PonchoMeg's Guide to Hippie, Bohemian, Free-Spirited Living: Information for the Counterculture
A Place for Modern Day Hippies, Bohemians, and Free-Spirits!
Do you feel as though you don't quite fit into society and what's considered mainstream and normal? Do you like to challenge authority or ideas? Are you creative? Do you believe that music and art and self-expression are more important than things like jobs, bills, and social status? Are you a natural philosopher? Do you believe in the power of peace and love?
I think you are in the right place...
This page is meant to be a resource for those who know that they are different somehow. It is a place for hippies, bohemians, and free-spirits of past, present, and future. It is an informative reference for those in the mainstream as well, to help them to understand members of the counterculture. And it is also a very personal look at who I am.
I am Meagan, known to the online community mostly as PonchoMeg: The Modern Bohemian, thanks to the success of my blogs, my social media presence, my poetry, my books, my modeling, music, acting, and my online articles. I myself am a Modern Hippie, Bohemian, Free-Spirit, and I am proud of it. But I have also suffered for it.
Many people don't understand me. Some days, I barely understand myself. But that's okay. What's worse are people who don't understand and are simply hurtful. For example... I have been called a "dirty hippie," people have assumed that I couldn't be responsible or hold a job (here's a shocker for them... I have been working since I was 14....), and many people assume that all I do is sit around all day and do drugs and listen to The Grateful Dead.
Why so many close-minded views? Well... partly because people don't know any better. Maybe if I can reach some of those people with this hub, it will make a difference. If I can show people the beauty and honesty of living such a lifestyle as I do, instead of simply reinforcing old stereotypes, maybe it will help them to accept others with similar lifestyles.
Now, I won't say that there won't be ANY of the old stereotypes on here, because, let's face it... the Hippie community IS pretty supportive of marijuana, walking barefoot, and listening to jam bands. But what I want people to see is that it's okay to be different. It's even okay to disagree. But let's band together to stop the hate, and just get along.
"Come on people now... smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now." - "Get Together" by The Youngbloods
Peace and Love to ALL!!!
What is a Hippie, really?
A hippie is not just a remnant of the past. Modern hippies exist today, but in different forms, more suited to fitting into the world as is than hippies of the days of Flower Power.
While hippies of the 60's really rocked the boat with their free love, drug exploration, protest rock, peace rallies, communes, festivals, riots, innovative fashions, "green living," incorporations of Eastern religions into Christianity and Paganism, and of course, lava lamps and shag carpeting, modern hippies are a little more... well, restrained. Mostly because all the hard work was already done for us! Sex and drugs and rock and roll are not as taboo as they once were; fashion is broad and eccentric nowadays; "green living" is trendy and on point, and peace and love are seen not only as hippie ideals anymore, but as the powerful forces that they are.
So... modern hippies are lazy hippies? No. Not at all. We just approach our battles differently these days. Well, not entirely differently. Art, music, fashion, media, movies, theatre... they will always be ways of expressing hippie views. But what hippies today have that hippies of the 60's didn't have (but were inventing) is technology! Internet! Connectivity to the world with a clicking of a few buttons. Amazing. So the modern hippie is a tech-savvy hippie. Not always though; there are still a few "off-grid" / commune types out there. Meaning, that modern hippies still don't always fit the same conventions as each other, just as the "old school" hippies didn't. They are originals! Unique, but able to blend or standout at will. Because they do what they want, when they want, HOW they want. So they are selfish? Yes, and no. Modern hippies believe it is important to love oneself and live for oneself. But yet, they also believe in peace and love for ALL. Hmmm....
So... what is a modern hippie then? A lazy representation of the iconic hippie of the Flower Power days with a flair for technology and social activism on a more socially acceptable scale who does what they want, says what they want, wears what they want, lives how they want, and yet strives for peace and love and to help others? Maybe...
What is a Modern Bohemian?
The term Bohemian used to only refer to peoples of Bohemia. But now it refers to the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits or other creative or spiritual endeavors and often involving travel, as an adventurer, vagabond, or gypsy.
When I think of Modern Bohemian in comparison to Bohemian, I think of RENT v. La Boheme. Both are based on the same story, but each creates Boho characters who fit the times. Puccini's Bohemians are truly Bohemian, but Jonathan Larson's Bohemians are Modern Bohemians.
Modern Bohemians live life their way. They do what they want. They believe in creativity and freedom and change! They can be a mash-up of Hippies, traditional bohemians, gypsies, dandies, and/or free-spirits, who live life their own way but fit no category. They usually embrace modern technology, can fit into modern culture (sometimes), and appreciate some modern things, but they also have a fire inside for vintage, antique, and secondhand. They probably drink coffee. (I know I do!)
Modern Bohemian Lifestyle - Free-spirited photos that document one Bohemian's life.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hippie, Bohemian, Free-Spirit Style - Modern Bohemians Love Fashion!
Unique Fashion for Unique People...
Because Hippie, Bohemian, Free-Spirit People are so independent, creative, and unique, it is hard to describe exactly how one dresses. However, I can give you some ideas of things that are often associated with them, and show you examples of things that I know at least SOME of us wear.
