Here I am after all this work. I have a research question, a conceptual framework and have done an extensive literature review. So, what is next? I need the proper people to give me the right information for my study. Easier said than done. I am focusing on a particular and quite peculiar topic so my potential interviewees need to be approached carefully.
My first attempt
I am genuinely interested in the problems disabled people have and the hardships they go through. That is why I am looking forward to exploring the numerous possibilities for improving handicapped people’s quality of life. Next week I am having my first interview and I am curious to find out more about the person I will be talking with. I hope to learn something new, maybe even to get surprised. I will be interviewing a guy that is culturally different than I am and has lived through a major event that completely transformed his life. I believe that this person has plenty of valuable stories to share and I hope to make him feel comfortable enough to open himself to me. Nothing is easy in the beginning but I am ready to start with collecting the data for my study.
From my not so vast experience as a researcher, it looks like that up to now, the most engaging, interesting and dynamic part of conducting a study is the data collection phase. You take a breath out of all the writing and paperwork and you have the opportunity to actually get in contact with your ‘sources’ of information. It is a point where you finally realise you are doing research and not just writing another (boring) school paper. The communication with tourists and tourism experts is crucial for a student from our programme, so I am happy to meet and talk to people from the field. What is more, accessible tourism is many times an overlooked topic so few professionals can call themselves experts in this understudied niche of the tourism industry. I am glad I have the chance to dive a bit deeper into the topic.
Wish me and my team good luck in our research. It is for a good cause!
Written by: Ekaterina Stoyanova