Taking It Mainstream: Traveling Easy as a Vegan

Photo credit: Vegan Backpacker - Namaste restaurant in La Paz, Bolivia

The end of summer is nearing. There’s only one month left to cash in that unspent vacation time, so get out your savings and get busy planning! If you have the leisure to take a trip to “anywhere-but-here,” now is the time. It’s never been hotter, so why not try the climate elsewhere?

Some amazing vegan blogs make it easy to shut down the argument that vegans can’t travel because there aren’t enough food options to digest. WRONG. Vegans can jet-set around the globe and still stick to their ethical guns. In fact, finding vegan meals might be easier in some cases, where a country’s religious beliefs are founded on compassion.

Vegan Backpacker. One of the more famous vegan travel blogs, Vegan Backpacker makes you want to get off the couch and try the delectable lineup of cuisines enjoyed by authors Jill and John, two vegans from Canada. The two began “eating their way around the world” in 2010, traipsing about North America, South America, Europe, India, and Africa – and their blog offers all the delicious proof you’ll need. Their latest posts come from Toronto and NYC, but one of the Vegan Backpacker’s more adventurous journeys found the two vagabonds in Bolivia, home of global Nature’s rights. Jill and John enjoyed such gourmet treats as a four-course vegan lunch at Namaste in La Paz, involving vegan empanadas made with textured vegetable protein, barley soup, bread and spicy dip and a “sexy” fig dessert. Well, now I’m hungry.

Vegan Around the World Network is another great place to find resources when trekking around the world – though it doesn’t have to be in 80 days (get it?) VATWN welcomes vegans and non-vegans alike to promote healthy and compassionate eating, living and traveling. Set up like a social network, there are groups to join based on location, a map with pinpoints for travelers’ destinations and forums to discuss specific needs and topics. The more you put in to the network and connect, the more you can learn. For example, the Vegan Germany group has over 100 members discussing everything from restaurants to Sea Shepherd to vegan supermarkets. For those non-German speakers, it might be a better idea to check out the VATW blog.

Vegan Travel Challenge is a different type of vegan travel blog, because the author, Antonia Ciccolo, a consultant of some sort, is a vegan exploring just how challenging (or easy) it can be to stay vegan abroad.  Her blog bridges the gap between the experienced vegan foodie who knows the ropes and a traveler looking for new ways to eat healthy meals on the road and in the air. The about section claims: “I’d like to see just how difficult it is to be a traveling vegan,” as well as gauge the quality of vegan food in dining establishments and hospitality options at hotels and airlines. Antonia’s trip to Ireland proved to be challenging at times, but she presents helpful tips to survive on potatoes and veggie soup in between snacks. She also links to some vegan resources for the Irish-interested.

To take it up a notch, My World of Raw highlights one woman’s transition from cooked vegan food to a raw lifestyle, all while caravaning to various locales. Follow Jasmine Cohen as she discovers what fruits and veggies are available to her along her trek – and check out what recipes she uses to supplement her finds. Sticking to locations around North America, Jasmine still manages some diversity in her meal plan, and seems to have an ok time in her transition. Particularly interesting to me is her southern route, going from Mississippi to Tennessee, which are in my neck of the woods. She presents a wonderful vegan coleslaw recipe and discusses her raw food cleanse using candid snapshots of backseat juicing escapades using items found in Alabama Farmer’s Markets. This blog is a bit different as it presents homemade food on the road (including raw sushi!), rather than vegan restaurants, but it proves making your own vegan food while traveling can be done!

No matter the location, whether it be in your own backyard or a far and obscure village in South America, there are many blogs and adventurous vegans who are taking it upon themselves to trailblaze the path to vegan travel, proving it can be done, as long as you do your research (and bringing some stock of your own). It is great to know that not all vegan traveling has to rely on fast-food, cholesterol-laden food. It can be fresh, healthy and an enjoyable experience overall.




By | 2016-10-17T10:41:22+00:00 July 25th, 2011|Making "Vegan" Mainstream|2 Comments

About the Author:

Graduate of MU Journalism program. Love mustaches, vegan-things, LOST and beer.
  • Thanks so much for including Vegan Backpacker in your listing. I’m so glad to see so many vegan bloggers debunking the myth that vegan can’t eat delicious local food when traveling to exotic destinations.

  • Emanuelle

    I just moved from Vancouver to Bangkok a few months ago and was worried about the vegan selection but I was surprised to just how many amazing restaurants there are. They have macrobiotic/veggie/vegan/gluten free etc..  everything someone with a specific diet could need.