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Happy Easter Weekend!

This weekend was Easter…and I decided to celebrate it by going to a Ukrainian Catholic Easter service on Saturday.

You know it’s going to be good and authentically Ukrainian when the van in the parking lot has the license plates “Borsch” on it.

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The service was about 3 hours long and was all in Ukrainian. Turns out….I don’t know Ukrainian. But one really cool thing that is unique to Ukrainian culture and Easter is that at the service, everyone brings a basket with a variety of food and goodies inside, and at the end of the service, the priest comes by with his swinging incense and blesses all the baskets. Really cool to witness.


Afterwards, there was a dance performance by the children in the congregation, all dressed up in authentic Ukrainian garb.

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I have to say…that seeing small children all dressed up and speaking Ukrainian was one of the most adorable things I witnessed all weekend.

I guess, the point of this post is that….sometimes you don’t have to travel far to get a new cultural experience.


Happy Easter!

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What’s in a name?

I want to start the christening of this blog with a post explaining the name of the blog. It was suggested to me by a good friend from high school who has the same initials as me.

One quick story that illustrates our relationship pretty well was when we were heading home from an event and I was getting in her car. I was giving her lip about something ridiculous (probably) and she wasn’t going to take it anymore, so she threatened to take one of my wheels from my wheelchair and leave me on the side of the road to fend for myself. She was serious. I stopped being annoying. Whenever she tells other people this story, they look very distraught and think that she’s an awful person for threatening a poor innocent girl in a wheelchair. Whenever she tells ME this story, I laugh…because I deserved it. And it just goes to show what an awesome friend she is, because she was willing to threaten me with or without a disability. She has done both.

my buddy and i

innocent wheelie + awful person = BFFFFFLs

The title of this blog is “Lena boards first” and refers to my name and the fact that if you’re traveling on a plane and use a wheelchair, you get to board first before all the other passengers! Even before the first class passengers! Of course, you are also the last to deboard after everyone else has left, but “Lena deboards last” sounded not as fun.

I love this title because it’s not too wheelchair cheesy with bad puns that include “wheel” or “roll” (although I do like my subheader), but it also illustrates that this is a blog that is intended to help individuals with disabilities travel the world. My intention is to provide you with personal anecdotes and advice that I’ve learned while on my own travel adventures around the world, and hopefully remove some of the barriers and lack of information about traveling with a disability. The world is too great for you not to explore it!


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