Life, Travel Diaries

Coachella in My (almost) 40s


When my friend Sheila invited us to go to Coachella all I could think of was that – at last – I’d had an excuse to wear a flower crown without feeling ridiculous (that, until I saw The Fat Jewish billboard: “Friends don’t let friends wear flower crowns” – hilarious). Ugh.  Then, I thought: camping? Not for me. Music all day, non-stop? Not for me.  Feeling crowded? God, please, no. Wearing boho-chic outfits? I’m in! But, really, camping?

Little did I know, that my friend Sheila is a spoiled traveler like myself. She sent us the itinerary which started with her address: just one mile away from the festival’s premises – close enough to be there, but far enough to get away when needed.  The email continued with phrases like: “poolside yoga,” “drinks at home,” and “VIP area.” I started packing.

Getting my outfits ready was the most fun. I really enjoyed going through my closet, browsing online and on site in several stores, and planning a “Coachella” look for my hair and nails. Beachy waves. Check. Flower crown. Check. Booties. Check. Boho dress. Check. Pom-poms. Check. Fringe. Check.

I had a great “first timer” experience. Going to Coachella is something you definitely have to experience at least once in your life.  It is a festival full of joy, happiness, and good energy. People of every age sharing an immense and beautiful space where creativity and music meet. Thousands of them are drinking, and the air is filled with pot smoke but despite this, you never feel a heavy atmosphere – on the contrary – all you breathe (besides pot) is peace and love. When the Guns n’ Roses’ performance started my friend, and I got trapped amid a crazy flood of people coming in different directions. She shared with me that as she saw one face after another: celebrities, junkies, twenty-something girls dressed in feathers and body jewelry, models, guys dressed up like Axl Rose (the good years of Axl Rose) she had an amazing realization: we are all the same. I agree, we really are.

Would I go back next year? I guess it’s like asking someone about having another child when she just gave birth to the first one; ask me when I can only remember the good stuff, and I’ve forgotten that it took us 5 hours to get there and that hangovers are not as manageable as they were in my 20s. Plus, it’s been a week already, and I am still paying the toll.

Here’s why Coachella is different in your 40s:

1. No camping, please.

2. We can party, yes, but we have an expiration date (ours lasted 4 or 5 hours tops)

3. What’s the latest we can go to the festival?

4. Do we really need to walk 3 miles to get to the actual festival? What about those bike taxis?

5. Tolerance to the crowds from 1-10, being 10 very tolerant? CERO.

6. Urge to pick up all the trash from the floor and saving yours until you find a bin to throw it away.

7. Wait. Is that Clover juice? I didn’t eat any veggies today, might as well combine it with my vodka.

8. Jumping? O U T   O F  T H E  Q U E S T I O N! All the moms, you know what I am talking about.

9. Watching the young crowd and wondering whether you will allow your own kids to go or not.

10. Despite all of the above, feeling young, joyful, and fabulous just by being part of it in your own comfortable and spoiled way!

Have you ever been to the festival? What was your experience? I would love to hear about it.