What is Burning Man? Through the years, I’m sure you’ve heard a thing or two about it.
You’ve likely heard it is the biggest festival in the world (85,000 people attended last year alone) where crazy and unforgettable things happen, people dress in feathers and space-outfits and find their inner selves together. In my opinion, Burning Man is so much more than the quantity of people or the outfits, but what the festival brings to you, and what truly does come to life inside.
For the “Virgin Burners” (first time goers), it is a life-changing feeling. Each year, the burns are different and unique, and every year I have a different, mind-blowing, self-altering experience.
It’s a bit funny to describe an event like this. Each person you ask is guaranteed to sound like they are telling you about a new planet. To us, it makes perfect sense. Burning Man is other-worldly. To us, it is a planet of escape and discovery.
All of the stories are once in a lifetime. One of mine comes to mind more than others.
I got stuck with no water one day after a powerful dust storm, with a sunrise that looked like heaven exploded in the sky. The party was unforgettable, and soon, the biggest DJs in the world were playing my favorite tracks nearby. The music was loud, pumping through me like electricity through a wire. Everyone was dancing carelessly and free, and I was surrounded by an endless amount of happy, loving people. I lost my friend earlier in the storm, which is common in the desert especially through the ocean of dust. The dust was so heavy that putting your hand a foot in front of your face was instantly invisible.
As I walk away from the Playa into the streets, I was lost. I haven’t a clue of how to get back to my camp, especially without my bike, which I mistakenly left behind. Continuing fearlessly on my journey, Flavored Crushed Ice Camp appears (the BEST thing to happen to a lost and thirsty Virgin). I stood in line to get my reward.
While I’m patiently awaiting my cup, a friendly Canadian and I get to talking. Turns out, he is a Platinum Frequent Flyer for an Airline I happen to work for. What a coincidence, eh? The perfect recipe for friendship. He offers to give me a ride back to camp on their art cart with another DJ. I gladly and instantly agreed, relieved to get back, with the simple condition of stopping by the airport to pick up a guest first.
Turns out, the guest was quite the VIP. Oh, just a Prince of foreign country and the rest of his entourage. Crazy, right?! I couldn’t turn it down. We hung out for 2-3 days with my new friends.
Believe it or not, crazy things like this just happen here. You have to see it to believe it and to understand all the things I can’t put into words. I’ll remember those moments for the rest of my life.
Burners all say “the Playa will provide”. There is a magic that lies in the desert to grant you your deepest wishes, bring you hope and bring you to life. Think, and you shall find. Somehow, someone will appear to you to calm your troubles and solve your problems. Someone will shed light on your challenges and work to resolve them with you. You will receive the perfect advice, at the perfect time, with a perfect gesture or a gift.
All you need to do is to think it, and the Playa will provide.
Tell me your stories! Have you ever been to Burning Man? What was your craziest, most memorable moment? Are you returning this year? Is it on your bucket list? I hope it is.
We’ll be waiting. See you in the dust, Orit & Chris