How to Live a Bohemian Lifestyle:
A Quirky Guide for Quirky People
Let’s start with a quick quiz:
Is your Instagram feed full of free-spirited women wearing Boho chic fashion?
Are you drawn to bright colors, exotic cultures, and open-minded people?
Do you love the idea of making your own rules and blazing your own path in life?
Are you tempted to walk away from your “conventional” lifestyle to explore an artistic or spiritual passion?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may just be a Bohemian at heart. But the real question is: Are you ready to go all-in and adopt a Bohemian lifestyle? Wearing fringed shoes and natural hemp clothing will make you look the part, but the Boho lifestyle runs much deeper than that. These unconventional folks aren’t afraid to be different — in fact, they take pleasure in bucking societal norms. Where exactly did Bohemianism get started? Beyond the well-known fashion styles, what are the most common Bohemian characteristics? And how can you embrace a modern Bohemian lifestyle in the 21st century?
In this post, we’ll dive into those exciting answers and more. So grab your drink of choice (bonus points if it’s absinthe), get cozy, and keep reading!
How Did the Bohemian Lifestyle Get Started?
When you hear the word “Bohemian,” you might picture the colorful hippie culture of the 1960s and 1970s. The two lifestyles definitely share a lot of similarities. But to find the original Bohemians, we need to travel across the pond and back in time. Some experts say the first Bohemian society sprouted in Covent Garden, London, in the 1700s. Others feel the origins lie with the poets, writers, and artists of 19th-century Paris, France. (Think Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh.)
The word “Bohemian” was originally coined by the French to describe the Roma gypsies who came from Eastern Europe. They were typically impoverished, known for their nomadic lifestyle and baggy clothing. They often worked as musicians, artists, or fortune-tellers, traveling in wagons across Europe.
Whether the true origins lie in London, Paris, or Eastern Europe, the spirit of Bohemianism remains the same.
Bohemians proudly adopt an unconventional lifestyle, usually in the company of like-minded individuals. They have few (if any) permanent ties to places or possessions. Instead, they focus their time and energy on artistic, literary, musical, or spiritual pursuits. Today you’re unlikely to find many “starving artists” traveling in covered wagons or sipping absinthe at the Moulin Rouge. The modern Bohemian lifestyle encompasses a broad group of adventurers, wanderers, vagabonds, and other free-spirited types. It’s also widely associated with Boho fashion accessories and home decor.
Common Bohemian Characteristics
The Bohemian lifestyle is more than just a fashion choice or artistic talent — it’s a way of life. Bohemianism encompasses some or all of these principles:
- Staying connected to nature
- Always being open-minded
- Making your own rules and finding your own path
- Shunning financial security and materialism
- Seeking enlightenment
- Practicing self-love
- Letting go of inhibitions and traditions
- Being outspoken about your beliefs
- Embracing art, music, literature, and philosophy
- Willingness to try foreign and exotic things
The modern Bohemian is quirky, adventurous, fun-loving, and bold. They also know how to slow down, savor the moment, and pause for introspection. The beautiful thing about this lifestyle is that it truly transcends age, background, ethnicity, or culture.
How to Adopt the Modern Bohemian Lifestyle
Are these descriptions speaking to your free-spirited soul? If so, it’s time to add a little more Bohemian to your modern lifestyle. Here are nine suggestions to get you started.
- Dress the Part With Boho Fashion
Gypsy-inspired fashion is an integral part of the Bohemian lifestyle. Think bold, bright colors and loose, flowing fabrics.
Some essential “Boho-chic” fashion items include:
- Long flowing skirts
- Maxi dresses
- Tunic blouses
- Asian-style kaftans
- Baggy cardigans
- Shirts with balloon sleeves
- Anything with fringes
- Colorful scarves and belts
- Sandals or ankle boots in natural hues
- Gemstone jewelry (and lots of it)
Choose clothing and accessories made of natural fibers and materials. Bohemians love everything au natural, so steer clear of anything that’s synthetic or mass-produced.
- Unleash Your Artistic Talents
One thing all Bohemians have in common is an appreciation for beautiful things. They’ve been known to devote a lifetime to writing a novel, composing a symphony, or perfecting a painting.
What’s more, Bohemians don’t make a distinction between “art” and “real life.” For them, art is part of life. They create it, they sell it, they inspire it.
If there’s a surface that can be decorated with a paintbrush or glue gun — a wall, a sidewalk, a street lamp, a pair of shoes — Bohemians see a blank canvas and endless potential.
Do you already have an artistic passion? Are you a photographer, a poet, a sculptor, an actor, or a designer? Can you free up more time in your schedule for artistic exploration and expression?
Remember: It’s not about becoming a master artist or the next great commercial success story. It’s about your personal journey and unlocking the artistry within yourself.
- Adopt an Unconventional Lifestyle
Think about your average weekday. Does it seem like you roll out of bed and spend the next 16 hours rushing from one mind-numbing task to the next?
Make breakfast. Get dressed for work. Drop the kids off at school. Work 8-10 hours. Go to the gym. Come home. Make dinner. Put the kids to bed. Go to bed yourself.
