T R A V E L & L I F E S T Y L E

Archive for enero, 2016

House, Techno, And Style: 13 Looks From Desert Hearts Autumn

Desert Hearts’ autumn edition was not only 100 hours of House, Techno and Love, but 100 hours of incredibly unique ensembles on nearly every festival-goer. The people of Desert Hearts are pros at scoring thrift store gems and pairing those with the best from festival vendors. There was even a style parade on Friday displaying ensembles from vendors at the festival.

Festival style is about feeling unique and individual, and yet one with your tribe. With no judgment, people are able to get creative with color palettes, textures, and accessories.

Festival die-hards always hit the dance floor at sunrise whether they have been up all night or have just woken from a disco nap. At 6 am on Monday during the melodic, enchanting beats of Michael Manahan we asked, “How does this outfit make you feel?”

Zosia&Kat 2015 Jacob Avantzo1

Photo by: Jacob Avantzo

Zosia: “The purple hues of my outfit sway my emotions into a relaxed, spiritually uplifted state. I’d like to think that my aura is violet, so being around the color makes me happy.”

Kathryn: “I feel young and free.”

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Photo by: Samuel Ramirez

Landin: “Comfy.”

Taylah&Carissa

Taylah wearing Fancy Vandals hat. Photo by: Samuel Ramirez

Taylah: “The most important part of this outfit is the coat. It was my grandma’s. It even has her initials monogrammed on the inside. When I wear it I feel like I am carrying her magic with me and I have respect. Also, all the boys in our group are so steezy, we have to keep up!”

Carissa: “Like I wanna get down.”

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Photo by: Samuel Ramirez

Axel: “Confident. I put on a black t-shirt but I don’t feel special. I put this on and I feel like part of the crew.”

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Photo by: Samuel Ramirez

Kevin Anderson: “Like I’m crushin’ it.”

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Bounce wearing Timelapse Collections necklace. Dani wearing Kritter Klips. Photo by: Samuel Ramirez

Bounce: “Completed. Best Monday ever.”

Dani: “Amazing.”

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Photo by: Samuel Ramirez

Alexander F. Rodriguez: “Completely comfy and at the same time it lets me express myself.”

Shane: “Free.”

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Wearing Endless Paradise pants. Photo by: Samuel Ramirez

Treavor: “Star-studded.”

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Photo by: Samuel Ramirez

Brian Davis: “A connection to humanity.”

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Britzy wearing Dream Life hood and pants from FestivalTradingco.com. Photo by: Samuel Ramirez

Britzy: “Warm. It makes me feel gorgeous inside and out.”

Raymond: “Powerful.”

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Wearing Sacred Philosophy hood. Email thesimpleguy9@gmail.com for inquiries or orders. Photo by: Samuel Ramirez

Javier Rodriguez: ”It makes me feel wild again. It puts me in my element.”

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Julia wearing Furrocious Furr coat. Tenisha wearing TenTrees Tribe belt. Photo by: Samuel Ramirez

Julia: “Like a queen.”

Tenisha: “Dark and groovy.”

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Photo by: Samuel Ramirez

Jason Douglas: “Decadent.”

How Far Would You Travel For Your Favourite Festival?

A gathering on the pristine beaches of Costa Rica has captured the imaginations of festival-goers around the globe. A 21st century fusion of art and education, this four-day event is pushing the boundaries of today’s festival culture and garnering widespread attention after selling out to a crowd of 6,000 attendees in 2014.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m talking about Envision Festival , perhaps the most impressive transformational festival on the planet. Four stages (mostly made of reclaimed wood or driftwood straight from nearby beaches) of world-class music and visual art enhance the coastal paradise of Uvita, Costa Rica during this one-of-a-kind cultural celebration. This February 25-28, 2016, Envision will happen again and festival-goers from around the world will make the pilgrimage to Uvita to learn, dance, share and laugh as they experience the magic for themselves.

Envision Zendo Andrew Jorgensen 2

That’s why I’m going — to see it for myself. A seemingly perfect storm of intelligent and caring people hosted in one of the most beautiful countries in the world? Four full days of movement and yoga seminars, a great musicallineup, talks on sustainability and social responsibility? Definitely my cup of tea. Throw in a couple of starstruck testimonials from past attendees, one of the most spectacular aftermovies that I have ever seen, and this place quickly began to seem like some sort of modern day El Dorado—the mythical jungle city that, if ever found, would hold all of mankind’s deepest desires.

