Adventures have the power to do a lot more than fill your instagram feed with snaps your friends drool over for a second of mild enjoyment (before scrolling through to a picture of a labrador in a waistcoat).
In actual fact, they go a hell of a lot deeper than that. Adventures possess a wild energy which can change, shape and mold an individual emotionally, and even physically in this instance.
We’d like you to meet Danny Della Vedova, whose recent escape has forever changed his outlook and approach to life.
What made you wake up one day and decide to do an Inspired Adventure?
I’ve always loved volunteering and using my spare time to do good. It leaves me feeling great knowing that I can use my time to improve someone else’s situation. Having always loved challenging myself, I decided one day that I needed to step it up and do something big; and the UNICEF Kilimanjaro Climb for Kids was the perfect opportunity to do just that. I was young, a full time student at university, and admittedly a little crazy, so I decided to sign up to an Inspired Adventure to raise as much money as I could for UNICEF Australia, whilst training to climb the world’s tallest freestanding mountain.
Where did you go and what were some of the highlights?
I went to Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to climb to the summit, and honestly there were so many highlights it’s hard to choose! From having planes pass you at night, waking up and looking outside my tent to see the clouds and African savannah below, to the euphoria I experienced when the team finally made it together to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro! After a challenging year of training and fundraising to support the incredible work UNICEF does in eastern Africa, this was an amazing feat.
You’ve shown that adventures like this have the ability to change the direction of someone’s life. Tell us what happened for you.
My life literally changed when I was on the summit of Kilimanjaro at Uhuru peak. I had never felt more proud of myself. It was a real pivotal moment where I was overcome with a sense of achievement and felt that if you are passionate enough and persistent enough, you really can achieve anything. It definitely altered the rest of my life and how I went about making important decisions from then on. I then knew that the most rewarding experiences are some of the most challenging, and after graduating from university, instead of taking a ‘safer’ or more ‘traditional’ pathway, I went on to take a remote placement internship in the southeast of Madagascar, which I would not have done otherwise. After being so profoundly impacted by my participation in the adventure and having completed my internship, I decided I wanted to join the Inspired Adventures team as a staff member so I could help others have an experience like my own.
What is it about a big trip that challenges and changes lives?
I think it’s the personal growth. For me, I learnt so much about myself and what my boundaries are. I also learnt how determined I can be when it comes to working towards something I am passionate about. I was really proud of my efforts and knowing how much work I did to be able to summit Kilimanjaro. Also, knowing that each dollar I raised was going to be supporting women and children in eastern Africa really kept me going everyday. The desire to constantly improve myself through training to climb Kilimanjaro meant that on both an emotional and physical level, I was engaged throughout the whole experience.
Tell us about your role at Inspired?
I have now been a Fundraising Coordinator at Inspired Adventures for over two months and I absolutely love it. Each day I get to help people to realise their passions, challenge themselves, teach them to be persistent and help them grow into the best possible person they can be. I find that I am so touched by peoples’ personal stories and it is so inspiring to hear the backgrounds people come from and the obstacles they overcome to partake in our charity challenges. It is really heart-warming to see someone who is hesitant at first, really start to believe in themselves. As they begin to fundraise for an amazing cause and achieve their training goals, that’s when they really start to shine and grow, and it’s just the best being able to be a part of that.
What would be your dream adventure?
My dream adventure would be to trek to Everest Base Camp. Having completed Kilimanjaro, it’s the natural next step and I would love to get back onto a mountain. Having grown up in the flattest state in Australia (WA), mountains are just fundamentally different to my typical surroundings, and there is no better feeling than standing on top of the world, looking down on where you’ve come from, and knowing what you’ve achieved.
And your perfect microadventure?
Having grown up on a farm in the southwest of Western Australia, near the small coastal town of Esperance, I have always loved hiking and getting out in nature, even if it’s just a day. Now that I’m in Sydney, a trip to the Blue Mountains for the weekend never goes astray. I find it incredible that in just an hour and a half train ride, I can be in what feels like Jurassic Park. The wide open skies, huge trees, cliffs, and waterfalls, as well as an abundance of well-marked and maintained trails, means I never get bored as there is always somewhere new to explore!
If you’re looking for a life-changing adventure while raising money for a charity you’re passionate about, visit the Inspired Adventure’s calendar for all their upcoming challenges.