From Kerouac to the Hippy Trail: Some Notes on the Attraction of On the Road to British Hippies

Brian Ireland, Sharif Gemie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    The hippy trail was one of the last great expressions of alternative tourism. The trail to Lebanon, Morocco, Afghanistan, Nepal, India and other points east, flourished between 1957 (when Jack Kerouac published his influential road narrative On the Road) and 1978 (when the Iranian Revolution closed the land route from Europe to India). This essay explores the importance of On the Road to the British counter-culture and explains why it was such an influence on those who travelled east. We argue that Kerouac proposed a “beat” mode of travelling in which the “outer” journey was a catalyst for an “inner” journey of spiritual growth or enlightenment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)66-82
    JournalStudies in Travel Writing
    Volume19
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2015

    Keywords

    • Jack Kerouac
    • John Steinbeck
    • William Saroyan
    • hippy trail

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