Sold. Now how to get there? After acquiring my passport in July, the wanderlust began to set in. It became quite clear that I was not going to be able to postpone this adventure until February 2016. After a not-so-hard deliberation, I quit my job, packed my backpack and set out on a two-month journey from Mexico City to Uvita.

Backpacking instead of flying direct has proven to be the best decision that I could have made. If you are already traveling to Envision or toying with the idea of backpacking to any festival across the globe, here’s why you should seriously consider backpacking.

Latin American Travel is Cheap

Envision Festival 2015 Lane Undhjem Hippie Bus

Photo by: Lane Undhjem

You will be amazed at how far your money can go in Central America. Hostel beds run about seven to nine U.S. dollars a night. A tasty meal might cost you three to five. With a little budgeting, you can live off of about $100-150 a week. Sites like Workaway and HelpX post volunteer opportunities throughout Central America that can make traveling even more affordable. Most of these volunteering positions offer a free bed and two or three meals in exchange for 20-30 hours of work per week. Some also offer access to surf boards, bikes, discounted Spanish and yoga classes, and many other random perks. Not all exchanges are created equal, but if you get the right one, you can live for basically free. I did one such exchange working at a hostel in Puerto Escondido, Mexico for three weeks that ended up saving me nearly $200 in housing alone.

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Photo by: Art Gimbel

If you are worried about bringing all your camping gear on your trip, never fear. Envision offers camping package rentals that contain a tent, sleeping pad and pillow (singles for $75, doubles for $95). Split it with a friend and you’ve got yourself four days of shelter for the reasonable price of $48, not much more expensive than an airline will charge you for checking an extra bag.

The most expensive piece to this puzzle is certainly airfare. If you’re already bound for Envision, shop around for cheaper airline tickets to destinations like Guatemala City, San Salvador or Panama City and get some extra vacation time in before the real magic begins.

Strengthen Your Practice

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Photo by: Art Gimbel

Whether your passion is yoga, permaculture, languages, or music, there will be endless opportunities to strengthen your skills along the road. Yoga and meditation retreats for all skill levels can be found throughout the region including in some absolutely stunning locations like Lake Atitlan, Guatemala or Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. If you’re interested in improving your Spanish, home-stays with local families can be as cheap as $150 a week (you get four hours of Spanish instruction, plus housing and three meals per day). Private lessons will run you around five to ten an hour.

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Photo by: Art Gimbel

Permaculture and sustainable living projects are also very common throughout Central America. From organic coffee farms and sea turtle sanctuaries to eco-lodge construction and alternative tourism, opportunities to get involved are widespread and extremely diverse. These are best researched online before your trip through sites like Wwoof (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms), Workaway and HelpX. These educational experiences strengthen the foundation upon which Envision’s workshops and seminars seek to build upon, allowing one to make the most of learning opportunities at the festival itself, and on the journey there.

Get Those Festie Friendships Started Early

Envision Festival Backpacking 2015 Lane Undhjem

Photo by: Lane Undhjem

If you are anything like me, it’s forming new friendships that truly completes the festival experience. The whimsical interactions with wonderfully quirky individuals, the unexpected existential conversations, the ecstatic faces of a spontaneous dance party…this is why we do what we do. It is why we are drawn to the magnetic energy of festival culture: to find ourselves in others, and others in ourselves.

The willingness of festival-goers to engage one another has resulted in some of my most important and lifelong friendships, but that willingness and lack of inhibition is not unique to festival culture. Backpackers are cut from the same cloth; they live for the moment, embracing people and culture along their journey, however brief. After just one month traveling, I have made four friends who are already backpacking to Envision and I have convinced two other friends to buy their tickets and make the trek. I anticipate meeting more and convincing more, as well.

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Photo by: Art Gimbel

Our paths will continue to crisscross down the Pacific coast for the next four months until we are celebrating our reunion in Uvita, longtime friends by then. You never know who you’ll meet while traveling, but there are some compassionate, adventure-seeking Envisioners on the road. It might only take one person to justify your entire trip.

Beyond Latin America…

Even if Central America isn’t high on your to-do list, checking out a festival abroad is a real eye opening experience. European, Australian, and Asian festivals all have a unique spin on the same fun-loving festival flavor. Spend a couple months on the road and with any luck, you’ll meet a few friends who will invite you to join up with their crew for their respective hometown festival. So what are you waiting for? Pack your backpack and see what kind of adventure the road has in store for you! 2016 is right around the corner; time to get working on that travel bucket list.

