Today on Radio National

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
1 message Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view

Today on Radio National

Mike McDermott
Asia Overland: adventures on the hippie trail

"The infamous 'hippie trail' was the overland route forged through Asia in the early 1970s by young travellers in search of something else – adventure, drugs, or spiritual enlightenment. We explore the trail through the voices and stories of those who were there – a group of rebel Australians who threw caution and suburban upbringings to the wind, packed their duffle bags with little more than maps, sarongs and sandals, and headed into the heart of Asia.

There were fashionable precedents for the shift to Asia – the Beats such as Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder had visited the sub-continent as early as 1962, and then the Beatles had famously decamped to Rishikesh in 1968. And so the 'East' (ironically north-west for Australia) was suddenly hip. It was time to drop out of the West, and into the East.

By boat, train, bus, and car, the Asia overland route went through Bali, South-East Asia, India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey and on to Europe. Ultimately, the experience of the hippie trail would influence Australia's relationship with Asia economically, politically, and culturally."