This question originally appeared on Quora.
By Daniel Super, Lead Game Programmer, Atheist, Burner
As a quick note to begin, Burning Man 2012 will be my ninth consecutive trip to Burning Man, so my answer may reflect that in some ways.
In my first year, I regretted spending too much time at the dance camps and not enough time experiencing the rest of the event. But everything was wonderful, and I got over it.
In my second year, I regretted spending way too much time and energy working on my theme camp and not enough time experiencing the rest of the event. But everything was wonderful, and I got over it.
In my third year, I regretted the fact that I prioritized Burning Man over school and failed some classes, and the money that it cost. But I'm done with school now, and everything is wonderful.
In my fourth year, I regretted not having a long enough rebar holding down my shade structure. The wind ripped it out of the ground and threw it a block away. But I was able to put enough of it back together to keep going, and everything was wonderful.
In my fifth year, I regretted camping so far out on the outskirts of the city, the playa surface was really bad, and all the extra travel distance kept me from finding some of my friends. But, I made lots of great friends in the neighborhood I was camped in, and everything was wonderful.
In my sixth year, I regretted that the love I found on the playa was temporary, and that life went back to normal at the end. Except, not really, it was a wonderful magical thing, and there really is no regret there.
In my seventh year, I regretted teaming up with some people on an art project who didn't come through for us, and left us in the lurch with our electronics not working. I especially regret losing my temper and screaming at them for making my girlfriend cry. But we were able to limp through with backup lights, and everyone loved the art, so it was wonderful.
In my eighth year, I gave up on regret and no longer cared whether I saw or did anything and just completely went with the flow. It was the most wonderful of all.