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I’m back from Burning Man. While technically we left Black Rock City late Sunday night, between travel time and de-playa-ing it wasn’t until today that I was back in front of my laptop. I’m teetering on the edge of overwhelmed as I look at the backlog of work that’s piled up in my absence, yet still basking in a week spent almost totally unplugged. This was the first full week in four years that I haven’t opened my laptop once! Crazy, right? (Last time I went to Burning Man I edited photos a few times throughout the week, and biked to a wifi camp a few times to check emails on my phone.) It’s a bit strange to be back staring at a screen.

Returning to the playa was an amazing experience, so different in so many ways from my first burn and yet in others so similar. Having so thoroughly documented my first burn in 2013, I felt less pressure to do so this time around, and so spent a lot less time looking through my lens and a lot less time obsessively journaling (time will tell if I will come to regret that!)

I’m still absorbing and processing every bit of this surreal experience — and catching up on sleep and washing playa dust out of my hair — but of course I’ll have much more Burning Man action coming at you quite soon. In the meantime, you have a few more posts on the great New York state this week to look forward to!

See you in the comments…

Photo A

Burning Man 2015Sunrise on the Playa

Photo B

Burning Man 2015We were exactly where we needed to be

Photo C

Burning Man 2015Art!

Photo D

Burning Man 2015Beauty, nature and man-made

Photo E

Burning Man 2015The magic hour in Black Rock City

Which photo is your favorite?

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75 Comments...
  • Andi
    September 9 2015

    The LOVE pic! LOVE it!!! šŸ˜‰
    Andi recently posted..

  • Sarah
    September 9 2015

    B! Because sometimes we forget that. Also D because it looks fun.
    Sarah recently posted..

  • Gemma Two Scots Abroad
    September 9 2015

    Photo B – gotta love a quote. We will never get to Burning Man unless I quit teaching! The damn ESTA (American visa waiver programme) restricted us going now (during the career break) and teaching resumes in August back home. Oh well – SXSW again next year though. Looking forward to the post.
    Gemma Two Scots Abroad recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      I’ve actually heard teachers complain about the timing. Maybe something to look forward to in retirement šŸ™‚

  • Joella
    September 9 2015

    I love B! Love the quotation, the bikes, the sky..everything.. (ok maybe not the dust!). šŸ™‚
    Joella recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      Yeah… it was a super dusty year. A little too dusty for my liking! But we made it šŸ™‚

  • Kacy
    September 9 2015

    I love A. I’m a sucker for a sunset photo and can’t imagine what they must be like there. I’m currently catching up on your 2013 Burning Man posts. There’s so much about it I didn’t know!
    Kacy recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      Thanks Kacy! Enjoy those archives — I had so much to say about that first burn. And actually, that’s a sunrise šŸ™‚

  • Katie
    September 9 2015

    Photo B! Love everything about it. Beautiful. Can’t wait to read more about your second go at Burning Man. I keep hearing reviews that it’s been getting more and more commercialized every year. Did you feel anything like that in comparison to your last visit?
    Katie recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      Well, commercialized isn’t really the right word as there’s no sponsorships or branding or commodification allowed — and that’s stayed strictly enforced. But it is getting a bit more regulated with gifting bars checking IDs and bigger parties having to get permits for events. And I’m sure there a few more weekend warriors every year šŸ™‚ But that’s kind of unavoidable when there’s a festival this amazing as everyone who goes is going to talk about it, and then everyone they talk to is going to want to go!

  • Jennifer Stevens
    September 9 2015

    Ohhhhhh these are amazing! I LOVE A AND B! Can’t believe you got to go. What an amazing experience! šŸ™‚

    Jennifer Stevens recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      It really was! Can’t wait to share more about it.

  • Justine
    September 9 2015

    I am loving everything about Photo B too, especially the dust and the bikers’ masks! That is a really good shot!! Also, congrats on successfully unplugging. It’s good for the soul šŸ˜‰
    Justine recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      It was just too dusty this year to risk taking my laptop out — a blessing in disguise!