Wake up and repeat the next day. And the next. And the next…
Why do we live this way? It’s because it’s how society tells us to live. We’re molded by our parents, our teachers, and our employers to set the same goals and live the same way as everybody else.
And in our quest to become the “perfect” versions of ourselves, somewhere along the way we lose track of the things that matter most. We lose sight of our passions, our hobbies, our talents, and our dreams. We forget about the things that made us feel happy and fulfilled in the first place.
This is where Bohemians are a step ahead of everyone else. They’re not afraid to live a lifestyle that defies social norms and traditions. They don’t feel the need to disguise their feelings or suppress their dreams for the sake of keeping up with the Joneses.
No, Bohemians live the life they want to live. They fight for what they believe in. They remain true to themselves and their passions. They trade financial security for freedom and societal norms for artistic expression.
Are you brave enough to follow their lead?
- Speak up for What You Believe In
The spirit of revolt comes as naturally to Bohemians as breathing.
Of course, we’re not suggesting you go out and start a riot in the streets. But what you can do to embrace Bohemian ideals is stand up for the things that matter most to you.
Don’t like the dress code? Challenge it. Want more flexibility in your working hours or the ability to work from home? Ask for it.
Bohemians are movers and shakers. They don’t just sit back and accept the way things are done — they constantly ask “Why?” They’re often the first to speak out against popular political views, established institutions, or traditional living arrangements.
What do you feel most passionate about? Don’t keep silent out of fear of hurting someone’s feelings. Be true to yourself and your Bohemian identity and speak up!
- Be Proud to Be Different
Why do we all try so hard to be like everyone else? There are so many things that make you unique, weird, and extraordinary just the way you are.
Embrace it! Be proud of it! We all agree that “normal” is boring anyway, so why try to fit the mold?
Bohemians aren’t afraid to think, act, and live differently. The great artists of the 19th century felt no shame in experiencing altered mental states — in fact, they found glory in it. They drank absinthe, they used opium, and they indulged in passionate love affairs.
We’re not telling you to go against your moral or ethical code, of course. But whatever your unique inner self is drawn to, don’t be afraid to explore it. That’s true whether you want to design quirky fashion items or make the best CBD edibles in town.
- Let Go of Materialism
Newsflash: Buying more stuff won’t make you happy. In fact, all those things you think you “need” to have will probably weigh you down and hold you back from your true aspirations.
Bohemians understand this principle. They know that materialism is not the pathway to happiness, so they reject the idea. They choose instead to live a simple, uncluttered life, free of the stress that comes with having a lot of possessions.
You don’t have to sell everything you own and live in a caravan, but can you take steps to unburden yourself of some of your things? Do you really need that flashy new car or the latest iPhone to feel good about yourself? Why not find ways to express your Bohemian ideals through tasteful but inexpensive home decor?
A true Bohemian finds happiness in the simplest pleasures of life. They’re enthralled by creation, color, life, and experiences. They find more pleasure in a beautiful sunset and a glass of wine than they’d ever find in a million-dollar mansion.
- Reconnect With Mother Nature
It’s hard to stay connected to nature in the 21st century. Bohemians try their best to “unplug” from the modern world and get back to the things that are natural and pure.
Rather than waste another hour in front of the television, why not go for a walk in the park? Rather than reaching for medication the next time you have a headache, why not try a natural CBD product?
Adopt a dog. Visit a nearby national park. Sit on the seashore and enjoy the salty breeze on your face. Let nature give back what our modern lifestyle takes out of us.
- Travel off the Beaten Path
Bohemians are born explorers. They know there’s a lot more to see and experience than the standard tourist traps. They feel an incessant pull towards open spaces and the open road.
Want to follow in their footsteps? The next time you travel, leave the maps and the guidebooks at home. Allow yourself to wander through a new city or country and experience it organically.
Venture away from the mass of tourists and explore a local neighborhood. Skip the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus and tour the countryside via bicycle or horseback instead. Focus on living in the moment and enjoying the sights, smells, and sounds that are right in front of you.
- Try Things That Are Foreign & New
Remember, a fundamental part of the Bohemian lifestyle is embracing the unconventional. Whether you’re in your hometown or on the other side of the world, seek out experiences you’ve never had before.
Skip the boring sandwich and order a spicy curry instead. Better yet, visit a local market and make an exotic meal yourself!
Step outside your comfort zone and visit a country where few people speak English. Be open to making new friends and accepting invitations to try new things. You never know where a chance meeting will lead, so don’t be afraid to be spontaneous.
Life Grows Green Fully Supports the Boho Lifestyle
So, what do you think? Is the Bohemian lifestyle for you?
You don’t have to sell everything you own and become a wandering artist in Europe (although if you want to, go for it)! The modern Boho lifestyle is more about how you think and act rather than your location or occupation.
If you want to adopt a more free-spirited outlook on life, bookmark this list of Bohemian characteristics. Read through it again for fresh ideas whenever your daily routine starts to feel stale. And don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and try new things — that’s what Bohemianism is all about!
Here at Life Grows Green, we’re fairly Bohemian ourselves. Our line of CBD and hemp products are all-natural, eco-friendly, and perfect for your new Bohemian lifestyle.
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