Kayaking the Murray for Aurora
KAYAKING THE MURRAY FOR AURORA
The trip that started it all... a 40day, 2,200km kayak down Australia's longest river to raise money for charity.
In early 2014 Tom had an idea to kayak further than he'd ever been before; 10km with some mates for a weekend holiday. While that holiday fell through, the idea stayed with Tom, and later in the year while bored at University and wanting to test his potential, Tom revisited the idea. Despite the fact he'd still never been in a kayak he planned a new holiday that was just a bit longer than the first idea..
Initially planned as a joint trip but forced to do it solo, Tom kept pace with the two person schedule and pushed himself to the edge averaging 55km per day in a solo kayak.
While the river's current and natural beauty helped Tom through the initial stages, the effort of the trip slowly wore him down. Unprepared for the mental demand of having to find another level every day, Tom also struggled with loneliness from the long days in the kayak. Physically Tom was also battling. Severe wind caused terrible paddling conditions leaving him exhausted at the end of each day. Tom was even declared a missing person for 9hrs after missing a pickup point with his support crew.
Despite everything, Tom kept pushing towards the finish line and completed the journey. This success brought with it the realisation that he was capable of more than he ever thought. This mental empowerment was a huge reward for the sweat and pain of the trip but a bigger reward was still to come. Through the trip Tom had been raising funds for Aurora (an early intervention centre for deaf and blind children). At the conclusion of the journey Tom had seen his trip raise $14,882 for Aurora and he visited the school to hand over the funds.
"The moment of handing over the cheque and seeing the kids who were going to benefit from the money gave me a sense of self pride I'd never felt before. A feeling I've decided to chase and experience as many times as I can"
The journey down the Murray river and the experiences that came from it proved to be a turning point in Tom's life. Through this trip he found a desire to challenge himself, a passion for the outdoors and the ambition to use his life to better those around him.
Kayaking the Murray for Aurora. The trip that started it all.
Read Tom's long term fundraising goal here
Find out about the trip Tom completed next here