Paia Hippie Classification

They go by many names – bohemians, free spirits, flower children, nonconformists, beatniks, longhairs, anti-antiperspirants – but hippies have been a recognizable staple of American culture since the 1960s, and continue to appeal to younger generations seeking an identity for their ‘peace and love’ ideals and general disdain for ‘the man.’

And let’s be honest – since ’the man’ is no longer a faceless, elitist representation of greed and power, but actual billionaires (some of which live across our islands) – empathizing with their sentiments isn’t the most outlandish of tasks. That is not to say, however, that all hippies were born alike, or can be contained within a vastly generalized term just because they stopped eating red meat on Wednesdays or added a Phish song to their Spotify playlist.

Types of Hippies

Hippies come in all forms, fashions, and families, and since Paia Town has been a beloved, salty melting pot of hippie happenings since the 70s, I’m here to classify some of the most recognizable types for your knowledge and entertainment.  Also, read some of our experiences through the hilarity of having an office in Paia Town.

Enjoy, and if these remarks offend your delicate sensibilities, we suggest channeling your inner hippie for a peaceful protest, which always wins over long and ultimately fruitless social media rants. Mahalo.

Here are the many Types of Hippies

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The Mystery Homeless Hippie

At some undetermined point in time, homelessness became intertwined with hippie culture, perhaps partly for its seemingly blasé attitude toward recreational drug use or rejection of popular practices of general hygiene.

In Paia, however, a homeless person can easily be confused with a newly retired multi-millionaire, often in the form of a 30-something app designer from SoCal sporting a singular lump of sun-drenched dreadlock and sipping coconut water outside of Mana Foods, sans-slippahs. Or, you know, Steven Tyler before he’s had a chance to properly smudge his eyeliner.

mystery homeless hippies of Hawaii

Granted, many of those that look homeless in Paia are truly homeless and have some real problems that our society needs to address.  But you just never know who’s in need and who’s got a 12-room estate in Haiku. I was moments from giving my loose change to a guy that got into a Bentley (driver and all!)

Hippie Power Ratings (1-10):

  • Cleanliness – 1
  • Drug Use – 4
  • Financial Stability – 0 or 10
  • Positive / Negative Aura – 0-10

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The Work-It-For-All-You-Can Hippie

Taking notes from idols like Duane Smith, the real-life millionaire bum who coined the ‘Why Lie, I Need Money for Beer’ sign in 1979, these hippie-gone-hobos are all too familiar with the use and abuse way of life.

Work it Hippie

In between checking Snapchat on their vintage iPhone 6, purposefully covering themselves in a fresh layer of pungent hand-me-downs, and rolling up several weeks worth of stale Bali Shag, these ‘hippies’ will happily call you a stingy mofo for not forking over the small bills and/or change from your most recent nearby transaction. It’s all a balance of ideals, man.

They’re not all bad, though. As if judging you for selling out and getting a 9 to 5 job and showing a general willingness to throw your trash in an actual trash receptacle wasn’t charming enough, they will sporadically offer you a puff of their half-smoked, spit-swamped joint, let you pet their dog, ask you for schedule 1 drugs and compliment your ass.

Hippie Power Ratings (1-10):

  • Cleanliness – 1
  • Drug Use – 10
  • Financial Stability – 3
  • Positive / Negative Aura – 3

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The Trustafarian Hippie

Newly graduated and student loan free (thanks, mom and dad!) from liberal arts college, trustafarians are often gifted all they need to inhabit the hippie lifestyle they so desire – namely, lots of free time, one-way plane tickets, healthy trust funds, and a predictable dose of white privilege.

Trustafarian Hippie

Priding themselves on their ability to grow luscious locks of chemical-free, salon-endowed rasta pasta, consume only the most well-branded, all-natural ingredients, drive recklessly in their Tesla Model S, smoke the finest herb from their bamboo bongs and sport custom-made dashikis and obscure reggae lyric tattoos, trustafarians are self-proclaimed rebels without (much of) a cause.

