I've wanted to road trip in a school bus for about as long as I can remember. It just seems so right. But I never wanted to go the blissed-out-pseudo-hippie route, following some noodle-dancing band around the country, feigning peace and free spiritedness and free love and whatever else is typically associated with the school bus road tripping scene. That is not my scene. But sharing a ghetto-fabulous graffitied-up intergalactic-themed double-decker school bus with three of the greatest humans I've ever met in my life on our way build the most spectacular city in the world is SO MY SCENE. And here's why.
I've done a fair amount of traveling around the world in order to experience things that are vastly different from my every day life. I've left my comfort zone to be exposed to things that would teach me, inspire me, scare me, shock me, challenge me, discomfort me, make me question my so-called "norms," and straight up blow my mind. But what if instead of having to go halfway around the world to get my foundation shook, something showed up on a regular old "day in the life of Margot" that could do exactly that? I believe we were able to give this gift to the residents of various small towns between Boulder, CO and Black Rock City, NV. And I'm stoked on it.
Picture this: a giant gangster school bus rolling up to a quaint little breakfast joint on a quiet weekday morning in small-town America, housing a dusty fearsome foursome with leopard print hair dye jobs, tiger-striped mohawk hair detailing, and multicolored dreadlocks. It's pretty safe to assume that the majority of the patrons sipping their usual morning coffee are small-town born and raised, and have not had the privilege or perhaps the desire to venture out into the unknown. They don't live in a city that prides itself on being weird. They are not exposed to eccentric art and artists on a daily basis as we find in other cities. They don't have the cultural variety that we take for granted. They may not have ever even wondered what they're missing outside of their simpler city limits. They have not heard of Burning Man nor do they have any concept of why a group of people would come together and voluntarily do what we're doing. So why not rock their world for just a brief moment and bring the unknown to them?
Here we are, a crew that paired with its vehicle is an assault on the eyes, venturing to build an indescribable city that exists only for one week in an uninhabitable environment - with tales of unrivaled art and music and dance and sacredness and celebration and destruction - with a contagious fire in our eyes and our hearts that is driving it all. We are disrupting this small town in the best of ways. We roll in full of love and life, we turn heads, we spark conversation, we make people ask... WHY. We are travelers bringing the fruits of travel to the non-travelers. In all of my prior road tripping experience, there has not been one single time that a stranger was so taken aback by my presence that he stopped what he was doing to ask me where I'm going, where I'm coming from, who I am, or what I'm doing. But this scenario is inescapable when you step out of our beautiful bus as a self-expressed being. People want to know. We inspire curiosity. We disturb the peace. We bring wonder. We provide an experience which they may otherwise never have had. We nudge them out of their comfort zone. We open their minds, even if only for a fleeting moment. And for this I am so grateful.
For me personally, this experience has solidified the concept that life is truly about the journeys, but not in the sense that I've always thought. My journey isn't just about my experiences and how they affect me. My journey affects everyone and everything that I pass as I continue along my way to whatever destination I'm headed for. For those of us blessed enough to incorporate such wildly inspirational journeys into our lives, it's our responsibility to pass this on. I cant take everyone I meet with me on my journey, but I can bring my experiences to everyone around me as I build my own experiential repertoire. And this is the name of the game.
It doesn't matter if you're traveling around the world, across the country, or down the street. You don't need to be on your way to a wild celebration of life in the desert. We need to constantly open the minds of those who haven't yet discovered that they need their minds opened. We may not be the night markets of Bangkok or slums of Mumbai, but we carry the same sentiment: we are here to give you things you've never seen, tell you things you've never heard, and make you think in ways you haven't even thought of yet. We're here to inspire the wildest dreams you haven't dreamt yet, and to encourage you to make them your reality. We're all here to share our experiences, to journey on and on, and most of all, to blow each other's minds.