How to live a bohemian lifestyle

Updated April 17, 2017

After the French Revolution and Napoleon's rule, many in European society adopted a reactionary attitude in almost all aspects of life. The French Revolutionaries sought to destroy the old Christian order in the western world by removing all vestiges of it from culture, such as by changing the calendar and having people refer to themselves as "citizen" rather than "Mr." or "Madam." This bohemian tradition carries on today through a certain attitude. As the Bohemian Manifesto website explains, "It's about living richly and irreverently, beyond convention. It's about being uninhibited, unbuttoned, creative and free."

Move around as much as you can. Bohemians travelled primarily around France and Paris beginning in the nineteenth century and during the time of the famous French author Victor Hugo. However, without actually travelling to Paris, you can adopt a somewhat similar lifestyle by travelling throughout your home state.

Remove yourself from some of your private property. Bohemians lived with hardly any private property and preferred living a communal or nomadic lifestyle. Some had only a coat with large pockets with which to carry all of their necessary belongings. If this approach is too radical for you, try spending a period of time away from your possessions.

Shun strict moral values from your life. Bohemians believed in a carefree lifestyle with as few rules as possible.

Become a person who values personal fulfilment rather than the pursuit of money. Bohemians desired to improve themselves in every way instead of seeking wealth or high standing in traditional society.


The Bohemian lifestyle suggests that you would have a suitable place to stay that isn't your own. Bohemians generally lived in public places with shelter such as cafes and libraries, but sometimes they resorted to staying in streets when there was no alternative. You should find out before travelling as a Bohemian where you could stay without actually owning or renting the place. If you desire to go to Paris, that city offers different accommodations than they did in the days of Victor Hugo, including hostels where young people can stay while travelling through Europe.


The Bohemian lifestyle carries with it many inherent risks. Bohemians spend money in a carefree lifestyle that can lead them to total destitution without being able to afford the very basic necessities of life, such as food. Historically, they involved themselves in sexual encounters with many partners, leading to many of them contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

Things You'll Need

  • Luggage
  • Motor vehicle
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About the Author

Jorge Pena is a freelance writer who lives in Southern California. Pena graduated from the University of La Verne College of Law with a Juris Doctor degree and is a graduate of the University of California Irvine where he obtained a Bachelors in Arts degree in political science. He has been a Demand Studios writer for less than a year.