Latest Articles

  • Out of Eden book by David Barash

    Out of Eden book by David Barash

    David Barash's Out of Eden examines the prevalence of polygamy in humans (it's more common than you think) and other species. First, he has to define the terms. Have you ever heard of the first term of the three below? Polygyny: When a man has more than one wife. Polyandry: When a woman has more
    Read More
  • Walking Across Madagascar

    Hiking Across Madagascar

    I plan to walk across Madagascar from May 15 to September 30, 2016. Find out where I've already gone and my current position by seeing my live map. I will hike at least 3,000 km (2,000 miles) from its northern tip to its southernmost cap point. That's about the same
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  • Luxury African Safaris for Adventurous Honeymooners

    Luxury African Safaris for Adventurous Honeymooners

    I'm still a honeymooner since I just got married. I went on a safari, which I will write about soon. Our honeymoon will last two years. In 2018, we plan to return to the USA. So when Maxwell Donovan proposed to write an article about taking a luxury safari honeymoon,
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  • How to Survive in the Wild book by Martin and Casucci

    How to Survive in the Wild book by Martin and Casucci

    Do we really need yet another book on how to survive in the wild? There are hundreds of books on outdoor survival skills.  Therefore, I was quite skeptical when I received an advanced review copy of How to Survive in the Wild by Sam Martin and Christian Casucci. I've read
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  • The Planet Remade book by Oliver Morton

    The Planet Remade book by Oliver Morton

    Oliver Morton, author of The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World, is a radical thinker. However, he’s level-headed too. The Planet Remade discusses the various ways to avert an ecological catastrophe. The book is divided into 3 parts: energies; substances; and possibilities. The first looks at the natural
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  • Running With Rhinos book by Ed Warner

    Running With Rhinos book by Ed Warner

    I'm traveling to all 54 African countries from 2013-2018 and I’m spending about 5 weeks in each country, so Running with Rhinos interested me. I was hoping to learn amazing rhino facts that few know about and get some insight into the rhino ecosystem. However, I was disappointed. The author,
    Read More
  • Guide Book Review: TED Talks by Chris Anderson

    Guide Book Review: TED Talks by Chris Anderson

    In 2013, I gave a TEDx Talk. The good news is that it has over 50,000 views, which is unusually high for a TEDx video. The bad news is that there are a few things I would have changed if I had been able to read Chris Anderson's new TED
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  • 5 Affordable Destinations in Eastern Europe

    5 Affordable Destinations in Eastern Europe

    GUEST POST When people travel to Europe, they tend to arrange their trip to hit its most iconic cities, such as Rome, Barcelona, Paris, and London. However, Europe is vast, and your itinerary shouldn't stop there. Oft-overlooked Eastern Europe is just as rich culturally, has the added advantage of being
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  • Birthday-Wedding to Celebrate Francis-Rejoice Marriage

    Birthday-Wedding to Celebrate Francis-Rejoice Marriage

    March 10, 2016 was an extra special birthday because I got married for the first time in my life. My fiance, Rejoice Binta Abbas, had the idea of getting married on my 46th birthday. I thought it was good for our marriage because then I would never forget our anniversary
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  • Taking the plunge by getting engaged!

    Engagement: Taking the Plunge

    My bandwidth in Zimbabwe is limited, so I can't do a proper article right now. Therefore, I will just take the lazy way and share my Facebook posts. The bottom line is that on March 3, 2016, I proposed to Rejoice Binta Abbas Mubarak, a Cameroonian that met in Yaounde,
    Read More
  • How to be a Good Couchsurfing Guest and Host

    How to be a Good Couchsurfing Guest and Host

    Whenever people come to my events or read my books, they ask me, "How do you manage to get invited to so many people's homes when you travel?" First, I am super social when I travel. I talk with whomever I'm sitting next to on the bus. I chat with vendors. I banter
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  • Book Review: The Shock of the Anthropocene

    Book Review: The Shock of the Anthropocene

    Two French authors, Christophe Bonneuil and Jean-Baptiste Fressoz, take you on a historical journey that shows how humans altered the planet. Their 2016 book, The Shock of the Anthropocene, is disappointing, despite the excellent translation by David Fernbach. Around 11,500 years ago, Earth entered an interglacial period during an ice
    Read More
  • Winter in the Wilderness book cover

    Review of Winter in the Wilderness by Dave Hall

    Before sharing my thoughts of this book, I'll share my background and experience to illustrate my expertise, ignorance, and bias. Background on the reviewer I've spent many weeks backpacking in the winter or in winter-like conditions. For example, when I did a round-trip on the Continental Divide Trail, I walked
    Read More
  • Stilt walker

