Hipster holidays – Introduction

by chateauy

I’m about to begin an ongoing series of posts about cities that emanate with creativity and soul. Places that are, or will be, remembered for their influence on pop culture and for capturing the zeitgeist of a generation. Cities to visit because they have spawned an array of talented musicians and become the launching pad of a new subculture.

Hipster habitats if you will.

But before I start, I should clarify that I’m no hipster. I’m friends with hipsters, sure. I live near a certain hipster haven. But I’m no hipster. Throwing together the perfect vintage finds and some designer offcuts would never come naturally to me and even if it did I would never convince myself that the getup worked – and hipster culture is about nothing if not confidence. Plus the wasted hours thinking about clothes when I could have donned the clothes on the floor and been out the door half an hour ago would never work for my time poor lifestyle.

We do, however, often end up at the same places – me and the hipsters.

For me, travelling is generally about making a pilgrimage to a place that has stirred my soul. Usually a place that has been home to artists who have created a style of music in which I have lost myself for years on end. Or a place where a diverse array of musical styles emanate from the city walls. The kind of places where the locals must have such an unconditional love of music that the artists amongst them feel completely comfortable trying something new and crazy.

These places also generate the kind of freedom needed for new subcultures to thrive. Or sometimes people flock to the areas looking for that freedom and force a new subculture into the city. Either way, great music changes cities and brings the people who want to be in a place that is breathing creativity. People who want the chance to check out cutting edge bands and perhaps spot a favourite drummer at a local record store. Who want to see the design ideas that may never make it out of the city but which are quirky and brilliant – just not marketable.

Hipsters. Me.

Happily, the places that have given us great music are often near some really beautiful landscapes. The epic soundscapes created by Björk and Sigur Rós make complete sense when travelling through the dramatic Icelandic countryside. Hipster habitats often make stunning holiday destinations.

So, there you go, caveat provided. Let the holiday files begin.