Things I learned at Burning Man (and beyond)…
Lesson #1: Meeting new friends as an adult can be difficult. Burning Man makes it easier.
I only knew a few of my 20+ campmates going into the event but challenging physical conditions — like heat (oh lordy, the heat) — and that special blend of playa magic brought a bunch of us together in friendship. I have new pals, cool!
Lesson #2: It’s not about me, but it can still hurt like hell.
I’ve read the Four Agreements… several times. I totally grok it. But, that didn’t stop me from feeling sad and hurt when a campmate directed their anger toward me. Not to worry, I am fine. I am simply reminded that I am human and not above crying in front of near-strangers.
Lesson #3: You can fly over Black Rock City for free!
A pilot named Purple Haze flew me over Black Rock City in a tiny 1959 four-seater Cessna and I lived to tell the tale (which I will soon). Scenic flights are gifts from Burner pilots to us. The wait is worth it.
Lesson #4: Reno hotels are 100% booked starting on the Thursday before the burn.
Want to leave the desert early and shower off a week’s worth of playa dust in a swank hotel room in Reno? Better book ahead of time. I didn’t. It worked out fine for me because my traveling companion has family in the Reno area. I feel lucky.
Lesson #5: Live in the moment and get out in front of people in real life.
It’s harder to remember this as we all spend so much time on electronic devices. You’re not as enlightened as you think you are using a computer to buffer your human interactions, or at least, I’m not.
Lesson #6: A day trip to the South Yuba River will soothe your soul, especially after roughing it in dusty, over 100 degree weather for over a week.
I cannot emphasis how flipping magical this place is! Thanks to Piph for sharing her special swimming hole with me.
Lesson #7: Re-entry is hard, even when you don’t think it will be. Burning Man isn’t a vacation. it will kick you in the ass, both on playa and off.
I had a budding relationship going into the event and now, a week later, I am single again. It’s probably for the best, but still.
(Chris, if you’re reading this, I hope you find peace. I will miss what we had a lot.)
Lesson #8: Ok, I’ll stop here. I can only process so many lessons at once.
Have a great week, everyone!