How To Be A True Bohemian: 7 Simple Steps

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Dig the bohemian style? Looks appealing right? Those countercultural folks, they’ve got the whole hippie – free spirit thing going. Those barefoot walking, bandana-wearing jam band fans have been on the barricades for over a century now.

They say, screw mainstream. They value art and self-expression over status and stuff. But how exactly does one live the bohemian lifestyle?

Here’s how to live an unconventional lifestyle with few permanent ties. Follow these tips and join the ranks of vagabonds, hobo’s, free-spirited artists and wanderers.

1. Wear Bohemian fashion

rebellion can be bought at LuLu’s

Wearing boho chic helps you retain the original spirit of revolt.

Sure, since end 18th century, consumerism has run off with the original bohemians’ clothes. The last time, gypsy clothes were popularized by Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. But that’s a good thing.

Glossy magazine covers featuring liberated, pouting Boho women, their hair blowing in the wind while sporting vivid colors and a hotchpotch of patterns, are there to help you decide what’s appropriate.

Make sure to pseudo-nonchalantly wear two different socks to fit the Berlin or Mission District crowd (don’t make the mistake to accidentally put on two matching socks on a hasty morning, because you’re being very un-bohemian).

Negative nancy’s will proclaim that shallow fashion trends create a fake sense of liberation. Don’t let that hold you back. Bohemian fashion is a means of expression. A style that routes back to the century old look, one that helps instill the free-spirited roots of Bohemia in your attitude.

Wear boho chic and nonconformity radiates off of you. Follow the trends closely to stay connected with the core value of living a truly free, unconventional life.

What I’m actually saying:

Bohemian fashion has become a marketable commodity. We’re being manipulated into insecurity by sneaky advertisers. Don’t be fooled. Be free. Wear what you want and maintain your free spirit. Boho chic is a cuss word in the ears of the genuine Boho chick.

2. Start drinking absinthe

The Absinthe Drinker by Viktor Oliva (1861–1928)
The Absinthe Drinker by Viktor Oliva (1861–1928)

In the late 19th century artists and poets were lumping together outside of the bourgeois mainstream culture in Paris. The political radical, anarchistic Bohemians gathered in ‘cafes’ and drank absinthe like the Germans drink beer.

Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Charles Baudelaire, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pablo Picasso, and Aleister Crowley were all known absinthe drinkers.

It was no coincidence that absinthe consumption was frowned up by social conservatives and prohibitionists.

The myth that absinthe turns you into a hallucinating junkie came to life during the late 1800s because famous absinthe imbibers such as Oscar Wilde and Vincent van Gogh took various other drugs too.

The myth is still persistent so go ahead, provoke the establishment, drink absinthe (here’s how to drink absinthe like a proper bohemian). In case the consumption of the green elixer is socially accepted in your hood you’ll have to up the anteby taking step 3.

What I’m actually saying:

Drink absinthe, white russians, beer or a virgin bloody mary. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you drink or don’t drink. Bohemians are original. Hit the clubs while drinking a cold glass of cow milk? Go ahead. You don’t give fucks. You’re free to do as you want. You’re a bohemian.

3. Do drugs

psychedelic drug use has been repressed for thousands of years

You always thought drugs are bad? Gotta man up bro / woman up sis. Using, abusing actually, is part of the lifestyle.

Keith Richards, commonly known as the ultimate hobo, in his own words  “used to walk down Oxford Street with a slab of hash as big as a skateboard”.

So take some Acapulco red, Galloping Hores, or Gift of the Sun God.

Don’t be afraid, tripping, amping, deliriums, blurred vision, puking, flashbacks belong to the experience. Just as epiphanies, day dreams, and divine interventions do.

A drug-infused bloodstream is the backbone of the true Bohemian. Go loco, score some Gorilla Biscuits and start your modern day bohemian existence with some chemical induced dedication.

Don’t hold back. Take an example of Dali. He did not just take drugs, “I am drugs” he said himself.

What’s more,

Drugs are the fuel on which the artistic machine runs. Without you’re a poser. Merely a soulless bum.

