After growing up in the sheltered isolation of western Kansas, I hit the road with the curiosity and innocence of a young country boy. As I traveled, I began to more fully understand the meaning of the word home. The peace and familiarity, the comfort and security, family and friends. After a few years of escaping to far off places, I came to the realization that Colby Kansas would always be my home. At the ripe old age of 21, after returning from my first trip to Australia, I dreamed up the design of the Hippie Chic Oasis while taking a shower one cold winter night in January. Learning as I went, using the resources that a close knit rural community provides an ambitious young man, I steadily constructed the Oasis.
On the foundation of a delapidated barn that had fallen years before my parents bought the property. On my 22nd birthday, the first annual benjamminfest took place as a housewarming party for the completed Oasis. Through the years there was a halfpipe, a trampoline, and a wrestling mat in the big room. Walls were painted, pictures were hung and plants were planted. As everyone settled down through their 20’s, the benjamminfest days faded and the Oasis served as my quiet refuge as Saturn returned. This right of passage reignited the spiritual journey that had lain dormant for many years and I began traveling again, eventually making it to 6 continents. I had really grown to hate winter as I got older and this longing for warm days motivated me to create a lifestyle that would allow me to return home to the Oasis for the summer and disappear for the winter. The more I traveled, the more I realized that the high plains of Kansas are unique in their own right and people would surely enjoy experiencing a night of peace and solitude in the wide open countryside.
I had purchased the 5 acre property in 2014, but hadn’t done much with it aside from replacing the pump in the well and fixing up the fence and the shed. After returning home in the Spring of 2017 with my revelation, I set up a tent with a mattress and started an airbnb account. People began to stay and a dream was born. I was inspired to fix up the 5acre and create a one of a kind glamping experience. I framed up the walls using the lumber from the halfpipe that had been in the Oasis once upon a time. I tore down an old hog shed on my parents property and those boards are now covered in the notes of travelers from all over. I poured the concrete, built the bed frame and bench and fire pit. Put new tin on the shed inside and out. And the finale was the grain bin bathroom. Everything came together after two Summers of imagination and determination and after thousands of guests it has become an icon of Kansas.
Once I realized that people were indeed inclined to spend a night in western Kansas after the 5acre took off, I created a listing for the Hippie Chic Oasis as well. To my delight, people began to book stays there and another icon was born. My dream was coming to life. I was able to be home for the Summer creating awesome properties for people to enjoy and then fly away for the winter and explore the world and stay warm. It’s been a challenging but rewarding journey from the mattress in a tent beginning. Thanks to all of the guests past and future who make this dream possible.
Growing up with my parents jammin out to classic rock, I had a love for music from an early age. As I developed my own broad taste, I eventually taught myself to play guitar and began composing songs. Through years of travel and coming of age, a dozen songs have finally come together for the album “Follow My Heart”