I'm a blue man living in the middle of a red state.
I was captivated by Burning Man after seeing it on news reports a few years ago, but never thought I would go. A friend who no longer lives in Virginia went two years ago and told me of her experience. Then a few days ago, I was on a forum and someone mentioned that tickets went on sale, and something snapped in my brain and said "you must go." So I got tickets and here I am. I still need to arrange time off from work, but I think it will work out.
I turn 40 this year and wanted to do something different to mark this. There are a few things, chosen and not chosen, which have become rites of passage in my life so far:
When I was 20 I did an Outward Bound course in Maine. It was a fantastic experience, and I draw on it frequently. It was characterized by challenge and determination. A year later I was diagnosed with a kidney disease.
When I was 31 I had a kidney transplant. The illness that preceded it was emotionally painful as I had to give up almost everything I enjoyed in my life and just see where I was going to be taken. I have had no major medical problems since. This experience was characterized by surrender and rebirth. I also managed to finish my undergrad degree after 12 short years.
When I was 32 I took a 5 week road trip by myself to see the rest of the USA. This trip was characterized by exploration. I have made shorter trips every year or two since usually to Maine or Colorado.