Aaand I'm back! Sorry if I haven't been replying to your comments and emails in the past week, but I had zero reception out on the Playa at Burning Man (BM). So talk about going internet-free cold turkey. It was quite a shock to the system on the first day (I mean what do I do with myself if I can't stare at a screen). And now that we're back, I'm having to adjust back to a life consuming digital media (and in fact, I find myself feeling listless if I stare at a screen more than 20 minutes at a time now--like I'm overwhelmed by the noise). But I'm sure I'll adjust back to the 'default world' soon enough (that's what Burners call the real world outside of BM).
Anyway I'm still a noob to the BM world since this is only my second Burn but I always find my experience rewarding. Last year was my first and even though I'm not at all the counter-culture type and an introvert, I found myself feeling at home on the Playa (read my post about it here). I really felt BM's principle of radical inclusion. Everyone belongs there in one way or another. I would say this year I gained an understanding of BM's principle of radical self-reliance (read all BM principles here). Last year we were part of a camp but this year we decided to try it on our own. So we camped out on the fringe of the community and in fact our bed faced the open desert backed by mountains. It was so beautiful but also a bit of a harsher climate condition (all the dust blows directly to the outer camps first and so we face the brunt of the wind storms). But I loved it. Talk about feeling like you're the only ones left alive at the end of the world.
Another thing I loved this year that I noticed more than last year is the whole decommodification thing. Everything is given freely as a gift and there's no money exchanged on the Playa. But more than that, they staunchly oppose any kind of marketing, commercial sponsorships, and transactions. It's like a detox from capitalism and it feels amazing. And to be honest it's also another shock to the system since leading up to BM this year I've been offered free items for sponsored posts and I was obsessed with Instagram and how to 'market' it in such a way to gain more followers (which I talked about here). My blogger mind was even thinking, 'wow it'd be cool to take some pics of the Everlane and other items I brought to the Playa for a blog post,' but that's a big no-no at BM (as it should be). I never even realized that commodification had infiltrated my life until I was told to stop. And now coming back to all my stuff (and my back log of reviews) I feel a touch reluctant to go back to the old routine. But at the same time I love to write and I love to write useful reviews about stuff (so don't worry the reviews will keep on coming).
Anyway here are just a couple of my favorite photos and I'll be posting some videos and photos (including what I wore--I really relished using my creativity to dress in costume this year) on insta-story (follow here) later today so catch that if you can. In the meantime I'm going to continue to ruminate a bit on my experiences at BM and will be back with regular reviews when I get a chance!