Taking drugs will make you a better artist, thus a better Bohemian. How else are you going to surpass drabby doodles and stodgy songs? All the great artists, from Picasso to Van Gogh, from The Stones to The Beatles did drugs.

It’s like Bill Hicks said:

“If you don’t think drugs have done good things for us, then take all of your records, tapes and CD’s and burn them”.

What I’m actually saying

I do not advocate breaking the law. Realize that drug use, whether it’s illegal or sanctioned by the state can be dangerous for your health and freedom (you can die or end up in jail). Again, doing drugs has nothing to do with being an authentic human being / living a bohemian lifestyle.

It’s true that psychedelic drugs are known to give you a whole other perception on things. They, for instance, erode work ethic, which is exactly why most of these botanic substances are prohibited. Psychedelics dissolve boundaries, erode the excess of ego which is the main problem of humanity in its current state. They help us put things in perspective. Be kinder. Love more. Awareness that the whole war on drugs is pure insanity is growing. Psycho active substances need to be studied and put into the hands of doctors and therapist so they can be used to help people. Terence McKenna put it like this:

“Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.” – Terence McKenna

4. Create art


Tell your boss to go to hell and live the minimal, artistic live in your tiny, paint splattered studio apartment.

Gather with your bohemian friends and chat about pursuing artistic endeavors such as making music or writing books. Other transcendent activities; sing, dance, draw, paint, sculpt, write poetry or write blog posts about the bohemian lifestyle.

Throughout history, arts have been a vessel to express ideas that were not acceptable in society. Playwrights, painters, writers, poets, and graffiti artists across time have used their art to criticize their world.

So be bold. Make art.

It beats watching TV, reading consumption culture magazines, or other mindless activities that fuel your zombie-like existence.

Revive your imagination. It’s been dumbed-down by intrusive advertising and corporate media. Spark your creativity by thinking outside the box.

Wake up! Dream! Break loose and Create. Shatter suffocating paradigms and muggy moralism.

“Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.” – Bertolt Brecht

What I’m actually saying

Well that’s pretty much it.

Wait. what? No sarcastic tone here?

Nope. Creating art is our purpose. Our salvation.  “We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution.” – Bill Hicks

Making art opens the doors to higher consciousness.

“The thin thread of shamanic descent into our profane world—leads through the office of the artist.” Terence McKenna

Inspiration is hard to find? Need a vision?  A muse, a voice that leads the way? Take the next step.

5. Unleash your inner beast


Not giving two blue shits about punctuality and tidiness is just the start. Back in the day, bohemians manifested shocking behavior.

Illegitimate children, homosexuality, free love, drugs and alcoholism were the social norm among bohemians. They worked as nude models, got kicked out of restaurants for using patchouli, while their bookcases featured all the Romantics, from Erotica by Anais Nin to Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums.

These hardcore socialists, feminists, sexual radicals, and anarchists were cultural innovators because they were in touch with their animalistic side. Society telling me I can’t love the same sex or alter my consciousness? Fuck that! It’s my body, my mind, my life.

Bohemians were able to defy the status quo because they were aware of the possibility to do so.

We’re disconnected from our archaic nature. Forgotten we are animals. Part of mother Earth.Dissociated from the Gaian mind. Wondering why we feel out of our element in our cubicles.

Release your inner beast. Nothing exists in a hollow shell.

Step in the realm of animals again. Hike to mountain tops. Climb trees. Swim in ponds. Surf the ocean. Dance to drum beats. Have rough, primal, passionate sex. Jump on a fence, crouch like a tiger during yoga. Fight like a lion during martial arts class.

Pick and eat wild edible plants. Toss processed foods. Watch the clouds. Taste the wild air. Experience you are equal to the plants, the waves, the birds overhead. Be one with nature. Remember, alone is all one.

What I’m actually saying

We’ve lost touch with our roots. Get ’em back.

6. Be an outsider


“The bohemian is an outsider, defines themselves as an outsider and is defined by the world as an outsider… A lot of people regard them as subversive, elitist and possibly just a little bit immature.”

