Whenever I travel back home, back to my roots, it also feels a little like travelling back in time.
I left East Germany when I was 18, and have been a visitor ever since.
When I was 9 years old, the Berlin wall came down, and before then, we lived in a locked down country, we were spoon fed propaganda, and didn’t really know what was going on “outside” (sound familiar?).
For my parents, getting out in nature was an escape from the system, the Stasi searches, the false news. Nature and Outdoors meant freedom, truth, grounding and connection.
Going home feels like revisiting the places where the foundations for WanderWomen were laid.
To see the people who taught me so much about the love of outdoors, who instilled in me a sense of freedom, calm and contentment whenever we were in nature.
You might get an idea of how the shaping of WanderWomen happened from a very early age, here are some of my favourite childhood memories in the outdoors and wild spaces, with my family: My brother, Mama & Papa –
Spending Christmas at a super basic hut in the woods, without electricity, gas or heating, getting water from the nearby well, heating the wood fire and reading by candle light. I remember hearing mice enjoying our chocolate supplies during the night.
Heading to the lake after school, lying on our family blanket, feeling the hot sun on my skin and listening to the song of the poplar tree in the breeze.
Summers at the Baltic Sea, bathing in the sea, in the nude, of course, just like in all the rivers, lakes and waterfalls we’d come across during all our adventures. Not just for fun, but mostly to actually wash ourselves.
Visiting my Grandads Farm, and having the freedom to be around all sorts of animals, and play in the hay.
And after the wall came down, once we had the opportunity to travel –
Cycling along the river Danube from Germany, through Austria and into Hungary.
Hiking in the Alps with rucksacks on our backs, stopping overnight at an ‘Alm’ farm, where we slept in the hay above the animals, and I could see the stars through the beams of the stables.
Taking our kayaks on the overnight train to Poland to travel across lakes and rivers for weeks, wild camping along the way, wherever we found a good spot.
Come and join a WanderWomen experience to be in nature, remember what shaped you, taking time to reflect, celebrate and grief – all is welcome here.