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How ‘The Hippie Trail’ was a new, revolutionary way of travelling

Published date: December 5, 2018
Last modified: December 12, 2018

‘I’m taking a gap year’ is a common phrase you hear from a wide range of young people in the UK. Often, young people save up to go travelling in between studies, to countries like Thailand, Nepal, Vietnam, India and Cambodia. South East Asia being particularly popular for cheap rents and food.

But it would be interesting to see if these young people knew about the original hippies who rejected traditional tourist spots to have a more authentic travelling experience.

The Hippie Trail took place in the 1960s and 1970s, with members of the hippie subculture travelling eastwards to countries like Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal. The Trail marked a new way of traveling, a form of alternative tourism where travellers would enjoy the process of travel, taking in new possibilities, meeting new people and leaping into the unknown.

At Lichfield Literature 2019, Sharif Gemie shares his views on the motivations and experiences of the hundreds of thousands of hippies who travelled and asks: were the travellers simply motivated by a search for drugs? Did they encounter love or sexual freedom on the road? Were they basically just tourists? Sharif Gemie will also discuss the legacy of the Hippie Trail and how it changed how we travel today.

Sharif Gemie, The Hippie Trail: A History, Friday 8th March, The George Hotel at 11.45am 

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