Most of us have heard it somewhere. Maybe you’ve received the friendly warning from an eager fatalist: “Come December 21st, 2012, it’s all over, man. The Mayans say so.” Anyway, there are few left to argue the point with…
In Roland Emmerich’s film, 2012, Woody Harrelson waits out this impending doom of ours on a mountaintop in Yellowstone, I myself am committed to an end-of-the-world party on Facebook, and countless others have pre-planned their final hours based on the ancient prophecy.

The truth is, the Mayan calendar predicts the end of an epoch, not the destruction of the Earth. But whether you want to be sure you’re doing something significant in case of apocalyptic complications, or you’re uncertain about how to kick off a new age, I’ve got an option for you.

In recent travels, I met several drifters who have either been involved with, or are intent on future participation in an ongoing event known as the International Rainbow Gathering. IRG is a roving community of vagabonds who live in the woods, forming temporary and sustainable pseudo-societies wherever they choose to set up camp. One self-proclaimed “miracle child,” budding “warrior of light,” and good friend of mine laid the thing out like this: “It’s just thirty-thousand hippies in the woods.” So, if you’ve ever dreamed of shirking the Man’s grip for a little while, embracing your inner flower energy, and posting up wherever the wind blows, here you go:

This winter, the gathering is crossing the border into Mexico to bunker down in the Mayan ruins for the month of December. The invitation is open. There’ll be day-glo. There’ll be energy reading. There will be widespread odor like you’ve never dreamed of, but you’ll be sharing that stench with modern Mayan officials and dedicated neo-beatniks alike.

Perhaps you’d rather be hobnobbing with South American religious elders than corporate bigwigs when, as the forecast of old states, Earth and the rest of the Milky Way shift into alignment… Perhaps you drop hints around the office about a large transient market emerging south of the border, and maybe, just maybe you find yourself stepping onto foreign soil, briefcase in hand, armed with selling points and hidden joints. However it plays out, there’ll always be another chance to join up with this massive, nomadic tribe in the future so long as the world doesn’t actually end. The invitation is always open.

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