The traveler featured in the clip above, from a movie called Hippie Masala, faced a similar dilemma. Hippie Masala, a documentary produced in 2007, follows the current lives of several aging hippies who made their way to India in the 60’s and 70’s in search of spiritual fulfillment, the allure of drugs and the chance to live a supposedly “simpler” life. While many members of their generation took similar short trips to the east, the vast majority eventually returned to their Western lives after weeks or months. This was not the case for a determined few, who set about creating a new life for themselves among their adopted culture.
How are we to interpret these stories? It’s easy enough to write off Hippie Masala as a cautionary tale about a bunch of crusty old hippies who tripped and fell on their idealism. But perhaps there’s something larger at work – an impulse to “leave it all behind” that we’ve all considered acting on but never brought to fruition. You can watch the documentary for free, in its entirety on the SnagFilms website and decide for yourself.