    5 Questions for Gary Arndt of Everything Everywhere

    Gary Arndt is one of the top 5 travel bloggers in the world. He runs Everything Everywhere, which I had the honor to write a guest post for. He's also interviewed me on the This Week in Travel podcast, as well as his new Global Travel Conspiracy podcast. This time, I turned the tables and
    Read More
  • Book Review: Attractive Unattractive Americans by René Zografos

    Book Review: Attractive Unattractive Americans by René Zografos

    It's hard for me to review Attractive Unattractive Americans: How the world sees America because I'm torn.  Background on me I've been to 100 countries and I speak 6 languages, so I'm quite familiar with what the world thinks about America. Moreover, I have three passports (USA, Chile, and France).
    Read More
  • Safari with AAAfrica

    10 Tips for a Great Safari

    In 2014, I went on the best safari with Augustine's Adventure Africa.  Here are 10 tips that this month's guest post says you should consider before going on a safari in Africa: Guest post by Sujain Thomas The safari travel can be a dream come true experience for a lot of
    Read More
  • Missoula book cover 2

    Book Review: Missoula by Jon Krakauer

    Krakauer is one of my top 5 favorite authors. I love his work. Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town is his only so-so book. Krakauer has a writing formula: deeply investigate something extraordinary.Examples:- Into Thin Air: covers the most deadly Mt. Everest disaster of its day- Into the
    Read More

I was 16 years old when the first Burning Man event happened at Baker Beach in San Francisco. I was born and raised in San Francisco, but I only vaguely remember hearing about Burning Man. Over the next 20 years, I would hear about Burning Man, but I was (for no apparent reason) not curious about it.

However, in the last few years, as more people talked about it, my curiosity stirred. Still, I didn't want to know too much about it. I love surprises. Even bad ones. Therefore, even when I bought my ticket, I didn't know what to expect.

I had heard a few rumors that Burning Man is about sex, drugs, and rave music. I wanted to find out how true the rumors were. I'll address that in the next 3 articles. But first, let's get oriented....

Burning Man aerial view by Jim Urquhart

Here's an aerial view of Burning Man 2012.

The location is called Black Rock City, and it is arranged like a clock.

  • We are looking at the city from roughly 9:00 (some will say 9:30) position. 
  • On the opposite side, in distance, is 3 o'clock. 
  • On the right, you can see Center Camp, at the 6:00 position. 
  • The open circular space in the middle is called the Esplanade; in the center is the Man. 
  • To the left of the Man, at the 12:00 position, is the Temple of Juno. 
  • The wide open space on the left is called the Deep Playa, since it is far from civilization. 
  • The further away from the center, the perpendicular streets to the "clock streets" are called A, B, C, D, E, etc... 

Hence, at the bottom of this picture you'll find 3:00 and G.

This logic helps you get oriented, although it can be confusing when it's dark and you're on drugs.

See the upcoming three articles to learn and see more about the most surreal event in the Solar System. Each article gets juicier and juicier....

Today, Burning Man 2013 starts. I wish I was there. Instead, I'm in Guinea, where the local population would be amazed by what happens in Burning Man.

In fact, anyone who has not been to Burning Man would be amazed by what happens there.

Here's what happened in 2012, when I went to my first Burning Man and lost my Burning Man virginity....

The Man

This was the Man in 2012. Every year his shape changes slightly, but his overall look and feel remain like the one you see here. The Man is always made of wood, which makes him easy to burn.

This was my favorite Mutant Vehicle, the Pulpo. Photo by Scott London.
That may sound strange given that I've basically never taken any drugs. I've always avoided drinking coffee and alcohol. They both taste revolting to me. Yes, it's an "acquired" taste. So is drinking piss. No thanks.

I've also never smoked cigarettes. They stink. It's also an "acquired" taste. What's the upside of acquiring it?

Drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, and meth (speed) have little appeal since they seem to only make you excited in some way. I have plenty of excitement in my life without an artificial boost.

Prairie farm house at Burning Man. Photo by Scott London.

The only drugs that interest me are the ones that make you hallucinate. Hallucinating is fascinating. The top hallucinogenic drugs are mushrooms and LSD.

Magic mushrooms

In the Netherlands, I legally bought some Mexican mushrooms and had a hilarious experience. It was the first time I tried them. For about 4 hours I thought everything was funny. I could not stop laughing for 4 hours. By the end of the day, my stomach hurt from all the giggling. It was wonderful.

So I was interested in trying magic mushrooms again in Burning Man. And I was even more curious about trying LSD.

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