  • Marni
    September 9 2015

    Umm, all of them, but since that’s a cop out, I’ll choose A. I love the softness of the sunrise mixed with the contrast of the dark humans. It makes nature the focus over people, and I love that.

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      Burning Man is all about the clash between the two!

  • Kristina
    September 10 2015

    A & B go perfectly together! What else could you be thinking while staring at that view while hugging someone?! Magical!

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      Thanks Kristina! I actually love that in that photo their backs are to the sunrise… finally time to go sleep!

      • Kristina
        September 10 2015

        Oh I didn’t notice that Amazing pic! Can’t wait to read your coverage from this year

  • becky hutner
    September 10 2015

    B! I like the symmetry of the diverging cyclists. Can’t wait to hear about this year’s Burn!!
    becky hutner recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      Wish I could say that was spontaneous but I made them do quite a few laps. Luckily I have some cooperative models!

  • Leah
    September 10 2015

    Photo B! But I really love those giant wooden structures like in D and I’m sure it looked even awesome-er at night šŸ˜‰
    Leah recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      Burning Man at night is like being on another planet, or in a video game, or it’s completely impossible to describe. Can’t be sure šŸ™‚

  • Michelle
    September 10 2015

    I vote Photo C šŸ™‚ I bet the view from the top was amazingg! Looks really difficult to get up there though? The holes don’t seem quite big enough for holds.
    Michelle recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      I admit I didn’t actually try it! I was impressed with those who did, though…

  • Dominique
    September 10 2015

    I’d love to go one day, but for now all I can do is revel in everyone’s pictures and stories. Your photos are gorgeous, and D is my favourite. When you start writing about Burning Man could you please also consider creating an article with what to pack when you go to Burning Man?
    Dominique recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      I’ve been thinking that’s one post I still need to write after last time! Will do Dominique — thanks šŸ™‚

  • Katie
    September 10 2015

    I really like Photo D. I can’t say that deserts do it for me but this sunset is beautiful
    Katie recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      Thanks Katie! Deserts are an acquired taste. Desserts, on the other hand… šŸ™‚

  • Rashaad
    September 10 2015

    Photo B – because I feel like I need to be at Burning Man one day
    Rashaad recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      The playa is waiting for you šŸ™‚

  • Meihoukai
    September 10 2015

    I love D. Great to see something giant waiting to be burned, hah! Burning man is definitely on my to see list. Which one is your favorite?!
    Meihoukai recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      Actually, that’s not the man! It’s a woman šŸ™‚ That artist creates a piece almost every year.

  • MadameWu
    September 10 2015

    I vote for C! šŸ™‚ It makes me feel a bit more optimistic.

    btw I am planning to be at the Burning Man one day. šŸ™‚
    MadameWu recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      Make it happen! It will be amazing šŸ™‚

  • Photo C! LOVE it! šŸ™‚
    Amanda | Lesson Plans & Layovers recently posted..

  • Angie Away
    September 10 2015

    B or C. I LOVE WORDS.
    Angie Away recently posted..

  • I love both photo B & C, both in looks and in message. I think B wins for me, though. It’s just the kind of thing I think ALL people need to hear from time to time. I’m glad you managed to disconnect and enjoy the experience. šŸ™‚
    Beth | Adventuring the Great Wide Somewhere recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      Didn’t have much of a choice! Ha. But it felt good! It felt like a nice progression to finally be able to take a week away from my site (I was only really able to now that I’ve hired help.)

  • Liz
    September 10 2015

    I am SO bummed I bailed on this šŸ™ next time, can’t wait to see more pics and read stories chica!
    Liz recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 10 2015

      I know! I need to hear the story behind this… wish we’d met on the playa!

  • Joao Ricardo Alves
    September 11 2015

    Hey Meihoukai I read your post about your first time to prepare my self for this experience. Unfortunately i couldn’t go this year but i am already preparing for the next year. Thanks for sharing your experience and details about the BM. For me the pic B is the best. By the way I am from Brazil and I think that you must go to visit Brazil!

