If you've been following my Insta stories, you know I went to Burning Man (BM) last week. Words can't really describe my experience but as a blogger, I feel I should at least try. So here goes nothing...
This was my first burn and as a BM virgin, I wasn't sure what to expect but if I'm being honest I semi-expected to dislike it. I'm not a fan of heat, dust, desert weather, and large groups of people. But being in the RV business on the west coast, you are definitely going to be sold out during BM week and we wanted to know what BM was like to better prepare our Airstreams and customers for the experience (plus my husband has been dying to go to BM for awhile now). So we got vendor tickets and were super lucky to make friends at RV-rental school (yep it's a thing), and so we had a camp to join. From the very first this camp was some of the kindest and generous group of people we've ever met. Little did we know that BM attracts like-minded generosity in general.
And if I had to distill my first experience of BM into one word it would be generosity. There is a spirit of generosity there that I haven't yet found anywhere else. Of course you could say it's because money has no value out on the Playa (that's the land that BM is on-- a dried lake bed). Plus BM is all about the gifting economy: if you're an artist you gift your art; or camps gift food and drinks (yep all alcoholic beverages are free); or some camps bring fun games and such. But that's just the beginning. There's a generosity of spirit, a tolerance for everything, and a celebration of all the quirks found in humanity. There's no judgement (or at least no judgements expressed). Everyone there was being as open-minded as they could be. It's a safe place to express whatever you want, whenever you want.
And this generosity ties into the BM principle of radical inclusion (there's 10 principles of BM). Everyone is welcomed at BM, even an introverted city-girl like myself. BM is really what you make of it, and so for me I needed a day to stay indoors and practice my own creative craft (writing). And I appreciate BM more for it. I didn't have to be a partyer (though if you are, BM has some of the best variety of parties I've ever seen) to have a great experience. I just had to be myself (in my Airstream). There's some Burners (that's people who live the BM way) who think going in an Airstream, hooked up to a generator, and staying indoors with air-condition as not a true BM experience. But this is just who I am and what I need. And then if I can go out to the Playa a happier and more giving person myself, then I think it's exactly what BM is about.
Now I'm a huge fan of BM and can't wait to go back. I'm already planning out how I'm going to deck out my trike (yep I'm going to get a tricycle for next year since I've only learned how to ride a bike a year ago and can't really bike for the life of me) and I l already have a wishlist on Amazon for costumes. And I'm already thinking of all the ways I can gift on the Playa next year (I'm playing with the idea of something to pass out on my trike). So if you ever have a chance to go to Burning Man, take it! I promise at the very least you won't regret it.