5 Psychological Benefits Of Festivaling Abroad

For many, embarking on a festival adventure, whether alone or with a squad, is akin to taking a vacation. Festivals often peel away the layer of reality that lays between the core of who we are and the person we hope to be. They can help us look within and question who we are in the grand scheme of life. And while most of us opt for in-state or regional festivals, there’s a lot to be said about traveling to far-flung locales for even more eye-opening fest experiences.

Several cultures actually encourage or even mandate pilgrimages as tenets of their communal codes. Some Native American tribes obliged their young members to go on vision quests to find their life’s purpose; Islam requires making the Hajj to be considered a full-fledged Muslim, and many churches require missionary work in far-off places as a contribution to their communities. The common thinking of the day holds that money comes and goes but experiences are forever. In fact, the psychological benefits of traveling have been widely discussed and, coupled with the liberating nature of festival environments, there’s a ton of personal growth to be had when you leave home behind.

Here are five of our favorite ways festivaling abroad can help you flourish.

It’s Easier to Overcome Cultural Misconceptions

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Dancing at Quest Festival in Vietnam. Photo by: Linka Odom

In societies that are rife with stereotypes and Manichean judgments, it’s easy to ascribe labels to groups of people and fall into an “us vs. them” mentality. By putting different cultures into boxes, one might never be able to open one’s mind to new and different ways of life. Festivals can address these issues directly by serving as large-scale melting pots in which all kinds of people gather together for a shared experience. Traveling abroad for a festival takes this a step further, because being transported from what’s familiar forces a person to exit his or her comfort zone and rely on the kindness of strangers to accomplish even the simplest tasks. Take the example of backpacking to Envision Festival in Costa Rica, or making it all the way to Wonderfruit in Pattaya, Thailand, which isn’t an easy journey from the country’s capital of Bangkok. Once away from the routines of daily life, it becomes easier to shed preconceived notions and form new opinions based on real-life experience.

It Can Spark Creativity

Simonocallaghanafrikaburn 14Participants at South Africa’s Afrikaburn. Photo by: Simon O’Callaghan

There’s something about the creativity that gushes out of the festival scene; the art, reverence for tradition, spirit of expression, freedom to lose oneself in the moment all permeate the veil of routines we seek to escape. At festivals all over the globe, people contribute dazzling paintings, colossal sculptures, heart-rending photography, whimsical words, arresting dance performances, or music – all with the hopes of expressing what makes them unique and finding others with whom to connect. The exposure to both kindred spirits and different ways of life allow deeper learning experiences to take place.

The experience of watching barren landscapes or otherwise normal city streets transform into a festival in full swing is also powerful to witness, like the explosions of color during Holi or the 24/7 street parties of Rio Carnival – there’s no way to not get swept up in the excitement. Festivals like Lucidity and Lightning In a Bottleare offering early arrival this year and onsite learning experiences to enrich their events and spark the creativity needed to ignite the passions of their attendees.

You’ll Experience Elevated Openness

Holi 2015 Tinka Kalajzi Faces Of Holi 13A scene from India’s Holi. Photo by: Tinka Kalajzic

Once past the initial culture shock of traveling in a foreign land, we instinctively search for the similar – but when we don’t find any vestiges of home, our persistence turns to a sense of wonder and curiosity that often leads us to turn to the locals for help. Genuine compassion may not be something you expect to encounter on the road, but that just may be what makes the experience of trusting someone else in an unfamiliar place so eye-popping. Not everyone is comfortable putting themselves “out there” in a normal setting, but on the road, directions, tips, and the occasional helping hand are crucial to make it through the journey. Relying on the kindness of strangers isn’t an easy. It takes an open heart, a brave mind and an authentic faith in the goodness of other humans.

You’ll Witness Community

Up Helly Aa Andrew Shearer 10Viking warriors participating in Up Helly Aa. Photo by: Andrew J Shearer

Every festival has a community attached to it. Bonnaroo has its Bonnaroovians. Electric Daisy Carnival has its“headliners,” Burning Man has its burners, and let’s not forget the ShipFam. Even the cowboys of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and vikings of Up Helly Aa are tight-knit groups. In each community, a kinship gels among those who share the experience. Seeing how people come together at these events is particularly fascinating, for simply bearing witness to the feel-good gestures and random acts of kindness shared within the community can have a profound impact. For many, this is the secret sauce that makes traveling to a festival a truly transformative experience that can change our worldview and help us grow.