Exactly, by being (perceived as) immature, they’re wise. Let the bourgeois label you immature. What do they know?

Be childlike.

It’s so powerful it’s mentioned, and endorsed, in the Bible:  “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” – Luke 18:17.

Without childlike wonder, without shaking off the dogmas and morals you’ll never find enlightenment.

“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” – Aldous Huxley

Quit your job, go live in an RV, grow stinging nettle instead of daisies, pick another way of living differently or whatever rocks your boat.

What I’m actually saying

Be childlike, not childish.

7. Question authority


You can’t be a true bohemian if you don’t realize you’re a puppet in a game you don’t understand. Challenge your belief systems. Ask yourself why you support a certain religion or political taste. Do you really belief this or are these just habits? What if it’s all a lie?

You have been convinced of things all your life. By your parents, teachers, TV, the news, magazines, politicians, website posts (including this one).

“Perhaps you should allow yourself the fantasy that you’re not your social security number, your job, your name but that you’re 18,8 billion years old and you’re part of this incredible ocean of happening instead of just this one individual. Embrace the glorious knowledge that you’re part of never ending, ever flowing matter.” Duncan Trussell.

You should always question authority. What do the geniuses have in common? They stood up. Became freedom unto theirselves. No one has ever become extraordinary by following the crowd.

Think about whether nationalism is truly a good thing. Or did Doug Stanhope nail it when he said, “Nationalism does nothing but teach you to hate people you never met, and to take pride in accomplishments you had no part in”?

Ponder if it’s normal that you can give a massage but you cant’ touch someone’s dick. Contemplate it all.

What I’m actually saying

The above may sound like fuzzy, airy-fairy hippie babble to you but the fact is we don’t know jack shit. I don’t. You don’t. Nobody does.

What we do know is that we need more compassionate folks with the courage to challenge the powers-that-be.

So what is a true bohemian?

It’s still a label and labels are for soup cans. And clothes, Cd’s, gadgets, Ikea furniture. Labels are there to make it easier to sell you stuff.

But okay, since you insist.

It’s not about what you wear, smoke, or which quotes you post on Facebook.

Bohemians do what they want. They live life their way. They value freedom, creativity and change. Call them hippies, bohemians, free-spirits, indigos, dandies, or freeloading bums, they don’t care.

True modern day bohemians are people who operate from the margins. They are aware that we have inherited a world whose ideologies are depleted and can only be refreshed from outside the box. They work in cooperation with like-minded souls or in solitude, in refreshing our culture.


Want more inspiration?

This inspiring book will help you be your best bohemian self: The New Bohemians Handbook: Come Home to Good Vibes. Discover your personal spirit environment, find out how to make your personal spaces really you, make optimal use of fabric, color, scents, and plants so you can thrive.

What do you think?


BBC News.

Bitch, bold intelligent and total in control of herself.


Featured image, Pharaolaith. DMT metoloji. Inner beast, Tumblr. Psychedelic drug, IFL Science. Painting bohemian woman, Bohemian Homes. Oursider on train, Mike Brodie Bruce Lee stencil art, Wikimedia.


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  • I really hope this article is satcasm. Do drugs? Drink absinthe? Van Gogh didn’t do other drugs if you actually studied his life you would know he had a disease called porphyria (which I have as well) and the absinth is thought to contribute to his suicide since it triggered his disease and causes severe pain. I hope people don’t take your advice. Maybe study a little more and gain some morals before putting this garbage out there.

    • What is wrong with advocating drug use and absinthe to others? With moderation they won’t do you any harm. But being a close minded, conservative backwards bigot bitch like you, can certainly hurt someone.

      Next time before you insult an aspiring writer who is actually doing something creative and is brave enough to share his/her thoughts with the world think real hard about your life. Before you start preaching about morals and education you really need some introspection. Calling other people’s literary work as ‘garbage’ shows exactly what kind of person you are. Shame on you!

      I’m sorry if any of this hurt you but your ignorant, contemptuous comment really infuriated me. I’ll leave my e-mail here if you want to discuss it further or want to be a little more open-minded and emphatic or philanthropic.

