I work in software, where new, previously unthinkable technologies come out constantly. I can lick my elbows, which the naysayers consider impossible. This is my roundabout way of saying that I firmly believe most things are possible.
But one thing that I never thought I would be able to do is go to Glastonbury. It’s one of the biggest music festivals ever. Tickets sell out fast. It’s across an ocean. I’m poor. But I went in 2015 and it was life changing/one of the best experiences of my life.
Shangri-La: A dance party with political overtones?
Does alcohol make dreams come true?
It all started one drunken wine and cheese night with Shannon. Two bottles in and after meeting an inspirational couch surfer (he went to Oxford to study physics, tried out the real world, said screw this after a few months, and was traveling the world to experience as many [electronic] music festivals as possible), we were naming our life goals. “What if…. what if we just, like, went to Glastonbury?” Turns out, it was preregistration time, and so we registered!
Fast forward to actual presale ticket buying time, where we had to refresh our browsers like crazy to try to get into the form to buy a ticket andddd…. A few minutes later it had sold out. Now experienced in what everyone means when they say it’s insanely hard to get tickets, we decided to pursue easier bucket list goals.
But then, the day came for normal ticket buying time. Surprise surprise, it was like 12am so I was drunk and on my laptop anyway. “Maybe I’ll just see the ticket situash.” And I got in! I got both of us tickets! What the shit! No more wine left but going to Glastonbury.
You don’t *need* money to do things, but it does give you less face wrinkles
At this time, I was working at skin care job. Like early times in skin care job, when I still had a lot of credit card debt to pay off from living off it after quitting crazy place (actually, quitting that job was another best experience of my life). Plus student loans, bank loans, still in grad school so not even working full time (maybe 80% of the time), etc. Hell no, I was not ready to buy a ticket to London in the freaking summer at that time!
So, I pulled a me and procrastinated, and when it came down to “shit you should really get your ticket” time, they were $1800. WHO HAS THAT KIND OF MONEY. I seriously considered not going- how was I going to afford this flight?! But since Shannon had moved to another country and this would be our reunion AND I was one of the lucky few who grabbed tickets, I decided to make it happen no matter what. I sleuthed around and found that you can make tickets cheaper by adding inconvenient stops to your trip (i.e. a multicity flight)!! Mine was in Istanbul, which I’ve always wanted to see anyway, and this lowered my ticket price to a mere $1500 (just for comparison, I flew to Europe in 2014 for $700). It did take me a few months to pay it off when I got back, but it was worth it.
I had a ticket but still the more responsible types would not consider traveling in my situation. Or maybe the issue is being able to set aside the proper amount of cash for your travels. Either way, I’m not one of those people.
I went into Glastonbury with probably $80 (so maybe £60 at that time) in cash- we did bring food to camp with, but for whatever reason, most of our food (veggies/fruits/breads) went bad after a day. They had tons of hot food there, but it was cash only! Whaaaaatttt!!! AND my card wouldn’t work in the ATM machines. Despondent, and sick of granola bars and alcoholic cider, I thought I was going to die. Until……..
A Cornish pasty: where my last £2 went on day 1. I have no regrets.
Religion saves…. Or, never give up hope
Until we found the Hare Krishna tent! They had free food for all meals (including snack time)! These people literally saved my life and I am SO thankful that we ran into their tent. As a borderline obnoxious militant atheist, if I had to choose a religion to follow, this *might* be it. Not even just because they gave me free food (only mostly because of the food), but because everyone was extremely peaceful and they actually did things that they said they would do (feed the hungry, give up time to serve people, I don’t even know they just seemed like good people). But really, it means a lot to me that there are organizations that truly do give their resources/time/energy to serving people- especially at a festival (and I lied, my last couple of pounds actually went in their donation jar).
It was an amazing festival, but I learned from my irresponsible decisions
More on why Glastonbury itself was such a life changing experience another day. But despite the odds (difficulty in getting tickets, not really having money, not coming prepared), I made it to/survived Glastonbury! All it takes is a little determination, faith, luck, and maybe alcohol, to make the impossible happen. With that said, I will likely never be so unprepared for something again. Because it’s freaking stressful. But I’m glad I had this experience. Once.
Have fun with your life. But within reason.