When you think of the word ‘joy’, what comes to your mind? If you look up the definition of ‘joy’ you’ll find one very simple definition. Oxford defines joy as simply “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness”. In the context of vegan travel, joy can be found very easily. It’s only when you wind back your interpretation of joy then linking this to the basics of your travel motivations that you’ll discover the possibilities.
I think joy – great pleasure and happiness – stems from a deep desire to make a life of meaning. Living a meaningful life is made up of many facets for people such as being of service to others, looking towards the positive in this world, forming constructive relationships and manifesting good habits in the daily routine.
Favourite kids’ author Dr. Seuss quoted in one of his books: “Oh, the places you’ll go!” When we choose to visit a particular destination – restaurant, city, country, etc – we’re drawn there by a particular purpose, a motivation. Why do we go to the places we go? Why do we want to go there? For me, some countries lure me from afar, they seem as far removed from the life I live in Australia that I want to go there, I want to be challenged in my travel and I want to be challenged in my thinking about the world. How about you? What places do you go to?
This kind of travel is challenging, yes. But, the road travels to the joy of the destination and a clear path to the is joy always found. Close to home, I also visit destinations that are going to benefit by my visit. Whether it’s volunteering for an event, heading out for the vegan lunch options at a local business or shopping at a vegan market, you’re directly benefitting an underlying mission to bring effective, positive action to the world like environmental benefits, animal welfare and social justice.
The intrinsic value of our vegan travel choices are secondary to the extrinsic effects that emerge as a result of these choices. On both of these sides to vegan travel, joy can only prevail.