In 1969 I was a reckless youth and it got me into trouble many times. I ran away from home with my boyfriend when I was sixteen. Joe was a few years older than me and he took me on this wild journey across Europe. Then he ditched me for another woman in Spain. I soon hooked up with a bus caravan heading to the Himalayas.
The drugs and sex were plentiful. Everybody shared everything. I became part of a traveling hippy commune. I didn’t think I would ever come home. This is how I wanted to live the rest of my life.
But then one day the bus was gone and I was left behind. I discovered how unsafe it is to be a single female traveling on the road. I found myself constantly fending off unwanted advances from men. It was frightening. I found myself fearing for my life and looking over my shoulder wherever I went.
It was so fun traveling and living with the group of people in the commune. I was living on a high every day. But once I was abandoned and lost my way, the fun stopped.
Eventually I made it back home after many grueling months of travel. I survived constant harassment and a vicious rape.
So its not all fun and good times for everybody who took on the hippie trail journey.
– Rhonda Duke