      PS.: I still think your a bitch, Ashley.

      • Mark must be a liberal…w/ the immediate BIGOT label and using profanity. He probably gets paid to stand and protest, cover his, her, it’s face as to not be identified…like the rest of the pussies.

      • Over 4 years ago a guy crashed on my street. I went to help and he tried to get away and I got hit by the car. He was on drugs. I live in pain every day because of it. He got a big 7 days in jail. I am in bed right now because it hurts to stand or sit. All because of drugs!!! And I went on Fentanyl Patches to go to work and it was hell going off of them. So I have been at both ends. Drugs suck!!!

        • Try Vitamin D3, 1 pill of 10,000 a day (ordered online), no prescription. It helped my husband’s pain with his gout (both feets), where every doctor we went to tried to push pain killers, possible surgery and expensive therapies for years.

        • Well, I have spinidifia and arthritis, was hit by a car while on a motorcycle, had a bunch of neurological tests done, lived with pain for years,,, a few years ago I was introduced to CBD oil,,, wow, I said wow,,, ya out playing on y Skidoo, drive my ATV, long walks in the country side,, try it,,, drops under the tung,, put it in your drinks food, bake with it, make candy to eat while at work, drinks to sip on all day,, NO YOU ARE NOT STONED ALL DAY, CBD is not THC trust me, go to bed get a good full night sleep, jump out of bed in the morning,, get a prescription from a doctor and your drug plan pays for it

  • Being bohemian doesn’t mean doing drugs and drinking, it doesn’t mean you defy all laws and do whatever you want. It means you are true to yourself. It means you wear clothing that says you are free and it means you take care of your body and show love to the world. Being bohemian means you want to make the world a more beautiful place. Bohemians want peace. They love the earth. They love nature. This article is not speaking of bohemians. Yes they are free. Yes they are open-minded. They are not reckless, society hating, drug taking rebellions. You are obviously NOT bohemian.

    • The author never said be reckless or society hating, s/he said question what your taught (aka fed). Have a mind of your own, that is a true Bohemian. My ancestry is Czech (Bohemian). Key is allow you to be you, mindful to not harm other living beings. Nice article!

    • my family emigrated from Bohemia in the 1900’s. if you want true inside into this kind of “being”, well….get into mercy, and the arts a whole lot.

  • Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic, or literary pursuits.
    A Bohemian is a person who lives and acts by a different set of conventional rules and practices than the average person. The word evokes the romance of a wanderer’s life. For all those non-conformists there is no more attractive way of expressing the inner life than through clothing. Bohemians hold the creation of art above all other pursuits.
    What you like and don’t is part of your individual personality, why hide that? Bohemianism is all about rejecting conventions if they go against what personally inspires you. Challenge what you and others believe, never accept anything on face value.

    • Let me explain what free spirited means. Often overboard selfishness where a person elevates his/her personal significance far above reality. The opposite occurs also where one thinks themselves inferior. The ONE thing LACKING in these extremes is BALANCE. The one thinking they are free are enslaved and controlled. Example, a druggie or drunk thinks all is well when it is not when not in control. In the Navy I could have become a drunk but set limits. I WOULD NOT drink to appease others, nor to escape problems, and set limits of how much. When I drank or could drink it is only because I wanted to.

      In the seemingly true definition of bohemian a person who is not slave to the mindset and ways of society to pursue truth,love, and seek peace and well being would be taken as different or bohemian to those bound in themselves They do what they like that helps them and others opposing those who want to rule their lives. Only as a child learning right and wrong does a parent have right to rule over a child. It is not a matter of ruling over the child but setting limits so the child learns discipline and not abusing your authority as a parent to guide the child and protect and limit the child to be abusive. Hey, a child can be a terror if not taught limits. It is tough on a parent to discipline but discipline has to be done sometimes and is not abuse but motivating proper conduct. Using a child as an example- in reality we all can be very childish in the negative ways, a child is “all about me” naturally needy and wanting. Some children are not terrorists out to control the parents and others and relatively good children who love life and others and know obedience to authority is a good thing. My daughter needed little punishment, paddled once but warning and then carrying out what you said is essential to the child trusting your words – vs not doing and child controlling you. One time she was fascinated with the fireplace. I warned her several times not to touch the glass in front of the fireplace that it would burn and hurt her. She touched it and cried as her finger tips swelled. I comforted her and did not need to remind her not to disobey me, she learned to listen better.

