Back On The Travel Wagon

Hey Family and Friends!

So I am sure many, if not all of you, have totally given up on me having this amazing fantastical blog, where you can come and read about my latest mind-boggling adventures. A place where I relay my stories of outrageous wrestling matches with great white sharks, surf sessions on the backs of sea turtles, and my latest discovery of the long-lost mermaid race…. I can only dream. Sorry to disappoint but, although I do some pretty cool things every once in a while (no mermaids involved…yet), I have come to terms with the fact that I SUCK at blogging. I am not upset about my blogging disability, in fact I find it rather fitting, but I thought it would be appropriate to let you all know that I am not in denial. It doesn’t surprise me that I can’t keep up with my blog, when have any of you ever known me to be able to sit still for longer than it takes me to plan out my next adventure?

Now that we have gotten that little elephant out there, and I have hopefully convinced you to set your expectations rather low, I am here to announce I am going to be blogging again…HAHA. I haven’t done anything cool in quite some time so I figured now that I am going somewhere awesome, I should share my latest adventure with all of you. This is going to be a bit different than usual, seeing as I am traveling somewhere away from water…actually the opposite of water. I am currently on my way to (DRUM ROLL PLEASE) BURNING MAN!!!!!!!!!!

I am a little excited to say the least. So those who don’t know what this is, look it up! Just kidding, I am going to tell you of course. This event is a bit hard to explain, think of an art festival and an acid-trip having a baby then BOOM Burning Man is born. The reason it is called Burning Man is because, as you probably guessed, there is a man that is burning (well technically it is a sexually ambiguous humanish structure). This “man” stands in the center of the U-shaped city, at about 80 ft tall it towers over everything. It is burned down on the second to last night as a kind of ritual, to hardcore “burners” this is the start of their new year.
The event is usually referred to as a type of community, there are about 55,000 people (not a typo) who come and live in the Black Rock Desert for a week. The only things available for purchase the entire week are coffee and ice, no vendors for anything, you must come prepared to be totally self-sustaining. The Burning Man community is built on two main principles, the “gift-economy” and the “no spectators” rule. Yes, you are reading me correctly, “Burners” willingly subject themselves to living in a dried up lake bed in Nevada with no running water, covered in dust, exposed to the elements, and surrounded by 54,999 other funky people who haven’t showered in a week. I know most of you are thinking, why the heck is she so stoked to live in basically hell, (its hot enough there to be considered so), for a week?

Well friends, good news, I am not secretly a masochist. I am planning on having the time of my life. Burning Man, for me, is all about the principle of living in a society without rules or regulations, where peace prevails because of the emphasis placed on the spirit of giving. To come to this event you must participate, you must bring with you a “playa gift”. A playa gift is something for the people, an art or trade that you can share with others for their benefit. It can range from building a giant flame-throwing caterpillar that people can stand around and stare at in awe, to hosting a yoga class every morning for all who wander into your tent. Although it is mostly chaos, there is some order to this madness. There are about 12 radio stations onsite, a power grid, the thousands of people are arranged into some type of structure resembling a city (there are street names), and I will have an “address” so people coming can find my camp.

The start of my new year adventure has already begun, I am officially back on the travel wagon! I flew from Ithaca, NY yesterday and I am driving from San Francisco to the Black Rock Desert tomorrow morning. After a full 15 hours of travel yesterday with a spankin’ 2 hours of sleep the night before (attributed to my usual packing style), I am beat to say the least. Yet, my preparations are far from complete and so I am meeting up with the two girls I am driving with today (who I have never met) to do some last minute shopping. The three of us are part of a camp called Camp Mind Eraser, do not fret I shall indeed remember you all upon my return… I hope ;). We pay dues to this camp and they organize two meals a day and build a lounging dome for all the members. In total there are about 85 people in my camp, and I know a grand total of 1. Come the end of the week I am sure I will know them all very well, seeing as clothing is optional at Burning Man, some I may know a little more than I wish I did.

Since internet access is obviously not something I will have at the actual event my post will be delayed about a week, but I am just so excited about this that I have to let you all know how it goes, not to mention I should have a ton of outrageous photos. I will be sure to do one more post before I go so I can tell you all about my prep and the start of my travels.
Type to ya soon,
Olive

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4 thoughts on “Back On The Travel Wagon

  1. As someone who has been to Burning Man six times and met her husband there…I can only say, it’s amazing. I know she’ll have the time of her lift. It’s pretty indescribable. Cannot wait to see pix and hear the stories!

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  2. cant wait to hear what your playa gift ends up being – comedy possibly, some marine lesson in the desert, you could hold smile therapy (I like this one – no one would leave disappointed)! This is kinda like a mothers worst nightmare but I love how much confidence I have in you that I am really just too excited for you to go start your new year and show me what is next. Love is it.

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