One component that is central to all Wild Journeys is Solo. Solo is time spent alone in a wild place. It’s not about survival or endurance – it’s much more a time for reflection and contemplation. Solo can last anything from a few hours to several days.
We’ve been running Wild Journeys for several years now. In that time the feedback regarding the Solo aspect of our courses has been consistently very positive. People relish the prospect of time alone with absolutely no agenda and defined parameters. Time away from all of the increasingly distracting aspects of everyday modern life – time simply put aside to be still in nature.
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.
John Muir (1838 – 1914)
With that in mind we’ve decided to offer Solo as a stand alone experience.
Having recently moved to a 16 acre croft on The Isle of Mull we have access to plenty of spectacular solo spots – on day one we’ll spend time making sure that you have a spot that suits your needs.
You’ll have adequate but simple shelter to make sure that you are warm enough and can get shelter when needed – we supply you with a small tent as well as a tarp. And you’ll have basic food to ensure you get enough calories – enough to keep your body fuelled but not act as a distraction. It’s not a ‘fast’ but the food is simple and minimal. There’s no tea or coffee and there’s no alcohol.
I felt like I was listening to my own voice for the first time in a long time… Wild Journeys brought me into a clearer thinking space and has allowed me to gain some perspective.
Lucy – June 2014
Aside from that – basic food and shelter – we will ask that you take very little else with you. No watch, no phone, no books, no camera. Nothing at all that could act as a distraction from simply being alone in a wild place. The exception is a journal and a pen or pencil to write with.
We will keep the experience safe for you – you’ll have a VHF radio and a phone which can be used in emergencies. And we will visit your site on a daily basis to ensure that you are OK. (We agree a system for this to ensure that your experience has minimal interruption.) Sites vary in terms of their remoteness but we’ll always make sure you know how to get back if you need to.
The experience was expertly and generously facilitated – I felt welcome and safe at every stage. Though short, these few days away left me feeling inspired and motivated – easily one of the very best opportunities I have had for personal reflection.
Matt – January 2017
If you have a specific area of contemplation that you’d like to focus on during your Solo then we can offer additional services to help you work through that area. Your experience can include daily time with either a fully qualified councillor or a fully qualified psychotherapist.
At the end of solo we’ll spend some time reflecting on the experience – together we’ll ensure that you get the most out of your experience and that anything of value can be transferred back to your everyday life.
If you decide that you’d like to have some Solo Space then we will work together to arrange a time that suits. We will also discuss the length of your Solo – we can facilitate Solo Space ranging from 12 hours right through to 30 days.
Pricing for Solo Space varies depending on how long you’d like your experience to last. We have a basic charge for setting up your Solo Space which is £200 – this includes orientation and the first 12 – 24 hours. We then charge £75 per 24 hours for the first 72 hours. Beyond 72 hours the charge drops to £50 per 24 hours. So, for example, a 24 hour Solo Space would cost £200. A 72 hour Solo Space would cost £350. A 168 hour (one week) Solo Space would cost £550.
Why pay for a facilitated Solo Space?
Some people will have the resources and facilities to manage their own Solo experience. For some it will be more beneficial to pay for a facilitated experience.
- A Wild Journeys facilitated Solo means that the experience will be framed by someone who has many years of experience in this area. Neil has instructed for Outward Bound in New Zealand, Australia and Canada. His last role with Outward Bound was as Quality Risk Manager for Outward Bound Australia. The Outward Bound Trust is one of the worlds best recognised providers of outdoor journeys and solo experiences.
- Our Solo experiences include having us at the end of a phone / VHF radio at all times. We are just a short walk from you at all times and will check in on your at pre arranged intervals during your Solo.
- We’ll ‘frame’ your Solo. On a wider scale we’ll be in touch long before you experience and will also check in a few months after your solo. When you come to Mull we’ll spend a few hours setting things up with you prior to you commencing your solo. On the last day we’ll come and collect you from your site and bring you back to base. We’ll share a feast brunch and spend some time ‘de-briefing’ before finishing up in time for a return journey to the mainland.
- Our Solo Space takes place on and around our 16 acres of wild croft land on the Isle of Mull. (There will be no livestock on the croft during your Solo.) The land has a small hill which provides 360 degree views of Ben More, The Burg Wilderness, Staffa, Coll and Tiree.
- We have the right gear to keep you warm and safe. We provide you with a quality tent, a tarp, and a therma rest. We’ll make sure that your sleeping arrangement is snug and cosy – you’ll need to bring your own sleeping bag but we will provide additional duvets and pillows.
- We can provide additional services including daily therapy or counselling sessions.
- We’ll set parameters – sometimes it helps to have someone there to encourage you to do what you want to do.
Can more than one person do Solo at a time?
Yes – we have enough space to run Solo for more than one person at a time. If there is more than one of you then just let us know – every additional person is charged at 30% reduction.
If you are interested in setting up a Solo Space facilitated by Wild Journeys then please just get in touch. We start by just having a no obligation conversation. If Solo Space sounds like something that will work for you then we’ll work out when would work for you to come to Mull.