      We all like to push the limits sometimes in ways to feel free of control but if we break laws and get the penalty we learn not to be so headstrong and defiant or we never learn blaming others for what we earned. When you break laws again and again you develop a habit of defiance then you really screw up and end up in big trouble. You either correct yourself and change course or you blame everyone else or others for the pain you face.

      It is obvious that the Bohemian society was not full of self destructive and destructive to others loos cannons destroying all the time. The beautiful buildings and structures and civil society shows they had rules and abided as a society peacefully and constructively. Taste in clothes, constraint in drinking, etc and INDIVIDUALITY gives structure to creativity. I don’t have to look like you, act like you, be like you, and can be ME. And ME does not disrespect you for being different than me but rejoice in the diversity and creativity.

      My friend, when we are free we are not in bondage to things and others or our own mistakes and errors but LEARN to pursue what we really love and what helps others also as well as self. If you really think about it if alcohol is controlling you and you think you are in control you are slave to alcohol. Same with ANYTHING. Even things that make you feel good for the moment can enslave you. Just like with drugs, anything out of balance to bring pleasure can enslave you. Like the high on cocaine when the rush is over then you face the problems you had before which you tried to escape vs confront PLUS great anguish on withdrawal symptoms that push you to escape to another dose of escape. Anything overplayed or should have never been played with in the first place enslaves you. A true free soul is one that loves God, self, and others as themselves as Jesus said.

  • I agree with Laces Kay being bohemian is about being true to you! Not being a law breaking rebel! This article does’t correctly portray or define a bohemian and obviously wasn’t written by one.

    • I totally agree. When you are no longer in control and think you are you are a slave. Being who you are is what you were designed to be. When we see something we do not like we should pursue better. Just “all about me” is not the meaning of bohemian and being free to break all laws is arrogance and stupidity, if the laws are just and balanced restraining and punishing wrong actions to create civility. Even laws can be tailored unjustly and used to herd people into slavery vs just. 10 laws never changed and all are just and right – the 10 commandments God gave Moses.

  • Love the article ! Being Bohemian is just being yourself, without any regret. Whatever you choose to do in life is self expression not what society says you should do. Nope, you don’t have to do drugs or drink absinthe, lol. I’ve been Bohemian my entire life and I love being me 🙂 I’m a loc and beanie cap wearing, unconventional dressing, self sufficient modern day Bohemian. I get high off yoga, meditation, love and happiness. My spiritual poison is God, can’t get enough of Him. One of my favorite motto’s : Don’t worry, Be Happy 🙂 God Bless and Keep You. Love and Peace Baby 🙂 Love and Peace.

    • LOL. I don’t be and do differently to defy anyone or anything. I simply follow God’s commandments as best to enjoy life and sleep well and be happy. My high is living with God as my Best Friend walking in the Garden with Him. Jesus sets us free. I desire to be His willing servant not as a slave but free inside out.

  • If you are a Bohemian spirit, you don’t give a rats ass about being told how to be one, starting with this nonsense article. Most Bohemians I know don’t imbibe in nothing that’s not natural and most are vegetarians. There is a difference a bohemian lifestyle and a rock star lifestyle. Just because a lot of rock star introduce the lazy carefree persona of the character they become on stage don’t mean they are bohemian by nature. The first lesson of being Bohemian is there is no lessons to learn. Just being who you are and not apologizing for it is all you need to do.

  • Have people entirely lost their sense of humour!? This article if funny. Do what the fuck you like, be who you want to be, if that’s a miserable git then so be it, but why bring other people down? Write your own blog posts about how good it is to be a miserable fuck and take everything far too seriously.

