There aren’t really words to describe Burning Man. Maybe you’ve heard. I can try but words and pictures and videos and stories simply don’t do it justice. It’s impossible to describe the feels you feel when you spend an entire week being as free as you could possibly be. It’s the kind of place you could round up some campmates and go on a nude walk around the neighbourhood, where people throw down their bikes, strip off their clothes and join you, and nobody would give you a second glance (shoutout to the 2014 fam). It’s the kind of place you can rock up to any camp and ask if they have tequila because you are out and you really want to make a jug of margaritas, and they will send you off with a gatorade bottle full. If you are far from home and haven’t eaten, you can literally ask “do you have snacks?” and someone will feed you. Everyone is so friendly and
genuine and open and more full of love than anywhere I have ever been. There are no hand shakes. There are only hugs. There is an insane array of events you can participate in: learn how to safely tie someone up, work on your acro-yoga tricks, craft yourself a sweet hula hoop, visit the pussy day spa (happy ending included), or throw on your booty shorts and participate in the best butt olympics. Things get way crazier than that but you get the idea. Whatever you want. There is so much to do that even when you are doing something awesome, you have FOMO about missing something else, but you are always exactly where you are supposed to be. And sometimes, a girls gotta sleep!
This year was year three for me and such a different experience than the last two years! Every time, which I realized last year. We camped in a pretty big camp this year and I was in an RV for the first time which was different-nice to have and definitely awesome to drive down in but I don’t even think it’s necessary. Even for the dream team, five people is a lot in a small space. A big tent of your own is totally okay, and our camp had a kitchen and power so people even had air conditioning in their tents. Gangster shit. And
then you have your own space, should you bring any company home, and you save yourself like a grand- that’s a plane ticket! Also, since we had an RV we spent a lot of our time at camp in it so probably didn’t get to know our other camp mates as well as we could have, which is kind of shame because everyone was SO AWESOME! The Dirty Beetles were a bunch of beauties and I am stoked we camped with them… such a rad crew.
The first night we were there I immediately ran into a guy I knew from last year who I was definitely meant to see- we had a great chat and he shed some light on some stuff that went down last year which was so awesome- I didn’t even realize that I needed that so it was such a good way to start the week. And to find this person at a festival of 75,000 people is insane. The playa knows what you need! I had a few things I wanted to do this year and I didn’t realize how easy it would be to do them all- by Tuesday I had nailed all of my goals and I thought to myself, well shit. That was easy. I think that was a big life lesson for me this year- set some clear goals, believe them, and achieve them. It’s stuff that I know already but a playa reminder was so powerful. Now that summer is over and I have some time to breathe I am definitely going to be spending some Jaime time figuring out what it is I want in this world… so stay tuned! After this enlightening lesson, Jess and I started writing our wishes in the sand and day after day, our wishes kept coming true. We were literally writing things like “grilled cheese” and “tequila” and then ten minutes later we would find exactly what we were looking for- all of our friends, a man with a giant grill flipping cheesy sandwiches, and people passing around flasks of tequila. We also obviously wanted to get a picture with Chali 2na holding our jug and representing juglife so we wrote that in the sand, and if I can quote him, he said “Juglife? That’s hilarious!” and we got our photo. Nailed it!
You always hear whispers of “the playa provides,” and it does- truly whatever you want or need. Even things you didn’t know you needed until they appear and you are just dizzy with gratitude because it’s perfect. The synchronicities are boundless. It’s like all these beautiful people vibing on the same frequency turns wishes, spoken or not, into reality like a magic freaking lamp. It really makes you think what could be possible in the real world if everyone was as open and genuine and real as they are out there… It would rock the world. Jess and I got some photos done at this little portrait studio with the loveliest old hippie photographer and he gave the best explanation I have heard- he said that out there the playa, your brain can’t possibly comprehend all the crazy stuff that’s going on, so instead of living with your head like we usually do, you are have no choice but to live with your heart. People are operating on a soul level because your head is totally (or mostly) out of the picture for an entire week. It’s a week-long choose your own epic adventure where you let your heart and soul lead the way. Now you see why I never want to miss a year ever for the rest of my life, right?! Rational logic doesn’t even exist out there. If it did, the only thing you would be thinking all week is “this doesn’t make sense!” And it’s true. I was actually thinking that the lyrics from that Aladdin song ‘A Whole New World’ sums up Burning Man pretty well. To refresh:
Shining, shimmering, splendid
Tell me, princess, now when did
You last let your heart decide?
I can open your eyes
Take you wonder by wonder
Over, sideways and under
On a magic carpet ride
A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no or where to go
Or say we’re only dreaming”
Am I right?! It is like a whole new world out there, sometimes it seems like another planet where anything and everything is possible (and you have to wear masks and googles and there are a million ways you could die) and you just have to be open to it. Something I finally did this year was visit Dr. Bronners foam camp… it’s the most magical place where they have WATER and FOAM (because, in case you don’t know, Burning Man is in the middle of the desert and if you use any water, you have to take it back out with you so showers are limited, if not nonexistent) and you go in, strip down and pile into this chamber where you get sprayed by giant hoses, which, after days of being dirty is life-changing. And then, after you’re soaked, they douse you with thick foam which you
scrub all over yourself in an attempt to remove your thick layer of dust, and then they hose you down with water again and you are CLEAN. C-L-E-A-N! And naked with all your pals plus a bunch of strangers. But wait, it gets better! Then you exit into the main room where there’s a DJ and it’s a giant naked dance party. So you’re grooving around, there’s a few boners which is kinda weird but you’re so stoked to be clean you don’t care, and then someone gives a shout out to ALEX GREY who is working on a giant psychedelic skeleton mural beside you. Well played, Burning Man, well played.
We did a lot of amazing stuff, epic sunrises and deep-playa art exploring and stumbled upon the craziest of things (like a diner way out by the trash fence where they had legit red vinyl seats and the waitresses were men in wigs with little diner uniforms and they served pancakes and coffee), we got caught in dust storms and had our favourite art car and taught everyone we met the juglife dance… A highlight for me was occupying the shadow boxes at Slutgarden where your silhouettes are on display to the dance floor and doing the juglife dance while girls were getting down and dirty in the booths beside us… maybe you had to be there but HILARIOUS. We laughed uncontrollably, danced for hours, climbed in and around the most beautiful
pieces of art (the lighthouses this year were by far my favourite piece of art ever), climbed through a big old jet plane turned PARTY where there was a live violinist with a loop machine and you could use the controls in the cockpit whilst looking out at the playa… no biggie. We made friends, we made margaritas and we made memories… a week passes by so fast out there, it’s like a weird time-warp vortex where you plan to do a million things and then all of a sudden it’s Sunday again, the temple is about to burn and you still haven’t taken any pictures or gone to yoga once (whoops!). But so be it- we had the best time and I love my dreamteam and everyone who was a part of my burn SO MUCH. You guys still got it. Everything was perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing… except more lights. The lights on my bike stopped working midweek and I was the biggest darktard in town. Next year I’m getting lit! It was such a beautiful week and it would take hours to explain every magic moment but my heart is still full from my favourite week of the year. So much love. Let the planning for next year commence! #Juglife