The sixties seem to be long gone, but the hippies haven’t. Hippies were the style of the sixties and the trend continues to this day. They have evolved over the years to form their own culture, traditions, practices and alternative lifestyles which embraced peace and love. They bring along the charm of a joyful and “devil-may-care” way of life with things that a normal person can only dream of. Hippies still flock to a few corners of the world, practicing the ideals they believe in and reliving the age which they so obdurately fought to keep alive.
Here are a few places where their spirit still roams.
Every tired traveler’s dream, Kathmandu comes first and last on every hippie trail. Strange, unexpected and amazing, attracted by the seemingly onerous travel it takes to reach here and the relatively negligible cost of living hippies converge to this magical realm from around the world. A luscious juxtaposition of East meets west. Kathmandu has changed a lot since the sixties but Freak Street retains the allure that so many travelers have come to relish. Cheap hostels with satellite TV, Classic Rock cover bands with Nepalese accents, and Mexican restaurants with curry specials make Katmandu one of the world’s most baffling hodge-podges. While you make your way through the tangled streets, you will see why so many travelers, hippies in particular, make an essential stop in their round-the-world itinerary. The Himalayas will keep you company while you are on a high, in every sense.
As cliche as it may sound, Ibiza cannot be ignored on any hippie list connected to travelling. It was the birthplace of raves and a central location for hippies travelling from all over Europe to the island in the sixties. And Ibiza now boats of a far from idyllic picture. Four million tourists visit the island every year. A visit to the raves is by no means cheap but the wonderful architecture and walking trails towards the north make the place worth a visit.
Chefchaouen was once part of the hippy trail from Marrakech to the Rif Mountains. With a name as exotic as this, it is no wonder why people find the place captivating. Lucky for the hippies, the place has lived up to the aura it so easily creates. The blue-hued city with the majestic Rif Mountains as a background and a charming medina, Chefchaouen may be outshined by the more well-known Marrakech or Tangiers, but it has developed a status of its own as an artisan’s city. In Chefchaouen, you might be offered “Kif”, a mind altering substance; and if you are into it, you might end up staying for more than one session of “Kif on the Rif”.
One of Central America’s hippie-est towns, Panajachel, lies on the banks of Lake Atitlan. A blossoming indigenous culture is one of the main attractions and the scenery of the lake helps the process. Panajachel or ‘Pana’ as it is called has an extensive emigre population. Though it has been commercialized, the sweeping vistas of the lake and their hospitality more than make up for the crowd.
The original hippie escape, many a seeker has found nirvana here. This petite, former-Portuguese enclave was discovered in the sixties and has had a stable influx of tourists ever since. Goa is still one of the sites for the old hippies to congregate, soak up the sun and for the heady amalgamation of cultures. Also the birthplace for Goa trance, the beaches of Anjuna and vagator are often the setting for nightlong raves. A visit to Goa will reiterate the verity that old hippies don’t die; they just pack their bags and head to Goa!