Digital Detox and Nature Connection for Sustainable living II

ERASMUS+ Youth Exchange at Haus Sonnenwald, a German eco-community in Black Forest

What is it like to not only be offline for 10 days, but also to completely do without digital media? What does that actually include? And how does it feel to experience this with strangers in a community? In the countryside – without any alternative options in the city?

The Youth Exchange took place from 12th of April to the 23rd of April 2022 and is part of Yes to Sustainability, a network for exploring sustainability through transformative experiences in community. Young adults from three cultures – Spain, France and Germany – set out to experience this with all their senses. These are their voices:

“Intense, jam-packed 10 days that brought exciting group dynamics and experiences. The setup made it incredibly easy to do without digital media. Lots of varitey, well balanced between me-time and we-time. THANK YOU.”


Important for me was that I was allowed to take my space and at the same time the trust that you say where you think it is important that I participate. Then it was important for me that I was allowed to be there with everything that was alive in me. The talk about the werewolf game was a central step for my healing. Since then, I notice that many of the fears that were there before have simply disappeared and I have regained a great deal of trust (especially in life) and anchored it in my depths. Another exciting learning was that it may well be that my fears have a legitimate basis, but I can still be part of the group. (My fear of taking up too much space was like that from some people’s perspective. And there was clarification and healing and relief and we could both stay and not, like my old fear, I had to leave. And in fact, it encouraged people at the same time to be open and authentic and vulnerable in the group). Thank you.”


The time here in Sonnenwald felt like an intensive journey for me. I learned a lot about myself and my behaviour. I owe the life in the community, our needs, wishes and fears as well as the way of communication and the mutual noble-hearted encounters to a deep, inner development process and I am already looking forward to the time of integration. A horizon, new friends, rich experiences and a deep calmness, serenity and “self-awareness” are filling up in me. But also, a little bit of exhaustion, which needs time to process what I have experienced. With a feeling of deep gratitude to Corinna and Steffi for their incredible creative power! All love”


Deep contract in a way that I was really touched emotionally in trust, love and Friendship. Thank you.”


We connected with a group of young adults from 3 very different cultures while navigating a group process and connecting with nature and ourselves, as well as with the others, all of this being supported by the lack of digital media. I’ve learnt the importance of self-reflecting and giving the spaces the beautiful wisdom and knowledge that comes from interacting with a bunch of diverse strangers with the shared intention to grow. How enriching going through a group process is, how healing it can be if managed with care.”


We created a space where we could be, feel, reflect, create, love, understand, cry, laugh, sing, dance, smile, observe. I wrote in my diary the things I take back home in form of tools. I shared in the women`s circle, but what I think changed within me and will change my life is that I found the space in my soul, inside of me, to listen to myself. And try to understand me. And have a conversation, just like I do with other people. And reflect on how I`m talking to myself and CARE for it. This experience and you guys brought this to me. Forever grateful. It`s magnificent how much I like and enjoy the presence of everyone in this group.”


Getting closer to our essence by deconnecting from toxic patterns and reconnecting to OUR (inner) Nature is a beautiful PRESENT to humanity. THANK YOU”


I learned a lot about more sustainable agriculture, Decision-making structures of the community, how much time I have without phone, setting boundaries, respecting my owns and plants I can eat. It is a good start for changing habits of digital media use and to be more open to people. Important was the time for me and finding sense why I am here.”


“We connect as humans, simply by feeling, experiencing and letting ourselves flow with the engine of respect and love. We also connect with nature, our food and different cultures. We disconnect from convention and what is considered normal, we go out of the norm. I have learned about myself, also about others, relationships, friendship, conflict resolution, communication, about plants, animals, permaculture, edible forests…. The most important thing for me personally has been to break limits, to create new dreams, to meet new opportunities, to find my creativity, to feel really present for hours. Every day. I am more aware of the misuse of digital devices. I know what I want to learn, I eat more and I am happy with what I have and who I am. Thank you!”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *