Ashley Lyn Olson- High Roller #11


ashley lyn olsonIf you ever thought that traveling the world and exploring the outdoors was impossible after a spinal cord injury, think again! Ashley was injured at age 14 and has traveled to numerous places in a wheelchair. Sure, there are logistics to work out but it’s certainly possible!

Ashley has created a website where she shares her travel experiences with others and encourages people to get out and explore. When she’s not traveling…Ashley is traveling! Get to know her below, check out her website…and do some traveling of your own!

Age: 29

Injury Level: T-12

Cause of Injury: I was paralyzed when I was fourteen in a car accident that killed my father, crippled my mother and injured my younger sister.

Siblings: 2 sisters

Hometown: San Francisco Bay Area

Education/Degrees: BA at USC in Communications with an entertainment emphasis and a minor in Music Industry

Other accomplishment you’re proud of? Creating above all, but also my first job out of collage as an executive concert marketing and production assistant at Wente Vineyards.

Do you have a mentor? Bonnie Lewkowicz because she has being trying improve travel in CA for years. She has created one of the most helpful guidebooks for outdoor trails along the CA coast. She also is an advocate to hotels more accessible, like holding education seminars at hotels for hotels.

Favorite band/kind of music/musician: I love all good music but the Beatles have special place in my heart

Favorite films: I like quirky moves that make me laugh like Little Miss Sunshine and ones that make me think like Vanilla Sky

Favorite books: I love all spiritual related books

Favorite restaurant/food: Thai food and Indian food I could eat every day

Favorite beverage: CleanWater

Favorite websites: now, tomorrow and forever!

Do you own a car? Subaru Forester

Where did you go on your last vacation? Zip-lining near Yosemite National Park (oh yeah) with four other paras. It just opened up and we were the first paras to try it out.

Do you have a pet? Cat named Harley aka Panda Face

Do you go out much? Where? As much as possible either with friends, loved ones or by myself. I love to go hiking, take photos just about anywhere, visit museums. I love to spend as much free time in the outdoors. I love nature.

What’s your dream job? To travel around, take photos and write about it (done!). I would also love to have my own travel show too one day, in which I travel around with different wheelchair users to places all over the world. There is a lot that could come from this.

Do you work out or play any sports? I love to take strolls and hikes and also lift weights.

Activities/Hobbies: Photography, painting, poetry and being a SCI mentor.

Hidden talents: Painting and poetry

What irritates you: Nothing

What do you consider awesome: Life!

Where would you love to live? A place in SF Bay Area, Hawaii and Vancouver, B.C. to start….

What takes up the majority of your time? All things related to

What do you do in your free time? All things related to or sometimes squeeze in painting and writing.

What do you wish you had more time for? Travel – not enough time in my life to go everywhere I want. We shall see though.

If I take a look inside your refrigerator what would I find? Lots of healthy fresh foods: almond milk, spinach, chicken, Greek yogurt, pears. Just went shopping today so all the left-overs are gone.

Dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you ask them? God. Why all this?

During your child hood what was your favorite cartoon? Shera

How many pairs of shoes do you own? About a dozen

Describe your sixth grade school picture. I was still blonde and had a blue shirt on to match my eyes

Favorite original Nintendo game: I think Mario 2

Your default karaoke song: Oh no! Don’t make me!!!!!!!

Type of gum you like? Sugar-free

A short term goal: To have as many experiences as possible and share (most of them) as well as find others that want to share their travel stories to help others experience new things

A Long term goal: To make the world more accessible to people in wheelchairs. To connect people in wheelchairs to the world and the able-body people of the world to them. Ignorance is what creates conflicts. Everyone is disabled. We are all one in the same.

A quote you like Oh so so so many! I love quotes! Related to travel: “Traveling is more than just the seeing of sights. It is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the lives of the living” (Miriam Beard). Or how about this one: “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

Did I say that I love quotes?!

Anything else you want to tell us? Here is something good I wrote about why I am doing what I am doing.

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