The Milli Vanilli of hippies, if you will, perhaps the primary redeemable quality of the trustafarian is their willingness to share. Thanks for the Burning Man tickets!

Hippie Power Ratings (1-10):

  • Cleanliness – 8
  • Drug Use – 7
  • Financial Stability – 10
  • Positive / Negative Aura – 6

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The Hippie Gone Right

Do you know why copious amounts of people try so hard to be considered hippies? Because when done with a little self-respect and authenticity, hippies are actually a very loveable, respectable, and proactive group of people.  Almost perfect people!

Perfect hippie

Shunning materialism and focusing on what’s best for the Earth and the people on it, the ideal hippie is politically informed and engaged, environmentally conscious, and innovative. They care for their body, advocate for what’s right in their local and broader communities, and often participate in activities like meditation and yoga. While drug use isn’t necessarily condoned or an essential part of their lifestyle, mind-opening drugs paired with good company and good music haven’t made for the worst of evenings.

We’re lookin’ at you, Willie.

Hippie Power Ratings (1-10):

  • Cleanliness – 8
  • Drug Use – 5
  • Financial Stability – 7
  • Positive / Negative Aura – 10

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The Hip-For-Hype Hippie

As soon as entrepreneurs discovered that certain subsets of hippies (see: trustafarians, hippies gone right) were willing to pay more for organic items, a whole new kind of hippie naturally emerged. One could call them opportunists, or even exploiters, but we prefer to call them hip-for-hype hippies.

entrepreneur hippie

Much like the hippies mentioned above, they are also seemingly environmentally conscious and concerned about living a healthy lifestyle, only they’ve discovered how to use it to the ultimate advantage of their ever-growing bank accounts. Which makes you wonder… behind their newest locally bagged ice brand and ornamental kale wreath company, and gluten-free meow meow mix cat treat conglomerate, do they really care, or do they just care enough to keep selling you $12 eco-friendly eggplant water until they can retire on a yacht in Mexico, non-vegan tamales and all?

Hippie Power Ratings (1-10):

  • Cleanliness – 9
  • Drug Use – 2
  • Financial Stability – 9
  • Positive / Negative Aura – 2

Comedian, actress, and real-life vegan Sarah Silverman? She gets it.

Via Twitter many years ago: @SarahKSilverman: Who’s gonna adopt me – I’m in @Maui. Where do the hippies-of-some-means go & can we come?

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The Holier Than Thou Hippie

Shoot me in the counter-culture enlightenment hole. We all know the kind, right? This ultimate pile of pretentious turd is the kind that oh so generously tips the bartender in healing crystals and reschedules their vintage indie vegan market in order to explain to the nearest group of common peasants how to properly prepare a custom ritual bath to reach the optimal chakra balance.

Holier than Though hippie

Through daily meetings with their pansexual life chaperone and with the encouragement of the Dalai Lama’s repeated voicemails (they’d call back if technology weren’t so foul), this full-out save-the-Earth crusader has recognized their higher purpose and pities the fools who haven’t yet perceived their full, cultivated selves.

While they haven’t touched a drug since their childhood shaman caught them with sub-par dank on the family yak farm, they won’t say no to a sunrise camel semen snorting session. It’s just the only genuine way to feel the higher powers of the earth, you know?

Hippie Power Ratings (1-10):

  • Cleanliness – 4
  • Drug Use – 2
  • Financial Stability – 6
  • Positive / Negative Aura – Douchey

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This ridiculous article couldn’t have been made without the hilarious genius that is Kelsey Love. You had me at camel semen.

PAST: 2 decades on Maui, 35 years of surfing, 21 countries traveled, and just 1 treehouse built.

PRESENT: Seeking great food, would create art daily if I had endless energy/time, I run 3 businesses, and I put family at #1.  Prepping for the next personal challenge.

FUTURE: I'm most excited catching up and getting ahead with work. We just did 3.5 months of traveling, so no more major travel for a bit.


Europe with kids for 104 Days

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