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Simpson Desert 2021 - Ellie's Reflection

“Completing the Simpson Desert Challenge for Youngcare was the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life, but also the most rewarding. What scared me the most about taking on this trek was the unknown. Stepping into the desert I was forced to take a step back and relinquish all control over my life, which doesn’t come naturally to me.

I had no choice over when I got up, what I had for breakfast or what I was doing that day. We were also isolated from the outside world. While it was nice to disconnect, the loneliness of not being able to talk to the people I love added to the mental load. Whilst this pales in comparison to the isolation & lack of freedom young people with disabilities face every day, these feelings reminded me why I was doing this and who I was doing it for. 

We walked 30kms on the second day and it nearly killed me. It was hot and I was exhausted, hungry and in a world of pain. 

These physical conditions began impacting my mental state as I allowed fear and doubt to creep in, with the end not yet in sight. No amount of training or advice prepares you for what we did on a daily basis. No matter how mentally and physically fit you are, the desert is a place that will push you past your limits, further than you ever thought was possible. It taught me important lessons by prompting me to hone in on what really matters in my life.  

I found an appreciation for many small things that we take for granted on a daily basis, like being able to shower and feel the water on your skin, sleeping next to your partner at night, or choosing your own meal. These are things that are subconsciously filling your cup everyday, which you don’t notice until they are gone. 

My experience in the Simpson Desert reminded me of how blessed I truly am. It has helped me to live in the now and not wish my life away. I am so grateful for everything I have in life and am motivated to continue helping those who live each day without the choice and control that I am so fortunate to have.”

If you think you could conquer the desert to support young people with high care needs, put your name in for 2023! Please email Events for more information on this life-changing opportunity: [email protected]  

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