  • i think trying to categorise and list attributes is quite anti-bohemian! It is the spirit of creativity, of individual liberty , of freedom from the confines of so-called “normal” life, of making ones own way and indeed as the Levellers said ” there’s only one way of life and that’s your own”

    My previous life just made me ill and battered and abused. I go Free Range

  • if all of you know what a bohemian is and what there life style is all about then why are you even reading this blog post .if you think you already know something so much better than someone else then you can go make your own website and tell the world your opinion on what a bohemian is don’t judge someone else for trying to help you .and it clearly doesn’t bother Ashley if you called her a bad word cuz she don’t give a fuck. READ

  • Great, creative article! It has inspiring thoughts and amazing quotes. Don’t pay attention to negative comments coming from true bohemians – they would not be overly critical and especially agressive if they really were the bohemians. This article has a lot of humor and makes you think outside of box. There are different types of bohemians, and some do take drugs or so I heard. But all of them are unconvenital not for the sake of being different but in order to find oneself. They are seekers of truth and beauty.

    • Why necessary? Good food and drink is all that is necessary. If one uses drugs it must be with moderation, and not at all with some, so that you are in control and are not slave to the drugs. Anything can enslave a person physical, mental, spiritually if the person is not in control.

  • This article is referring to the gypsy Bohemians and not real bohemians. The gypsies stole the term bohemian from the the true bohemians the people of the southern Czech Republic. Real true bohemians are nothing like this.

  • As someone who has bohemian ancestry, the real kind, I call this a pile of shit. My great aunt never took drugs, wore those clothes, etc. She did, however, know how to cook and make things from scratch. And she did. Start with that, and you’re one your way to being a pseudo bohemian. Cuz the only way you’re a real one is by blood.

  • Seems to me that if there is a prescribed way to live free, then it’s not such a free lifestyle. Kinda contradictory. Just sayin’.

  • It´s being truly free what makes you act a certain way. Not viceversa.
    Using drugs, alcohol or dressing in a particular fashion does not make you freer, just a slave of those things.

    I mean, a true free spirit couldn´t care less about this stuff, he doesn´t spend time googleing “how to be free”, or whatever.

    People who rebel against society are as slave as those who blindly follow its rules. They are just reacting. They are also part of the system.

    True freedom is not in the actions but in the motives, in understanding “why”… it doesn´t matter if you are a vegan organic farmer or the CEO of a import/export bussines, you can be truly free if you understand what I´m saying.

  • This is offensive and totally racist and i am way offended! Bohemia was called Bohemia.. as in Prague Bohemia. It was taken over and turned into a republic of chezlovokia in about 1914.. They were the victims of the British empire takeover (holocaust) . It’s a race not a fashion statement. I am part Bohemian. The genocide killed almost everyone. Now only a few with our blood type exist because hitler decided anyone with B blood type should be killed or studied

  • Bow dare you use racism to complete this article of rubbish! I am a descendant of Bohemian gypsies..I an
    Not romani gypsy dare you take my culture abd turn it into filth fir white opportunities. How dare you turn my culture into a whimsical style of life ..I am Boheimian…I am Czech…screw your outlook of Bohemian Biggot

  • For me, the most mind blowing comment is this article, is the thought that everything you’ve been taught is wrong🤯If you want to open up your thought process, this would be a good place to start.

  • Seeing so many people being mad about the do drugs. Part of this culture is going against the grain. The grain is not doing drugs and not drinking and following all the rules. Bohemians question all of that with their own moral senses. If it comes from nature. Might aswell use the resources provided. Like agaric mushrooms and cannabis. Open your minds a bit.

  • You’ve all missed the point of this article you bunch of pretentious twats. The author is giving examples of bohemian behaviour, these are not rules !There are no rules and thats the point. Also I’m sorry to inform you that those from bohemia are not the bohemians referred to here.Those bohemians are irrelevant.In fact to say the only true bohemians come from bohemia is absurd. That is akin to saying the only true lesbians come from the Greek Island of lesbos. Chill out and go about your day.