Bust out your inner hippie!

Trip Start Jan 15, 2010
Trip End Nov 09, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hostel International Uspallata

Flag of Argentina  ,
Wednesday, March 3, 2010

As I sit in this fantastic, peaceful beautiful hostel surrounded by mountains, near a flowing river stream 6 km from the sleepy town of Uspallata, I let my mind wander to what it meant to be a hippie. I asked a couple of the young American volunteers (age ranges from 23 to 26) on the farm if they considered themselves hippies, and they said yes. Then one of my older friends from Corporate America commented that he had an "inner hippie". So I started wondering what these people had in common, and if, in fact, I have an "inner hippie" too, that has been trapped in a yuppie all these years…

So I went to dictionary.com and looked it up--The first definition that came up was:



a person, esp. of the late 1960s, who rejected established institutions and values and sought spontaneity, direct personal relations expressing love, and expanded consciousness, often expressed externally in the wearing of casual, folksy clothing and of beads, headbands, used garments, etc.

I guess a modern day hippie would still have the same value system - seeking “spontaneity, direct personal relations expressing love and expanded consciousness” (although I suppose this might be code to actual hippies for “lots of sex and drugs”), but I choose to take it at face value. In my 20’s I was incredibly spontaneous, would decide to do something and just do it--somehow it always turned out okay. I saw this wonderful quality in the farm volunteers--living an extremely happy life working on farms, staying with jobs that made them happy and no worries about getting the next job, where they were going to live, etc. Do all people in their 20’s have this quality for awhile and lose it to “time to get a career now!!” or are there truly some people born to be hippies that either stay on that path or get turned by the dreams of being “rich and successful?” I’m not sure what the answer is, but I would like to think that we all have an inner hippie that would allow us to be happy with less, carefree, non-judgmental and open to new experiences and conversations. I think we should all try on our inner hippies and see what happens--no matter your age or position in life!!! If you want to tell me about it--that would be groovy :)

As for our next move, we've decided not to head over to Santiago and Valpariso (as there is a State Department travel alert for Americans), and instead bought bus tickets for a 17 hour journey north to Salta, Argentina.  We are sad to leave the Hostel at Uspallata, as it is a favorite so far--again the sense of community is strong--the owner is incredibly hospitable, we have dinners each night with whoever is at the hostel, sharing travel stories, wine, and the occasional mate.  I love hearing everyone's story--we continue to meet people in transition, starting new businesses, trying to find themselves--lots of kindred spirits!!

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Linda on

I always knew you had it in you! ;-)

Bo on

My inner hippie says make big fires and burn them and smoke meats with good appetizer from the neighbors who happen to be family and drink really good wine

Irene Sasaki on

What, no photos of you drinking mate? I think the cutlure around mate is interesting....the preparation, sharing of it freely amongst themselves (where we would think - yuck!), and the drinking of it all day.

Glad to hear you've found your inner hippie. I knew it was in you! Glad you can have more time to venture through Argentina. I look forward to seeing more posts!

Hair on Fire on

It looks like the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Love that you are releasing your inner hippie! I knew you had it - and now Jeff - it is exciting to see he is releasing his as well. We are all enjoying your trip vicariously!

mackie on

My inner hippie...not that I like the term....living in Bedias adn trying to make life better for family, community and self.... Having lived in the "HIPPIE era"...afraid it wasn't so romantic for those who kept the world going so SOME of the hippies could play havoc with the world, community and themselves and their families.......Since I obviously was NOT a hippie.....but still pursued happiness...and it does not have to be abandonment of all responsibility to self, community, etc......my thoughts of hippie dwell on drugs, self destruction, irresponsibility, heartache for family and friends .....you get the picture. Ah, but there I go again.........being too "establishment" and letting planes, trains and automobiles exist...........Will be a nice discussion for the fires in Bedias...........I love your travel log.........cheers, mackie

Rick on

Ok you are sharing mates?

Maureen Rockwell on

Inner hippie? I thought "hippie" came from "hip" on their body -- where they injected themselves with drugs (and it was not as visible as the arm). Urban myth? Either way -- I like your inner hippie narrative better!

bakpaknbizclass on

I wasn't in the hippie era obviously, but I don't think of it as synonymous with irresponsibility--I think more about taking on the positive aspects--not caring what people think, happiness in community and with self. Free self expression and being part of something bigger than yourself. Exactly what you (Mackie) are trying to build in Bedias. I salute you.

Ben Whtie on

Glad you guys are enjoying yourselves. Sounds as if fun is being had by all. Thanks, but I'll pass on the hippie gig. What's the old saying, "its all about choices." Have fun, be safe....................

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