A week in the Mongolian wilderness. A week to find clarity or reaffirm your purpose in life. This is no survival challenge. This is an entirely bespoke and intricately choreographed journey of personal renewal like no other. Travelling alone, but joined at decisive moments by a leading psychologist, you’ll cross forest, dunes, mountains and steppe in search of the ultimate mystery. You.
Picture the scene. You’re three hours into a helicopter flight from the capital Ulaanbaatar, peering out upon the remote and seemingly endless grasslands and mountain ranges of western Mongolia. Scarcely any sign of human habitation bar an infrequent nomad camp.
Sitting next to you is your companion – someone who over the past weeks and months has spent time getting to know you. What makes you tick. Your hopes and fears. Your safe places and the boundaries that can be pushed. Someone in whom you have complete trust. A leading psychologist, but by now also a friendly face.
Suddenly your pilot banks and begins to descend. You look to your companion for a clue, but all you receive is a knowing smile. Two minutes later you are on terra firma. You and your companion jump out. The blades are whirring. Your companion gives you a package. A cheerful thumbs-up, and then your companion is back in the helicopter and you watch as it disappears into the distance.
You open your package. Inside are a few essentials: a satellite phone, a map, basic provisions and some instructions. Enough to get you safely to your first overnight stop. It dawns on you that there’s a significant gulf between what you have been anticipating and the sheer reality of being alone in the silent immensity of the Mongolian landscape. Your mind is racing. But you remember why you are here. And so you strike out.
Over the course of the next week, you will embark on an adventure that will move your world. On one level, it’s about navigating through your environment. Inhabiting landscapes that once heard the thundering hooves of Genghis Khan’s army. The whispers of merchants carrying silk and spice.
On a deeper level, though, your adventure is so much more. Take an issue into the wilderness, and a strange kind of alchemy happens. Anxieties drop away. Things become clearer.
At key points during your journey, you will be joined by your therapist. For campfire chats. To help you reflect, process and understand. To maximise the beneficial effects of your wilderness experience.
We only start planning after extensive consultation with you and your therapist. No two journeys are the same, and yours has been designed meticulously and exclusively with your deeply personal requirements in mind. Down to the exact terrain, to how you move through the landscape and whether you’ll be sleeping rough in a cave or lined in felt.
Such a journey is not a light-hearted undertaking. It requires trust. Trust in us. Trust in your psychologist. Above all, trust in yourself. That you have the strength and courage to make it through. Especially at night when the wolves are calling.
There’s a number of reasons you might be here. Maybe you are searching for the most authentic way to express your identity or looking for better balance in your life. It might be you need the space to come to a big decision. Perhaps you’d like to address issues of self-esteem. Or you are in recovery from an illness, trauma or addiction.
Working through deep emotional issues in a therapist’s room for one hour a week is demanding enough. Particularly as life has a habit of getting in the way for the other 167 hours.
As magnificent and humbling as the wilds of Mongolia are, they also provide a wonderful therapeutic space for you to do accelerated work on whatever brought you here. As the great wilderness explorer John Muir once wrote, ‘Going out, I found, was really going in’.