Last year, right after coming back from my four week trip up the west coast of the USA, I arrived back in Germany with a great urge to get on the road again. Meet people traveling. And learn new things. At the time I found the OfflineAdventures.net and their first event which was happening in the Austrian Alps with 24 people, hiking the area, enjoying the sauna, Yoga and some via ferrates. I took a chance. Booked the weekend and set out for my first Offline Weekend. At the time, I didn’t know any of the people attending or organizing. That was about to change.
Now I attended the third installment of this event. And this time it wasn’t just about experiencing nature and going offline. Instead, we added a workshop weekend on top of it. Knowledge about TCM and food based on those teachings. I’d like to give you some thoughts:
Going Offline for a Weekend
First of all, I mentioned it a couple times already on the blog: sometimes notifications are too much. Our phones rule over us. Always online. Always connected. That’s not healthy. It’s taking such a big part of life.
At the same time, it is super hard for me to step away from online media. The fear that I'd be missing something. An opportunity maybe. But events like the offline weekend, make it easy. There is always something happening around. If you want to talk to someone, you only have to turn around and open your mouth. You don’t need your phone for communication. People are right there.
The other significant aspect is that you can’t research something. Sometimes you have to let two arguments be as they are. Both are correct (or wrong) for the time being. You can’t prove anything. You can’t get the solution from the web. This is very interesting as I am so used to the internet. Learning with it. Getting information out of it. And all that fades away for that brief moment.
The hardest aspect though is when you have things to plan after the weekend. For me, this meant that I actually broke “offline time” twice. I was organizing my accommodation in Las Palmas, Gran Canary. I will stay there between September 20th and the 25th. But checking into that chat twice per day didn't take away from the experience mush. It’s something I controlled. I didn’t check emails. Didn’t visit Instagram. I was able to monitor all these urges. And that shows some progress already. I am the master of my attention. And being able to hold onto that is one key thing in today's media world.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Workshop and Food
As mentioned in the beginning, this time the event also had a workshop part. The focus was on food, healthy living, and TCM in general. Tina Reimer joined us and shared her knowledge with us. She organized the meal plan, gave keynotes about TCM, and was available for personal coaching session as well.
This part of the weekend gave us something to learn, discuss, and experience. The food especially was something that definitely was different from what most of us are used to. And as far as I understood from conversations, most felt very good after the weekend. But it’s also something that not all are going to fully incorporate in their daily routine. But knowing more about food and healthy living definitely helps to make smart choices.
Connecting Over a Long Weekend
The time in the hut spanned from Friday afternoon to Monday evening, and most stayed for the whole time. This is one aspect that I love about these type of events (the NomadCruise has the same characteristic). These events give spaces where humans come together. Experience something. And don’t meet for only one evening. You may pick up interrupted conversations. You can reconnect with someone you had a great conversation with. People don’t just vanish.
I enjoy going deep. Get to know people better. Don’t play the “where from, how old, what do you do” game. Having the time to get those out of the way but then dive deeper? Yes, please. This way you can share so much more. Learn more. And have motivation rub off on each other.
Another fun aspect? Time of day. Conversations in the evening tend to be very different from the morning. You learned something together (in our case about TCM). Now you can share your thoughts and discuss it further.
Hittisau and Leos Projects
The first two times, this event took place in a hut at 2300m in the Austrian Alps at the glacier world Weißsee. The scenery is breathtaking, and the lake is fantastic to go for an icy swim, but the hut itself wasn’t that great.
This time to the contrary: the cabin looks and feels great. It's well separated from the village and close to nature. A lot of green around and definitely opportunities to go hiking and get close to nature. Leo has done a great job to incorporate his permaculture approach. And he also shows it to his guests and speaks with passion about the topic. Giving us an opportunity to learn some more there as well.
The kitchen gave us a lot of room to work on all the healthy meals. At the same time, we had a beautiful place for the workshops and yoga sessions. One of the best parts: the BBQ right out the front. A super cool spot to sit together and enjoy the morning or evening sun. Surroundings like these definitely help to reconnect and enjoy the time offline even more.
I am fortunate that I was able to be part of the OfflineAdventure again. Connect with friends I met a year ago. Connect with new humans who I will definitely meet again somewhere on this planet. And I am looking forward to some more offline time in a week on the NomadCruise.
What are your experiences with offline times? Or adventure weekends? Would you like to join something like this next time?