February, 2014, just back from a trip to London, Patrick died after an acute bout of pneumonia. His inspiration to us all lives on: face challenges, never give up, listen to good music, see this wicked world we live in and enjoy it!
Both Pach and Ali required full time personal care, so we needed to consider how many carers would be needed to make the trip possible. Pach and Ali employed their own carers, but we recognised that we would need additional help to cover all the work involved on the tour. The boys needed three carers each: one for the morning and afternoon ’til 4pm; a second for the evening; and a third in reserve to allow each to have breaks. Surprisingly, even young and fit carers need occasional days off! We advertised through CSV and several Scottish Universities, while also spreading the word throughout our ‘friendship base’.
Obviously we needed to balance the ‘ideal’ number of carers with the additional travel costs extra care would involve, but we knew that putting together the right care team would be crucial to the success of the trip.
On the first leg, the boys travelled with a team of seven, including one ‘floating’ extra carer just in case. Two were employed and the rest were volunteers.
On the second leg, the care team had six members.
The final leg, to South Africa, was much shorter than the first two, and we were able to manage with a smaller team of just five carers.
Back home, a small team kept track of the travellers, made sure they didn’t run out of funds, distributed news of their travels to our many supporters, and generally kept the home fires burning.
Angels and Friends
Thanks to all who helped us on our adventure!