Stereotype Defiance

I have traveled to Scotland, Los Angeles, Ohio, and throughout the East Coast of the U.S.

I have traveled for business, pleasure, and family alike. In any type of season, with different types of people.

Most of my travelling involved me moving, and loving in different places.  I am privileged to know life in various parts of the U.S.

One pattern that I notice in myself every time I travel is this: a more outgoing and patient personality than usual.

Normal annoyances that I deal with at home don’t bother nearly at all while I am travelling to a new place.

Having Autism makes dealing with noise, traffic, crowds, unfamiliar places especially challenging.  The unfamiliarity of a place is easier to deal with because I constantly had to adapt when I moved around in childhood.

Traffic, noise, and crowds oftentimes overwhelm me, making me feel utterly exhausted and oblivious to the people around me. That changes when I travel to a new place.

On my recent trip to L.A., I traveled alone. In order to beat the loneliness, I found it surprisingly easy to strike up a conversation with strangers, and keep them engaged. I don’t ever mind travelling alone, contrary to stereotypes about women travelling alone. And being an Autistic woman at that, makes me all the more proud. I actually find it enriching because it forces me to do what I normally wouldn’t try to do.

I am actually introverted, and get my energy from my alone time. However, I find that talking to locals in new places actually inspires me to enjoy and seek out new activities that make the place special, immersing myself in the surrounding culture. I have managed to make friends more easily when travelling, unlike at home.

Additionally, I find that I have more patience navigating crowds, and traffic. Amazingly, my sensory difficulties aren’t as frequent as they normally are (depending upon the type and amount of noise).

Is it something about the excitement of a new place, and the beauty of a new place that changes my sensory makeup to deal with these annoyances?  It is hard to say.

What is clear to me is that travelling changes me, making me not only more mentally adaptable, but biologically and physically adaptable as well.

It goes to prove my belief that God’s beautiful design of place, culture, and uniqueness will heal even the most challenging and stressful situations, reminding you of a much higher purpose.

I am proud to say that everywhere I go, I defy every negative stereotype that exists about Autistic people!

That, my friends, is the biggest confidence booster to ever exist!

Til Next Time,

Autistic Travel Goddess



1 Comment

Michelle Heard

Wow Shalese! I’m so proud of you and this website that you have created. Words can not explain the feelings I am having right now. I have been there through your thirst, need, and desire to travel and help other autistic people do the same is a safe and enjoyable manner. Throughout all of challenges that you were presented with, you have remained focused. Everything the doctor’s said you would not be able to do , God has enabled you to do (and so much more). Be proud of your accomplishments and never stop being the blessing that you were put here to be. I pray that this website will allow you to reach not only people with autism and aspergers but people of all walks of life.


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