Meet Dom Hyams!By Niamh Duffy -
Before we get into travel paradise, can you tell the readers a bit about yourself?
Hello! I’m Dom Hyams – Digital and Communications Director at disability access app assist-Mi, a solution to try and create a more accessible/inclusive world by offering users the ability for users to request assistance in advance of turning up at their location.
I am also editor-in-chief of the annual Power100 Powerlist of Disability, and in a previous incarnation was a sports TV producer.
Outside of work I am a very keen traveller, sun-worshipper, foody and festival goer.
What 3 words would you use to describe travel and what it means to you?
Excitement, Fulfilment and Knowledge.
If you were a country what country would you be and why?
I’ll go for Italy – a love of social occasions, friends and family, beautiful scenery, nice weather, coffee kings, and an appreciation of the simple things in life being the most important.
(If we were trying to be quite literal I would say Switzerland – small and well rounded!)
What is your favourite bar/restaurant?
A real toughie but I would probably say Caravan (Kings Cross, London) – delicious small plates of food with cocktails, coffee and an amazing atmosphere. Friendly staff always helps too!
Where did you eat your fave sandwich?
New York, pastrami sandwich with pickles and mustard at Carnegies Deli,
Where have you been that genuinely took your breath away?
The views from the top of the sugarloaf in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as the sun set was quite incredible, and really showed the scale and beauty of the city and the surrounding scenery.
What one piece of advice would you give for accessible travellers?
Be confident and pro-active in getting in touch with your destination in advance of departure. Call up to check the access of a particular destination matches your needs, as often something that says “accessible” might refer more to their attitude than their facilities.
What's your funniest travel moment?
On an inter-railing trip around Europe with friends, all realising that after boarding from Zadar (Croatia) to Budapest (Hungary) that we had no food or water for a 16 hour Journey. We just had to laugh at our terrible oversight and buckle up for a horrible Journey! The McDonalds at the other end couldn’t have tasted better!
Where have you been where you felt most at home, away from home?
Spokane, Washington State – I have a good friend who lives there and you really get a sense of a community and a wholesome existence from those that live there.
Where have you visited that you could see yourself living?
Chicago was one of the few places I have visited that I genuinely felt that I could move envisage living there and being extremely happy. Downtown, beautiful parks, and the beach of Lake Michigan all within a stone’s throw of each other whilst having wide, clean streets, an amazing music scene, and exciting varied seasons.
What life advice would you have given yourself five years ago?
Pack a portable ramp on every trip.
Where do you hope to visit in five years time?
Iceland, Cuba and New Orleans all very much on the bucket list!
Which book would you recommend to take travelling?
Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks – a fantastic book to open your eyes to how amazing our brains are, the power of music and how precious life truly is.
Would you rather go into space or explore the depths of the ocean?
Space I suppose, but neither are places I am desperate to go! Floating in a tin can in a vacuum would fill me with some nerves! Quite keen to experience zero gravity and that wacky powdered space food though.
What's the craziest activity you did abroad?
A couple of mates pushed me up the side of a mountain in Japan to get to a monkey sanctuary. On arrival, the staff there couldn’t believe their eyes and said how I am the first wheelchair that had ever been. I think they thought my mates were (exceptionally determined) madmen, (which they obviously were!)