Springible Contributor, Jerron Herman, spent his summer on tour, dancing and traveling the world. We asked him about his travels, and here is what he had to say:
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE FAVORITE PLACES YOU VISITED AND WHY?
- Barcelona + Madrid, Spain
- Athens, Greece
- Durham, North Carolina
Spain was a pleasure trip. It was my first time flying internationally and it was also a gift from my parents for my 25th birthday, so I have nothing but fond memories from that experience. Plus, Barcelona was my childhood dream city, so it took my breath away to actually explore such a magnificent city. Athens was my first international trip with Heidi Latsky Dance Company (HLDC). That trip represents accomplishment… ah, to get to perform in Europe! I grew both personally and professionally there.
Durham hosts the American Dance Festival (ADF). Both visiting and performing there communicates that you have a professional acumen and prowess. I’ve been there twice with HLDC now. The first time, I performed with HLDC onstage for our show, TRIPTYCH. That represented how an inclusive dance company dominates a performance. The second trip to Durham, Heidi and I taught ON DISPLAY, our company’s art installation, to Durham locals, and performed at the amazing Duke Homestead. I also taught twenty students repertory by HLDC, being the first disabled dancer to do so at ADF! Thirty-five people from the community performed, and countless students and guests viewed it, too. I love saying that I’m in the fabric of the American Dance Festival.
WHAT DID YOU DO ON THOSE TRIPS?
Well, I was performing in Greece and Durham. But I love to eat wherever I am, so if you travel with me you can expect we’ll eat great meals. I love the adventure in finding a great meal while traveling, the discovery process is an extension of the city. I love learning about a city through the food it offers.
WAS THERE ANYTHING SOMEONE DID FOR YOU THAT MADE YOUR TRIP EASIER OR MORE PLEASANT?
I have strong mobility and don’t often need assistance, but I absolutely appreciate when people ask me if I need help. Because sometimes I do need a helping hand, a wheelchair, or even priority seating.
WHAT ARE SOME CHALLENGES THAT PREVENT YOU FROM TRAVELING MORE ACCESSIBLY AND SMOOTHLY?
Navigating the TSA line at airports remains the hardest parts of traveling. Because I only have access to the left side of my body, it’s frustrating to do all the tasks – take off your shoes, belts; remove your laptop; place all your things in the bin – in the same amount of time that my non-disabled counterparts do them. It increases my stress level considerably.
WHAT ARE SOME ‘LIFE-HACKS’ YOU’VE DEVELOPED OVER TIME THAT MAKE TRAVELING EASIER FOR YOU?
My dad taught me that it’s okay to pay for convenience if you need to. I always use a wash & fold laundry service before any trip so I’m not stressed about packing.
Here’s a true life hack for me, though: I always book window seats on the left side of the plane so if I have a spasm on the left side of my body, I can manage it without accidentally hitting someone. Plus, I get to sit next to the window which is always great!
– Jerron Herman, Springible Contributor
Want to have a smoother flight? Here are some flying tips: