Close your eyes,


you are sitting on a meadow, you feel the soft moss under you, the warm sunrays on your skin and the wind in your face. You smell the forest, the grass, some herbs. You hear the birds singing their songs, the pines in the wind that sound like the waves, and nothing more. Near silence. A few trees stand around you. Between two of them your hammock is hanging. Right behind that the forest starts. You see flowers and other plants. You know some of them, others you have never seen before in your life. The sky shines blue. White fluffy clouds are drifting over it. You don’t have a clue how late it is. Maybe 11, half past 12… you don’t know. You’re enjoying. You enjoy being yourself, enjoy letting your thoughts roam free, enjoy being alone.


Differently alone

Longer alone

The longest you’ve ever been



For 20 hours without any contact to other people or the outside world. In nature. Nothing that can divert your attention from yourself or your thoughts. No mobile phone, no books, no letters, no pictures, no diary, no watch. That means timeless, unforced, somewhat free. Free to focus on yourself and your thoughts and collect them on an empty sheet of paper. To have time.

This is the “Solo” during KUS.

A backpack filled with a few things to eat, some water to drink, warm clothes, a flashlight, a hammock, a sleeping back, a (foam) mat, those white paper sheets, pencils, and an envelope. Because everything that we’ve written down will be send to us 6 months after our arrival in Kiel. What carries us through these lonely hours was a good spirit and a little bit of bravery, as this experience isn’t always the easiest. Being alone can be scary and challenging.

Toni and Amelie S. were in an extra special situation: they turned 16 on the second day and as you can imagine it is very special waking up and being not only without your home family, but also being without anyone else. Without the members of the KUS-family, without your friends, without someone to congratulate you or sing you a birthday song. A completely new situation that also has some cool features like sleeping long or a chocolate egg that Lukas put near both of them during one of his safety rounds as a little birthday surprise. Iris and Lukas (teachers) were always nearby in the basecamp. You could come there if you needed people around you or somebody to talk to. Luckily nobody needed to use this safety net.

When we came back together there was a very exceptional but beautiful silence. Everyone was grounded, was happy, was thoughtful. I think we seemed a bit like new humans. A bit better humans in some way. So, to be alone, can change your mindset, your feelings and yourself in a positive way. And being alone isn’t being alone, alone isn’t lonely.  Being alone (in that way) is incredible and unique.