Deep in thoughts

Lost in thoughts, I’m sitting on the beach. Occasionally a few people walk along the water and look at the seals and many different birds that have gathered around me. But how did I actually get here and what am I actually doing here?

I am currently in the middle of the solo. The solo is a period of time granted by the project in which we have time for ourselves to think, to remember and reflect, but also to consider personal goals and make plans for the future. You are completely on your one, seeing nobody else from the group, and you do not have any objects that could distract you. This also means that you have only a certain amount of food, but it is always sufficient. The solo is always started with a text which should make us think and which initiates the silence that lasts the entire time.

And like this, the third solo starts in Helgoland. Together we take the ferry to the dune, where we come together to listen to Paula read a story about a silent monk who teaches a hiker that you only get to know yourself when you come to rest and reflect on yourself. Then the silence begins and we are divided into two groups to spread out on the beach. However, finding a calm place away from other people while at the same time respecting the boundaries of the natural reserve turns out to be harder than we thought. Having found the perfect spot, I spread out my jacket as a base and lay down. First, I look at my surroundings – hidden behind a small dune I can just make out the water, on one side there is Johannes at some distance, in the other direction Gustav. Already after a short time I fall into a kind of trance, but in my mind I am quite somewhere else, and that is how I imagine my life as a …

Slowly, the sun sets and our teacher Paul comes to awaken me from my thoughts. We walk back to our base camp, the place where some crew members stayed to be there for us just in case something happened. There, the silence of the solo ends with the song “One day”. In total, ten hours have passed since our arrival at the dune.

But we’ve also had other solos. The first time we were able to enjoy this experience was in Grenada during our expeditions in small groups on the 24th of December. Back then, we chose a waterfall as our location and, as the solo was new for us, it took only 30 minutes. The second solo took place in the valley of Viñales in Cuba. There, we spread out throughout the hotel grounds and found ourselves a cozy place with a nice view over the fantastic green valley for the next two hours. Before the journey began, we had written letters to ourselves with our expectations and goals, which we could rewrite and continue during that solo time in Cuba. After the journey, we will get those letters back as a reminder of our thoughts.

Looking back, for me the solos were the perfect opportunity to think about myself. It is an incredible experience to get to know yourself properly and to think about what you want to achieve in your life. That is why I can recommend having a solo yourself to everyone. You don’t even need a lot of preparation, it is also enough to just find a quiet spot where you can be alone and think about your life, your goals, your dreams.