You’ll Gain a Strengthened Sense of Self

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Lighting a lantern at Yi Peng in Thailand. Photo by: Emily Ward

For many, festivals challenge the idea that life is meant to be lived in a cubicle, on a schedule, toiling away for the benefit of someone else. Without the lifeline of parental figures or the security blanket of a social support network, traveling to a festival requires that one learn to make his or her own path. That self reliance, in turn, builds confidence and inner strength of character. Who knows? Maybe this newfound courage can propel you to participate in the special traditions practiced at cultural festivals around the world, like running with the bulls during Spain’s Fiesta de San Fermín, or lighting a lantern at Thailand’s Yi Peng and Loy Krathong lantern fest. Breaking habits and escaping routine also elicits an appetite for the extraordinary while encouraging us to realize our dreams.

How To Find Your Friends At A Festival

Doing a festival as a crew, camp or tribe enhances the experience and strengthens your friendships. But part of what makes the festival environment so great can also make it hard to keep track of your people. Instead of wandering blindly, plan ahead with some of these helpful tips.

Do: Choose a landmark as a meeting spot.

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Photo from Governors Ball by: Art Gimbel.

A large, easily identifiable landmark is key for keeping track of your friends. If you’re at a camping festival, find your nearest landmark before you start exploring so you don’t get lost trying to get home.

Don’t: Choose a landmark that moves.

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Coachella Astronaut .gif by Anthony Samaniego

Overheard at Coachella: “Everyone’s trying to meet up at the astronaut ’cause they don’t know that it moves!”

Do: Carry a creative beacon so you’re easy to find.

Electric Daisy Carnival 2014 Art Gimbel Totems Hero

Photo from Electric Daisy Carnival by: Art Gimbel

From flags at Jazz Fest, to hilarious cutouts at EDC, to glowing ragesticks at Symbiosis, having a totem for your crew is a great way to meet up, show your creativity and identify your tribe. Check out some of the best totems we saw at EDC this year.

Don’t: Block everyone’s view of the stage.

Glastonbury Paula Bailey Too Many Flags

Photo from Glastonbury by Paula Bailey Creative Commons

You’re carrying a huge brightly colored object. Be considerate.

Do: Use coordinated costumes for big groups.

Burning Man 2013 Eric Limon Photography Bee Charge

bEEcHARGE!!! at Burning Man 2014 by Eric Limon Photography .

bEEcHARGE!!! is a clever Burning Man theme camp. Not only are the glowing bees identifiable in their black and yellow outfits with antennae and wings, they move from place to place as a buzzing, swarming hive.

Don’t: Rely on coordinated costumes at SantaCon.

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SantaCon by Jamie McCaffrey Creative Commons.

“Have you seen my friends? They’re wearing red and a few of them have big white beards.”

Do: Use helpful apps BEFORE the festival.

Burner Map

BurnerMap.

In addition to the official festival apps, there are some excellent resources to check out before you get into the festival. If you’re going to Burning Man, check out BurnerMap. It shows you where your Facebook friends are camping and it’s also a fun way to find out that an old friend is a burner. FestEvo, a new app from The Festival Guy, gives you a list of your friends that are going to a particular festival so you always have people to go with.

Don’t: Use your phone at the festival.

Secret Garden Party 2013 Chris Beckett Cellphone Https:Www.Flickr.Com:Photos:Chrisjohnbeckett:14266761549

Secret Garden Party by Chris Beckett Creative Commons.

Aside from the frustration of trying to find service, your phone is a portal to the outside world. Do you really want to step out of a righteous paint war just to scan your newsfeed?

Don’t: Spend the festival herding cats.

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Cat Herder by EDS.

You may want to spend every moment mobbing in a giant crew but some people just want to lag, drift off or run away. Let the curious kittens go early so the rest of the group doesn’t burn out waiting around for them. Soldier on with your most engaged comrades and you’ll move effortlessly through the day’s (or night’s) adventures.

Do: Embrace serendipity.

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Wakarusa by Stephen Ironside.

In spite of your best efforts, you may become separated from your group, and that’s not a bad thing! Sometimes a solo adventure is what you really needed all along. Fear not, the festival will open up for you! You may bump into an old friend or meet a new one. Check out our how-to for tips on making new friends when you’re festing alone.

How do you keep your crew together at a festival?