Some things you might see on a Hippie/Bohemian/Free-Spirit - Notice that I only said "some"
- Long, flowing skirts in solids or prints. They are usually in Earth tones or in bright, artistic, colorful tones. Prints will often represent other cultures and ethnicities, highlight fun and fantastical imagery or artwork, or will be of something that occurs in nature (flowers, animals, etc.)
- Jewelry. Real. Fake. Classy. Costume. Vintage. New. You'll often see a lot of hemp, turquoise, and handmade beads, and also many layered necklaces and a plethora of chunky bracelets. There may be brooches, pins, and cuff links right along with the cheesy peace sign earrings and obligatory hippie buttons.
- Hats. Getting dressed is like getting in costume, and often, you may need a hat. Floppy beach hats, cowboy hats, berets, top hats, beanies... pretty much anything goes, as long as you have the guts and gusto to pull it off.
- Moccasins, sandals, and other comfortable footwear. Moccasins are great for indoor and outdoor use, sandals such as Birkenstocks are just so darn comfortable and good for your feet, and other cozy footwear like flip-flops, slippers, clogs, and boots are cozy, convenient, and yes... comfortable.
- Heels, thigh-high boots, and other uncomfortable footwear. So... Modern Bohemians sometimes want to make a different kind of fashion statement. High fashion is art after all, so it's okay to mix modern art into the wardrobe. With heels and boots, the sexier the better (but you may still see basic pumps and combat boots) and as for other uncomfortable footwear... well, all I have to say is, sometimes, it hurts to be beautiful. Or... well... it hurts to be art.
- Headscarves, shawls, wraps, belts, capes, and ponchos. Just as with jewelry, these accessories are wanted in any and all forms. Why? Because when not worn on the body, all of these can serve as decoration within the household: over tables, covering lampshades, across the tops of windows, on the back of chairs, as a part of an elaborate work of wall art, or just hanging on a doorknob. It's pretty groovy.
- Secondhand. Vintage. Antique. Homemade. These words mean a LOT to the Modern Hippie/Bohemian/Free-Spirit. Most of my own closet can practically be divided into just these 4 categories! (In fact, probably only about 20% is bought new or received as a gift)
- Tie Dye. If you have any hippie in you, I would hope you had a least a little tie-dye.
- Jeans. Whether they are torn, worn, frayed, and dirty or crisp, clean, dark and skinny... jeans are always cool.
- Leggings, yoga pants, jeggings, etc. Especially if they are in bright colors, groovy patterns, or have peace signs or something on them!
- Harem pants and palazzo pants.
- Frayed t-shirts
- Crocheted dresses, crop tops, ponchos, vests, skirts, etc. If it is crocheted, the answer of whether we will wear it is always YES!
- Wooden purses. They are AMAZING! Like having your own little treasure chest.
- Wrist warmers, leg warmers, and fingerless gloves. Add a little warmth AND fashion!
- Vintage or new band t-shirts. We'll talk more about this in the music section, but some things you may see on these band t-shirts would be:
The Rolling Stones
The Grateful Dead
The Moody Blues
Fashion Goes For Furniture As Well - dressing and home decorating are two similar activities...
Imagine a house where creativity reigns. A place where lots of people can stay (size does not really matter for this by the way), a place that feels homey and comfortable... basically a place where people are free to be who they are. Hippie/Bohemian/Free-Spirit homes are like that. Individualized, artistic, creative, and a bit tongue in cheek, these homes are often full of artwork, vintage finds and furniture found dumpster diving. There may be great, elaborate, and beautiful oriental rugs right underneath a table made from a large cable spool in these homes. These homes may actually be vans, trailers, shanties, tents, or cabins, but they may still have lava lamps, chandeliers, disco balls, or all three. Incense and/or candles will constantly be burning in these homes. This is because: 1. The house needs a better smell, as no one has done the dishes and everything smells like cigarette smoke and weed. 2. The house needs to maintain a good energy, and good scents are conducive to such an energy. 3. Incense and candles are classic, sexy, and energy efficient. Plus melted wax can be used for all sorts of fun! AND/OR 4. No one can afford to pay the electric bill and light is needed.
Great Fashion Websites to Explore
- The Top Five Online Shopping Resources for Hippies, Bohemians, and Free-Spirits
Whether it is your hippie friend's birthday; it's the holiday season and you need to find eco-friendly presents; you just feel like giving your bohemian buds a little something special for no apparent reason; or you want a little something for your h
Hippie, Bohemian, Free-Spirit Music - Which can be anything...
"Music expresses that which cannot be said, but upon which it is impossible to remain silent." -Victor Hugo
It's hard to say what types of music Hippies, Modern Bohemians, and Hippies listen to, because anyone who classifies themselves as one of these pretty much likes what they like, whether it fits a stereotype or not. But, I will attempt to at least reveal some of the more popular musical trends among this crowd, as well as let you in on a little of what I personally love.
Music is a big deal.
