Do you think travel as a vegan is hard? I know I certainly did before I actually tried it.
After learning about the horrors of the meat, egg and dairy industries, I definitely felt compelled to go vegan. I knew deep down that it was the only way of living that was truly aligned with my most deeply-held values – the values of peace, non-violence and compassion.
But there was something holding me back, and that something was fear.
Travel was a huge part of my life, and my passion for exploring the world had already led me on adventures on all 7 continents and in more than 90 countries. But what would happen to my love affair with travel if I became vegan?
I doubted whether it was even possible to be vegan in some of the places I'd been, and in some of the places I still planned to visit. At the very least, surely the hassle of being vegan on the road would make travel stressful and tiring.
I was afraid that I'd be missing out on all the local specialties, that I would cause a stir and create embarrassing situations when I tried to ask for vegan food in restaurants, and that I would become a pain in the butt in the eyes of whoever I was travelling with.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I finally gave it a trial run and discovered that being vegan didn't make travel worse ... it actually made it much BETTER!
Now, I already knew that there were many benefits to becoming vegan. Obviously, I would be saving innocent animals from needless suffering and death. On top of that, I would improve my own health, help save the planet, and contribute to ending world hunger.
But, better travel?! That was a secret vegan benefit that no one had ever told me about. And yet it's true.
Sure, it takes a little research and preparation, but by following a few simple steps I've been able to uncover delicious vegan specialties everywhere I go, even in notoriously meat-and-dairy-loving countries like France and Switzerland.
Being vegan has opened a new window onto each destination and allowed me to connect with each country's people, animals, culture and environment in a way I'd never done before. It's a unique way of travelling that most people never get to experience.
I was completely blown away when I realized just how wrong I had been about what I thought vegan travel would be like. And I knew I wasn't the only one with these misconceptions. Most people think travelling as a vegan is all but impossible.
And who can blame them? We're told the same story over and over again by guidebooks, well-meaning friends and family, and pretty much everyone we meet.
But if the person telling you about all the difficulties of vegan travel isn't vegan, then they don't really know what they're talking about.
I promise you that, with a bit of planning and foresight, following a vegan lifestyle while on the road will enrich your travel experiences in ways you never imagined. And I'm here to show you how.
I've teamed up with the folks at HappyCow to bring you 9 Steps for Easy Vegan Travel – a free ebook that will guide you step by step through the process of planning your trip, seeking out vegan-friendly restaurants, communicating your needs, and discovering a new corner of the world through its vegan cuisine.
And best of all, we're offering this vegan travel guide for free! Click here to download your copy before your next trip.
My mission here at The Nomadic Vegan is to empower you to be vegan anywhere and spread compassion everywhere. And I'm sure that, once you've read 9 Steps for Easy Vegan Travel, you'll have the confidence and the skills you need to do just that.
Come join the ever-growing numbers of vegan travellers who have made their travels more memorable, more rewarding and more delicious! You won't believe what you've been missing out on.
An earlier version of this article originally appeared as a guest post on HappyCow.net.
I definitely agree that being vegan enhances travel! From meeting other friendly vegans, to adding structure and purpose to the itinerary, to learning how to make local vegan dishes – it’s just so much fun!
I’m glad to hear that you agree! Those are all great examples you just gave.
So true! Everyone always loves to tell me that I can’t fully appreciate the local food and culture as a vegan. Not true at all! When I lived in Madrid years ago, I wasn’t vegan, just vegetarian. In anticipation of my return, I just did a quick Happy Cow search and found many (new) vegan tapas spots! I’m excited that my adopted country is thinking in new and sustainable ways. Traveling vegan is more of a fun challenge too, which I like. You can’t just walk into any restaurant and expect to eat everything off the menu. I know many people would be annoyed by this, but it makes me be really conscious about the places I eat, which has led to so many great food experiences!
I’m glad you agree Sam! Oh, and it looks like you just answered the question of where you’ll be living. I’ll actually be in Madrid for a weekend in November. Maybe we can meet up!
Definitely, that would be great fun! Keep in touch!
Hi Wendy! 5 months later, and just remembered that you’re headed to Madrid this month! Would love to meet up when you’re in town – let me know! Lots of new vegan places have opened up recently in Madrid, it’s truly amazing (and delicioius)! =)
Yes, we will be in Madrid from November 25th to 27th. We won’t have much time there, but it would be great to meet up if we can swing it. Send me an email through the contact page of the website so we can stay in touch. 🙂
im not a vegan!! but i love reading this!
I’m glad to hear you liked the article!
Wow….this is amazing. I just love it. And being a vegan I couldn’t think this types of thing before. Thanks a lot for sharing it with us. It going to help me a lot.
I’m so glad to hear that you find it helpful! Wishing you lots of adventures and happy travels.
I did actually think that travelling and being vegan would be hard, but this article answered so many of my questions. Eating ethical and seeing the world around you goes so well together. Thanks Wendy, Keep these coming!
Very well said, Kostas! I’m so glad that you found the article to be helpful.