Hippyocrisy: Trying to Understand the Hypocrisy of Traveling Hippies

hypocrisy of hippies


Is it just me, or has anybody else ever thought that some of the hippies you meet while traveling can be pretty hypocritical? I’ve been thinking about this for some time, and while I’m not about to write off every single traveling hippy out there, this post is definitely directed at a couple of those ‘deeply spiritual new age hipsters’ jetting around the world right now.

I’ve wanted to write this post for a while, but swayed away from the idea of offending people on a platform that we’ve worked so hard to please people with. But, you can’t please everyone in life, so the least we can do is stay true to ourselves. And so here it is fellow hippies, strap yourself in for this truth bomb!


The Hypocrisy of Hippies = Hippyocrisy

I think I’ve invented a word. Well, I’ve Googled it, and I didn’t find much, so I’m just going to claim it. It’s called HIPPYOCRISY, and I’m seeing it everywhere I go around the world! Before I explore this, let’s get back to the roots of this word ‘hippie’. According to a very opinionated and definitely misrepresented Google search on the term ‘hippie’ this is what you get…



“A person of unconventional appearance, typically having long hair and wearing beads, associated with a subculture involving a rejection of conventional values and the taking of hallucinogenic drugs”





hypocrisy of hippies

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So, to be a hippy you can’t show that you’re conforming to conventional values. But, what exactly is conventional these days? Any form of ‘non-stereotype’ takes effort, so just own the fact that you’re trying to be a hippie, or a hipster, or a nerd, it’s ok, I’m not judging you on that part. I could get stuck into a lot of stereotypes or subcultures, but I’ve just focussed on hippies this time.

There’s also nothing wrong with trying to look like a hippie while you’re traveling, or whatever the look it is that you’re going for. Dress how you want, I’d never judge people on that. What HIPPYOCRISY is all about is a person who will dress, act and preach a certain lifestyle to be trendy, and can’t live up to the hype! Hypocrisy is all around us, and nobody is perfect, but there seems to be a lot more of these wandering wannabes traveling the world right now.

And let me add, in many senses of the definition I consider myself a hippie. As a global vagabond, vegetarian and humanitarian, I’m just wandering this earth passing on knowledge about the simple life. I don’t need a lot of fancy items in my life (pretty much everything packs into one backpack these days), but I also don’t need to preach about my body’s positive energy as I eat a bag of mushrooms and wear tie-dye to be an environmentally and animal friendly compassionate guy.


hypocrisy of hippies


So What Is Hippyocrisy?

Rather than a definition, let me give you an example of some hippyocrisy at its best!

Christine and I are taking a ferry trip from the incredible Kong Rong Island in southern Cambodia. As our ferry lazily glides across the water towards the mainland there are bunch of these ‘non-conventional’ ladies sitting across from us. Dreds, long ripped baggy pants, more necklaces and bracelets than Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and they’re talking about this new age mumbo jumbo. Everything they’re saying starts to get me thinking; “hey they’re the real deal”.

As they start to dig into some really deep convo a couple of them pull out cigarettes and light up (no I’m not even going to get stuck into them about supporting a multinational corporation that promotes death… too easy). The story goes on and the cigarette dwindles down to the butt. One girl in particular who seems to running the ‘guidance session’ satisfactorily concludes on a point, but not before stubbing out her butt and throwing it over the edge into the ocean.


hypocrisy of hippies

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WHAT? Was she serious? Polluting the word with her contradictions and non-degradable cigarette butts, am I alone in thinking this is madness? Forget the fact that she’s just committed Hippyocrisy in the highest degree, but why in this day and age are people still thinking it’s ok to litter? It’s beyond me!


Other examples that really piss me off are as follows:

The ultimate wanderer, living out of a backpack without a care in the world. Probably watched Into The Wild or The Beach a few too many times. Lands on a beautiful pristine island and sets up camp, when its time to continue life’s journey, gets up and leaves all their rubbish behind! HIPPYOCRISY… and a tool!

People who preach to me about balancing my Chakras, finding my positive energy, and how their body is a temple, but then they smoke two packs of cigarettes a day. Sorry, that’s HIPPYOCRISY!

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself on your travels, but don’t tell me you’re off on a deeply spiritual journey of enlightenment while sitting in a bar every second evening. HI-HI-HIPPYCRIT!


A Growing Trend

Unfortunately this example of Hippyocrisy isn’t an odd event along the backpacking trail. Being scrubby, letting your hair get matted, accumulating bracelets, taking lots of drugs, partaking in retreats… these are all growing trends among some (definitely not all) backpackers these days. There’s nothing wrong with all of this, we even enjoy a few. Each to their own I say, but if you’re going to start taking up a new trend, at least pick a couple of the most important convictions and stick to them.


hypocrisy of hippies


What To Do If You See A Hippycrit?

If you see a Hippycrit, or any form of Hippyocrisy please act now! You are not alone in this battle against the nasty Hippycrits taking over the world. If something looks Hippycritical, please speak out. We have established a hotline at 1800-NO-HIPPYOCRISY or you can visit our newly developed website at www.nomorehippycrits.com for more information. This is PSA brought to you by Jules and Christine of Don’t Forget To Move.


Am I alone with this idea? Or have you seen a few of these Hippycrits floating around on your travels? Drop us a comment below or find us on Facebook and Twitter!

