Not many words are needed to describe our journey in Egypt. A collection of pictures, voices of participants and just a few words to let you feel into this journey.
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"Journey to yourself... and the journey to finding a really great retreat.
I had already done several Google searches and I was still not sure what I was looking for. Four weeks of holiday were coming up - and I had no idea what to do with it. Actually, I would have flown to Colombia together with my wife. The tickets had already been bought, then things turned out differently. We had grown further and further apart and even though I couldn't put it that way then (and to some extent now), we separated.
Now, just before the start of these four weeks of holiday already taken, I looked at the flickering beige-yellow of the night colours of my PC screen and rummaged through the internet looking for what to do with myself. The result was Olivia's retreat "journey to yourself". The first magnet for me was the desert. The idea of being able to experience the tranquillity of the Egyptian desert under the stars in my situation and to feel connected to a group of people who have also come here to look consciously at themselves and at life, just felt right.
Again, a few days later, I wrestled myself into calling Olivia and getting a sense of whether I would really enjoy the retreat or whether it was my longing for something past that was driving me here. However, all doubts were actually gone after the first few words on the phone. Olivia's energy and nature - even more than the actual content, of which I didn't even realise at first that mediation in the "classical" sense, as I had actually entered it in my internet search, was not the main focus here - made it clear to me straight away that I had found something that would do me good. At the same time, I didn't know what I was getting into specifically and that it was the right thing to do. That alone gave me back some self-confidence.
That's exactly what emerged in the retreat. For me it was one of the most authentic and intensive weeks in recent years. From the "sharing" round on the first evening (the first of many), to the shared responsibility to cook for nine people on a campfire in the desert, joint dance sessions and various activities to get in touch with ourselves, our lives and the people and nature around us, I found myself alternating between being overwhelmed and insecure with courage, motivation and relief that it wasn't as hard as I thought. In addition, the reassurance of being able to be who I am in the group and that this is OK and even beautiful for the others. I realise that this is an unfamiliar feeling for me. And a really good one.
The openness, honesty and closeness that developed in the group on the very first day still give me a feeling of connection, affirmation and balance that I have rarely felt so intensely before. Each and every individual in the group has grown so close to my heart during this week, as if we had known each other for years. It is no coincidence that this depth was achieved in such a short time. Olivia's wonderfully balancing and bringing together energy and her mindful and always positive manner touched and opened me - and I think everyone in the group. In addition, she amazed us with all kinds of tips and tricks for essential outdoor living. Keyword: How do you wash dishes in the desert? Sure, with sand! Another lesson learned. Since she is also a real organisational talent and doesn't let herself get rattled by anything, she makes it really easy to feel safe and in good hands.
Getting involved in this journey was one of the best decisions I have made in recent years and one of the most vivid memories."
"Being part of Olivia`s retreat group Journey to Yourself brought an amazing challenge for me. It was indeed an unforgettable experience that will always stay on the basis of my personal development and on my life choices from now on. The whole Journey cannot be described in enough words. Olivia was bringing together very wisely all the necessary elements - the desert, the fire, the sea, the sky, the music, and guiding us in creating a space in which we could reconsider ourselves, be open, share, meet ourselves, and reflect on our life, our past, present, and future. Thank you, Olivia!"
"I really enjoyed being able to connect with the different elements of sun, sea, sand, wind, mountain and desert. This retreat helped me to come into balance - mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and also to release some deep emotions which found their right moment to come out at the retreat. Olivia was such a heart-felt, kind, wise and adaptable guide to the group, which I think really helped to build such a strong and nourishing group dynamic, allowing us the safety to fully express ourselves. I returned to the city feeling cleansed, grounded, centred and full of gratitude and peace. Thank you so much again Olivia!"
a group of 9 people.
everyone with their own story.
coming together in Egypt.
a day of arriving and feeling into why I am here.
do I know? do I have a hunch? am I ready for something else to show than what I thought of?
3 days & 2 nights in the desert.
cooking together on the fire, sleeping under the stars, bonding with the landscape, dancing, connecting with nature and the others, just being.
getting out of comfort zones.
living through vivid group processes.
testing the edges.
reaching deep within.
then transitioning from the desert into a private villa.
from raw nature towards civilisation.
what's there. what triggers me. why?
continuing to connect and reaching deeper.
sharing. holding space for all the stories.
all the elements are present.
can I trust? am I nourished? with which do I feel comfort and with which more of a challenge? what's there? and what wants to be seen?
Be part of it
JOURNEY TO YOURSELF
a retreat in the desert & by the sea
Photographs by Alina Asmus. All images subject to copyright.