I’ve been writing every day a little about why our team goes to Burning Man, the exciting parts that drive me to go nearly every year since my first time in 2006. Dream interpretation at Burning Man! I come back each year with powerful stories of helping folks find their way, bringing healing to some part of their lives, encouraging folks along their journey. I love Love LOVE that part!
But there are costs to this kind of trip. Things that don’t get mentioned much. Here is the raw truth about the Burning Man experience.
Financially, the trip is very expensive. Plane fare, Burning Man tickets, team fees that cover shuttles, food and water for the week, all of the camp structures and necessities, including tent decor to make our camp nice and welcoming. Personal camping gear. Camp clothes and costumes. The expenses add up quickly.
We have to pack everything in that we need for a week, so it takes careful planning to make sure we have everything, because we can’t just zip down to Walmart to pick up what we forgot to bring.
Physically, our week out there is very difficult. We contend with the heat, the alkaline dust (that sucks the moisture right out of your skin), portapotties, loud music blaring 24/7, crowds and little privacy, sleeping in tents. Camp set up and tear down is exhausting, especially in the scorching sun when the shade is gone. Lots of walking and biking to get around. We have no A/C to escape into. And, no showers for over a week. This last one especially puts this girly girl to the test!
Emotionally, we get to experience sights and events that many people will never see, and it can take its toll. The need is great out there—lots of people with lots of problems and you can only do so much. We pour into people day after day, and while we love what we do, often at the end of the day, we are absolutely spent.
We get giddy with excitement seeing the stunning art, our hearts break as we speak into people’s pain, we get angry at some of the crass injustice that we see. Any personal issues or triggers we haven’t dealt with will be poked at and probably surface in this difficult environment. So, preparation ahead of time before we get to the desert is crucial. I’ve seen a lot of meltdowns out there and it isn’t convenient or pleasant to deal with that stuff in the middle of everything else.
Also, we are camped out there in the middle of 70,000 people and we go to sleep at night in our sleeping bags with only a tent zipper between us and the party activity. Fortunately, our camp builds a structure around our personal tents huddled together for an extra measure of safety. And we use the buddy system…we don’t go anywhere by ourselves. Sleep can be difficult with nearby flashing lights, explosions, rave music, and partiers–even with the best earplugs.
Often we experience mountain top emotions as we see lives transformed, addictions and body parts healed, hearts mended, broken situations turned around—there is nothing like the powerful encounters we get to facilitate.
Spiritually, it is critical that we solidly understand who we are and what our mission is, so that we stay strong and don’t get distracted. Burning Man has some amazing aspects, but the atmosphere in general is very dark and can pull on you. It’s downright scary sometimes. We have to keep our spiritual armor on, always be on the alert. At home, we get criticized by people who disapprove or judge us negatively and loudly for our choice of how we spend our ‘vacation time’ in the desert. We need prayer cover from our supporters back home! We aim to be light wherever we are, so strength, maturity and wisdom is required to succeed.
I’ll be honest with you. Coming home is hard. While we are thrilled to get back to flushing toilets, showers, and our own beds, we always leave a huge part of our hearts out on the playa. We’ve been unplugged, living in a Star Wars bar scene for ten days, and we’ve experienced warfare and tears and powerful life-changing encounters with people in our camp. We’ve poured out every bit of strength from within us. It is a struggle to come home and explain our week. Some of our stories about people we met are X-rated. It takes time to process them down. It feels impossible to get ‘back to normal’ life as it was, because we have been stretched and changed and don’t WANT to go back to status quo.
So, please pray for us. We need YOU and your encouragement! Thanks for reading and for your support.
If you would like to receive playa updates, please message me and I’ll keep you in the loop. Also, please consider giving a donation to cover my financial costs. No gifts are too small! It takes a village to accomplish our goal and to make this trip happen. You get to be a part and reap some of the blessings. Thanks in advance for your partnership. Go to www.DestinyDreamz Partners.