11 Comments

  • Rebekah says:

    I totally get bothered by this stuff as well. It drives me crazy when people talk about how they’re wanting to be independent and away from society but then instagram EVERYTHING they do. I think people like to look a certain way but often don’t want to change their behaviors or attitudes to reflect it. I tend to think of them as poser hippies.

    • Yep agreed, and it’s not just hippies. I singled them out in particular with this post, but i’m not picking on them haha. There are lots of posers out there, and i think you come across quite a lot of them when you’re traveling because people get the chance to ‘reinvent’ themselves and trial new styles, so they’re often going with the trends.

  • Sarah says:

    Yes!! Haha, great post! As a middle-aged woman who has spent a lot of time around younger hippy wannabes, I’ve seen the hippyocrisy you so aptly articulate! Lots of folks who speak but don’t act on their convictions, who want to make the world a better place but then don’t do anything about it, or worse, change the world in a negative way. =)

    • Thanks for the comment Sarah. Although it was meant as a bit of tongue in cheek post, it has a lot or real ideas behind it. No one is perfect, but walk the walk if you’re going to talk the talk 🙂

  • Marina says:

    This post has some very good points about hypocrisy in humans in general. And I’ve seen your examples thousands of times. Especially bad is when I see it happen at dedicated communities, such as Rainbow camps vs just backpackers with certain clothing style who don’t necessarily claim themselves to have those convictions just because they enjoy wearing that style. But in any even semi organized community there are bad apples, and I actually think that a much better spending of time is working on your own authenticity than running around pointing fingers “Hippiocrate!!”

    • I agree with the points you’ve made, but I’m not exactly sure what your point is at the end? Nobody is perfect, and I make that point pretty clearly. I could have singled out many aspects of humanity, but for the sake of a ‘not so serious blog post’ I focussed my attention more specifically. Being constructive is a good idea, and hypocrisy is all around us, but this is not an example of that 🙂

  • Sandra says:

    I feel the same about tips on choosing the best look for your next Summer festival (falls into this category as well). Everything is fabricated, they all grew up in the Social Media age and don’t seem to know the difference between “being” and “appearing” — I don’t blame them (heck, I love Social Media too!), but I advise parents (like myself) to explain them how to use the tools and give them basic values (as in, be yourself, not another dot in the crowd). Traveling is suddenly “a thing” you MUST do. Forget about the lessons you’ll bring or the people you’ll meet. The other day in Lisbon two girls (in their 20’s I presume) were very upset because the lady at the counter didn’t understand what they were saying. I stepped in and said “that’s because you’re talking in Spanish. we speak Portuguese…” They looked at me as if they didn’t even know it (and my dear friends, I’ve seen stuff like this happen even with travel bloggers…). They wanted ice coffee (a frappy whatever thingy) and I explained they only served espressos, being a typical Portuguese cafe; however, the lady was willing to pour the coffee in a tall glass over some ice cubes, if that helped, and wouldn’t charge more. But no. They were looking for a SPECIFIC product and were bummed about it. What they were wearing resembles a lot what you describe here, and they looked hungover from the night before (then again, it could be jet lag or allergies).

    Sorry about the rant guys (I’m on full ginger mode lol)! I still believe that us, as independent bloggers, can make a change in this mentality. 😉

    • Sometimes a good rant is all you need to reset haha. Thanks for the comment. We know exactly the sort of travelers you’re talking about. I hope we weren’t like that when we first started haha.

  • Hahaha love it 🙂

    Yep, I know exactly what you mean – the young (oooh, stereotype!) backpackers who visit places like Thailand and Bali and *specifically try to look and act like hippies because they think that they’re supposed to and/or it’ll help them fit in* but in reality are the same type of person thinking the same ways as they do at home.

    People sometimes see me as ‘hippie-like’; certainly I share some of the same theoretical ideas but I’m not quite that pretentious! I also, despite paragraph above, don’t preach about my (travel) ways being ‘better’. They work for me; YMMV, I Am Not A Travel Guru, Terms and Conditions Apply, your lifestyle may be repossessed if you fail to keep up with the karma payments … :p

    Mind you, as for: “don’t tell me you’re off on a deeply spiritual journey of enlightenment while sitting in a bar every second evening.” – hey hey! I find my path to spiritual enlightenment is enhanced by a couple of pints of local craft beer … :p (indeed, I’ve been to countries where the entire purpose of the trip was to find nirvana in beer. Well, one – Belgium. I’m going to call that trip a ‘pilgrimage’ … !!).

    • Thanks for the comment! It’s been interesting hearing people’s different views on this haha. What started as a bit of a lighthearted dig has definite;y raised some conversation 🙂 Love your last paragraph! Hey nothing wrong with solving the world’s problems over a couple of pints or bottles of rum. Maybe I should amend that part a bit haha! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  • Haha I love this and you’re absolutely right. I once met this girl in Chiang Mai, who was preaching about chakras and healthy body, and finding herself. I am not really into that, but enjoy a conversation about it and try to find out more. If it makes people happy then maybe there’s something in there for me, too.
    Anyway, as the evening went on she drank more and more cocktails, smoked more cigarettes, then got extremely drunk and had a one night stand with this other ‘hippie’ guy. It was then that I decided not to belive what these kind of people say.

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