Cost/day: Ticket cost is $380, but once at Burning Man, the only things you can buy are coffee and ice, so about $5/day.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen lately?
Oh, how can I possibly choose? There was the girl who was carrying an alien, the Pulpo Mechanico octopus art car that towered above me and shot flames, but maybe the best thing was that I found Waldo!!
Describe a typical day:
Well, let’s just say, I didn’t get much sleep. I was always afraid of missing something. Black Rock City is a city that invites your inner child to come out and play. After watching the stunning sunrises from the Temple, I usually went to the steam bath for some lovely self-care. Then I would ride around the desert looking at the art. I once found an Oasis way out in the desert where there were couches set up and a guy was serving frozen coffee. I met lots of interesting people out there. I also found a white building and went inside. There was white fur on the ground that everyone was lying on and white streamers hanging down that tickled your body when the wind blew. Everyone napped or looked up at the sky and beautiful music was playing. It was the best thing ever. I did so much dancing. Twenty-four hours a day at Black Rock City, there is dancing. I also misted people with icy water with peppermint oil in it and people would act like I was saving their lives. Trying to figure out what you could do to give others the best possible experience was what everyone was trying to do, and it leads to such a beautiful, loving community.
Describe an interesting conversation you had with a local:
I went to a talk on Fear Walking. It was about doing things in life even though you fear them. We got to break into groups and talk about what we wanted to do even though we feared it. The girl I was talking to really wanted to quit her job and travel. I am in the middle of doing that. We discovered we had the same fears, but that the fear was a lot less than our regret would be if we never attempted to live our dreams.
What do you like about where you are? Dislike?
I love how loving Black Rock City is. We all build it, and there is such respect. This is the only event in the world with this many people where you won’t see litter on the ground. There is also no judgment at Burning Man. People who come here are here to show acceptance and love. Everyone is always hugging you and smiling at you and you go really deep in your conversations with other people. Their acceptance brings out vulnerability and openness and trust. In the default world, people are so quick to judge others, and I think that’s what causes most of the worlds problems. People don’t feel free to express themselves and they close off. They don’t share their pain. What we have is fear which I think is the opposite of love. I also love the non-commercialism of Burning Man. Nothing is for sale (except for coffee and ice). Life becomes more about each moment and what we can do to give someone else a magical experience. The thing I dislike? Well, there was a nine-mile line to get in. That was a bit hard to deal with. But, it was so worth it.
Describe a challenge you faced:
Leaving! Leaving is always hard. I am trying to remind myself to be just as vulnerable outside of Black Rock City as I am in Black Rock City. To go up and hug someone I don’t know. To bring a little of that City to the outside world. To be close to others even though they might judge me. To realize that the person judging me is missing out on the moments that could be living inside their own life and that their judgement is really about them. To be as fearless outside of that City as I am inside that City.
What new lesson did you learn?
How fast life goes. It’s all temporary. Each moment is something we have the choice to create. The next second it will be gone and we can’t hold onto it. To be more spontaneous, more joyful, more loving. To tell people not just the good things about you, but to also share your fears and pain. We all feel the same things, and you just never know who you may be helping by sharing everything about yourself. Most of all, I learned how beautiful this world is and the people in it.
I am saying goodbye to Portland, OR where I’ve been living and saying goodbye to my corporate job. I am saying hello to a life of travel and writing. San Miguel de Allende is where I will be in less than two weeks. Goodbye Comfort. Hello Adventure. (I got this)!