    • Meihoukai
      September 12 2015

      I hope I will someday, Joao! Best of luck getting to Burning Man.

  • Britt
    September 11 2015

    I love Photo B!!

    Burning Man is so high on my bucketlist but not sure I’ll make it there any year soon!
    Britt recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 12 2015

      Hopefully it will be around for a long time to come!

  • Lauren
    September 11 2015

    Looks like an amazing time! I’m a huuuuuge festival fan and have been plotting for BM in 2016 for quite some time. Your pictures are keeping the dream alive, thanks for sharing.
    Lauren recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 12 2015

      Absolutely! That’s a dream that certainly needs stoking.

  • Caroline
    September 11 2015

    I have to admit, I have absolutely no interest in going to Burning Man. But it is fun to see your photos and I’ll look forward to reading your stories! It’s like reading a good book…feeling part of it from a comfortable distance šŸ˜‰

    • Meihoukai
      September 12 2015

      Burning Man definitely isn’t for everyone! I’m glad I can give you a peek regardless šŸ™‚

  • Christina @ currentlyexploring
    September 11 2015

    Photo B Photo B!!! can’t believe I’ve lived in SF for 3 years and have yet to make it to the playa. love these pics + your guide from last year (or the year before?). looks like such a blast and you capture/share it beautifully!

    • Meihoukai
      September 12 2015

      Yup, it was two years ago. How time flies… and thank you!

  • Sarah
    September 12 2015

    Love all of them!
    But if I have to choose, it’s Photo E for showing life without really showing people
    Sarah recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 12 2015

      Thanks, Sarah! That photo does show a lot about life in Black Rock City…

  • Nika
    September 12 2015

    Burning man has been on my Bucket list for ages! I wish one day I could go to! šŸ™‚
    Nika recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 12 2015

      If you dream it you can do it šŸ˜‰ Burning Man is amazing!

  • Anca | Globaloud
    September 12 2015

    Photo B without any doubt!
    Btw, I’m so jealous you went there. It’s on my bucket list, but it’s exactly 10000 km far from where I live so I need to find a time and a way to do it!
    Anca
    Anca | Globaloud recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 12 2015

      I can definitely empathize with how tough Burning Man is to attend for international participants. It’s hard enough when you’re coming from across the country!

  • Steve
    September 13 2015

    I am choosing photo A Meihoukai. Sunrise is a special time of the day.
    Steve recently posted..

  • Akash Nambiar
    September 15 2015

    Hey Meihoukai
    The description of the festival of Burning Man, and the antics in it really gave me a thrill. The rock city of US, Nevada is surely a hot and happening place to be. I was happy comparing it to the festivals world over.
    Akash Nambiar recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 15 2015

      It’s certainly an amazing festival. Thanks for reading!

  • Jessica
    September 16 2015

    So great that you have been to Burning Man! šŸ˜€ all photos are awesome, but I like A the best. The composition and the coloure are perfect!

    • Meihoukai
      September 17 2015

      I have, and I loved it! More posts about my second burn coming up at some point šŸ™‚

  • Ashley
    September 20 2015

    These are all such amazing photos, but I have to go with B – I love that quote!
    Ashley recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 24 2015

      Definitely one of my favorite pieces this year — gorgeous all lit up at night too!

  • Barbara
    September 21 2015

    Photo C grabbed my attention, but Photo B is a great runner-up.
    I saw some amazing pictures on Instagram of this event. It looked awesome.
    Barbara recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 24 2015

      It definitely is a visual treat. There’s nothing else like it… which makes it very difficult to write about, but easy to share pictures of!

  • Izy Berry
    September 21 2015

    i love the photo B excellent quote
    Izy Berry recently posted..

  • Hannah Gardner
    November 12 2015

    In love with this blog! I do a bit of traveling myself and would love to join your team! What camera was used in these shots… absolutely stunning!

    • Meihoukai
      November 15 2015

      Hey Hannah! Check out my obsessions page… all my camera info can be found there! And thanks for the kudos <3