Burning Man was the most amazing experience I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of.
When I finally reached the front gate, after picking up my ticket from will call and sitting through what seemed like crazy amounts of dust being blown around (and coating the inside of my car; PuddleJumper will never be quite the same again), I was greeted by a cute, curvy woman. She handed me a booklet and a map, gave me a big smile, and asked if this was my first year.
Surprised by my answer, but pleasantly so, she demanded that I get out of my car, give her a great big hug, and roll in the dust. "Don't be afraid of it. Get dirty, get dusty. The playa is everything, out here. You will breathe it, wear it, eat it, and learn to love it."
And before I got back into my car to go and find a place to set up camp, as the dust storm was kicking up again, she gave me another hug and a warm smile, and told me something I will never, ever forget. "Welcome home."
I had no idea just how true those words would resonate with me by the end of the week, but already they made me laugh and smile and thank her for the kindness. ( And the adventure was only just beginning. )