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The stars are for everyone

Updated: Jan 17, 2023

This is Sylvia's account of how a Wild24 with 7 other brave women in Dartmoor exceeded her wildest expectations.

"How does a 33 year old woman who has never camped in her entire life, not even in a campsite, end up in one of England’s most remote and unspoiled corners, Dartmoor, for a Wild24 - 24 hours of living and breathing in nature, reconnecting with the earth and sleeping under the stars?"

The answer is easy: through The Living Project, randomly, but so appropriately, popping up on her Instagram feed and a rushed, impulsive decision to book a retreat.

How glad I am that my gut feelings just made me go ahead with it, before actually calculating how excruciatingly long the train journey would be from Brighton, or as usual, my insufferable side might have kicked in and I would have missed out on one of the greatest 24 hours of my life to date.

When I embarked on this Wild24, I thought it would be an adventure, obviously, but chiseled in time, with a beginning and a clear, defined ending; little did I know that it would be part of a flow-like journey that embraces me and keeps evolving day after day, and me with her.

Of course I was slightly terrified of it all, mainly of not getting along with the group, but Emily's - one of our wonderful facilitators, together with Bex - warm smile at Exeter Station dissipated my worries instantly: and so it began!

These 24 hours inspired me to the point I could probably write a whole essay about it, so I will try to focus on a few chiseled moments and thoughts about the whole experience.

Firstly, it was extremely special to share this space with other women. It felt sacred, needed, important for us as women to reclaim our space in the wild, our femininity and share this strong female magic and interconnection together.

"I have learn't so much, in such a short space of time, from each and every one of the wonderful souls who shared this adventure with me. There was no awkwardness, no pretending, we just seemed to flow seamlessly into a very profound connection."

It was beautiful to witness us travelling as a whole, a brand new loving collective, and as individuals in our own journeys at the same time: the two paths as intertwined as ever.

As this year I embarked as never before on a journey of reconnection with my body and with nature, finding so much joy and love in yoga and foraging, it was really special for me to be able to share a little bit of my knowledge and invite my adventure-mates to try nettle seeds, Nature's greatest tonic! The act of sharing my passion and the warm, almost with childlike excitement, way it was received will stay forever in my heart.

How does one sleep in the wild, you might ask? In a bivvy bag! A wonderful little accessory that allows you to feel in contact with Gaia while not getting soggy.

After a wonderful trek and dinner, sharing stories and reflections as well as a few marshmallows, we set up for the night, sleeping on moss, held by the forest that together with Emily and Bex made us feel so safe.

I woke up in the middle of the night as I desperately needed a toilet break but I was also slightly weary of getting up in the darkness. I am SO glad I did, as when I was walking back to my sleeping bag, I saw several shooting stars, proving to me I was exactly where I needed to be, exactly when I needed to be.

Lastly, you can leave the forest, but the forest does not leave you. There is just something so wholesome about an experience like this that you will find yourself frequently going back to it, and once you'll be back home, you'll already be craving for the next journey with the Living Project. And, hopefully, I might meet you on one of them...

Huge thanks to our glorious guest blogger - Sylvia, also known as "foraged illustrations" - who you can find out more about and follow here:

Find out more about all our women's Wild24 and our women's wild weekend adventures here:

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