Whether it is made on street corners, in basements, recording studios, or onstage, members of the counterculture like music because it expresses what cannot be said in words. Music can take you to a higher level, on drugs or straight-up sober. Music fits and changes moods, inspires revolutions, and defines periods in history.
The most popular music includes:
Rock (especially protest rock)
and for Modern Bohemians, electronic music.
Here is a list of music that wouldn't be surprising to find in a music collection of a Modern Hippie, Bohemian, Free-Spirit.
- The Beatles
- The Rolling Stones
- The Who
- Janis Joplin
- Joni Mitchell
- The Doors
- The Moody Blues
- Jimi Hendrix
- Bob Marley
- Led Zeppelin
- Pink Floyd
- The Grateful Dead
- Creedence Clearwater Revival
- Joss Stone
- Bob Dylan
- Jefferson Airplane
- Ravi Shankar
- Frank Zappa
- Richie Havens
- Joe Cocker
- Blood, Sweat, and Tears
- Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young
- The Animals
- The Byrds
- Van Morrison
- Cat Stevens
- Arlo Guthrie
MY Take on Modern Bohemian, Hippie, Free-Spirited Music - It's not all about what's stereotypically "hippie."
MY Take on Music...
I love music. I'm a music teacher, a singer, a songwriter, and I play several instruments including trombone, piano, and ukulele. I listen to music, I analyze music, I use music in music therapy, to change and mold my moods, and to set the right mood for any event. I perform music, I write music, I LIVE music. I love music so much, that I am open to just about anything. I like almost all music. Of course I have my favorites, as anyone does, but even my favorites come from different genres.
But, it doesn't matter what I like...
Being a modern day hippie, bohemian, free-spirit means that I don't have to just like what is normally considered "hippie" music. I mean, I do like the normal, stereotypical "hippie" music - the protest rock songs that changed the world, the folksy pop ballads about love and peace, and the psychedelic songs that blew people's minds - but my love of music goes far beyond labels and stereotypes. Being a modern day hippie, bohemian, free-spirit means that I can like whatever I want to like and never have to justify it to anyone. It feels good.
I can listen to oldies, funk, rock, pop, jazz, country, blues, rap, ambient, whatever... Why? Because if it is music and it moves me, it doesn't matter where it came from; all that matters is that it touched my heart.
Cool Music Stuff on YouTube!
Books - Books can be great resources, wonderful sources of entertainment, or even act as an escape. Books can be inspiring, fun, moving, and life changing.
Modern Bohemian, Hippie, and Free-Spirit Books to Read
The Bohemian Manifesto - Lauren Stover
The Hippie Handbook - Chelsea Cain
RENT - Jonathan Larson
The Princess Bride - William Goldman
The Egyptian Book of the Dead - E.A. Wallis Budge
Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman
The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka
Scenes de la Boheme - Henry Murger
Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
White Oleander - Janet Fitch
Girl Interrupted - Susanna Kaysen
Tao The Ching - Lao Tzu
The Way to God - A collection of Gandhi's words
Ishmael - Daniel Quinn
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
Summer Sisters - Judy Blume
Wicked - Gregory Maguire
The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton
Hippie - Barry Miles
Plus: Poetry (especially that by Christina Rossetti, Edgar Allen Poe, Keats, Shelley, Byron, and Yeats), Plays (such as those by Oscar Wilde), Religious and Spiritual Texts, Children's Books (Like... Where the Wild Things Are), and other books that talk about hippies, Bohemianism, counterculture, drug use, etc.
This is my first book of poetry. I love poetry - it soothes my soul.
A Passion for Causes!!!
We can change the world!
There is something about being a Modern Bohemian, Hippie, or Free-Spirit that inspires in each person a desire to change the world somehow. Whether it is through social justice, a creative and artistic revolution, education, or a triumph in the field of animal rights, we want to make a difference. Here I provide a short list of just a few of the many causes and organizations that hippies, bohemians, and free-spirits are often a part of:
Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
The March of Dimes
"Be the change you wish to see in the world..." - Gandhi
Other Things Modern Bohemians, Hippies, and Free-Spirits May Be Into...
- Healthy Living
- Reducing, Reusing, Recycling
- Dumpster Diving
- Being a Muse
- Reckless Behaviors
- Sexual Adventures
- Dressing in Drag
- Arts and Crafts
- Spreading Peace and Love
Peace and Love to ALL!
Need a Job???
- The Hippie, Bohemian, Free-Spirit Guide to Getting a Job
THE online resource for hippies, bohemians, and free-spirits who need employment, want to work in the field that they are passionate about, want to work online or work from home, or who just need training, resume help, or access to job boards.
Please Take The Poll!
Are you a Modern Hippie, Bohemian, Free-Spirit?
I love hearing from my visitors. What do you think of the this guide? Are you a hippie, bohemian, or free-spirit? Do you disagree with me on anything? Why or why not? Have any great ideas, tips, fashion advice, or groovy websites to share? Please... take a moment to write a little something. I'd love to hear it!
Peace and Love to ALL!!!