The Hippie Trail: The Original Backpackers

Posted on September 5, 2011


The “Hippie Trail” was a popular overland travel route from Europe to Asia during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Although it often diverged, many travelers passed through Tehran, Kabul and Peshawar, ending in Asia, Nepal, Thailand or Australia. The journey was usually defined by extremely limited budgets, and most travelers sought personal transformation, adventure, escape from the burdens of the “real world,” and spiritual enlightenment.

Those who took off on this famed travel route traversed the continents by bus, railway, bicycle and thumbing (hitchhiking). Many travelers, heavily strapped for cash, slept on couches, trains, rooftops and/or any suitable patch of ground in order to save money. They often relied for survival on the people they met along the way, and their lack of necessity for material possessions allowed them to get in touch with the local culture in a way that seems almost impossible in today’s touristic climate.

While the classic hippie trail may no longer be possible due to political shifts, young travelers today take off for many of the same reasons: to learn about new cultures, to escape pressures of modern life, to discover transformation, to achieve spiritual enlightenment, or simply to get lost and have fun.

We highly suggest checking out the website of a former hippie trail veteran, Erik Pontoppidan, who shares his travel adventures on his website, complete with photos and personal anecdotes.

His website can be viewed here: The Road to Paradise

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