I’ve spent the greater part of my travel writing life travelling the vegan road. It’s a road that hasn’t always been a straight one. Rather, it’s been a road of mistakes, miscalculations and misinterpretations. Language barriers have been tested and culturally-accepted traditions have been questioned. Even relationships with friends and family members have taken a hit; some are still fraught with tension. But what I can say, is that my travelling vegan has been a journey of keeping the eyes ahead on the road with eyes filled with dreams, desires and ambition. Would I rather longingly gaze into the review mirror with an inkling of doubt and regret? I’ve never felt this. Not once. Deciding to travel the vegan road has been one of the most life-affirming decisions I’ve ever made. It’s a decision that I have stuck with, and will continue to stick with. There’s no turning back, not now, not ever.
So, how does a vegan traveller like me navigate and write about the vegan road? I’ve done so, just like a long journey. During a long journey, you uncover knowledge, opinions and ways of doing things. You learn how to tweak the knowledge you gather, and fine-tune it into a well-oiled machine. And with fine-tuning comes those moments when you discover new ways. The path twists and turns, while you twist and turn with it. And this, Travellers, is the way you travel the vegan road with ambition and conviction that’s true to yourself and your individual vegan journey.
We are now in May and I’ve discovered that campaigns are popping up, promoting May as the perfect month to go vegan or meat free at least. I thought this would be the perfect time to share some of the travel tools I use in order to travel the vegan road that’s as true to my vegan self as possible. If you’re not vegan and want to give it a go this month, you can try some of my own ‘behind-the-scenes’ tips below, which can be tailored to suit where you are in the world right now and at which stage of your journey you’re now navigating.
If you have knowledge, compassion and kindness, you’re already half-way there. What’s more, you are definitely not alone when you’re travelling the vegan road.
Happy Cow website an app
This is an incredible website and app, a mammoth vegan travel encyclopaedia in so many ways. Here, you’ll find listings for vegan (and vegetarian) restaurants around the world, reviewed by everyday vegans who, too, are travelling the vegan road. Happy Cow also published regular hints and tricks for vegan travel.
News sites and sign-ups
Signing up to the newsletter of a selection of news sites keeps you informed on innovations, new businesses, ethics and local laws. My curated list of newsletters features VegNews, Plant Based News, Animals Australia, PETA Australia, Matador Network, One Green Planet, Peaceful Dumpling, Fodor’s Travel, Vegan Australia and World Nomads. Prominent general news sites I sign up to include The Guardian, SBS, ABC, Medium, Rough Guides and National Geographic. While all these entries on my list are not exclusively vegan, they keep me up to date on any (non-vegan and vegan) breaking news from thought leaders and the like. Staying informed and updating knowledge is key.
Some love it, some loathe it. Either way, I use Facbook to my advantage. I join local vegan and travel groups in my community to keep me updated on new places and experiences to try and where to avoid, I follow pages such as vegannews.com.au and Vegan News for the latest in local and international vegan news, and I keep posted on my own friends’ vegan travels. Facebook can bring people together in a positive way, and it’s a tool that I absorb so much inspiration from.
So, how will you navigate your journey of no meat in May? I’d love to hear about your ‘behind-the-scenes’ tricks and tips, too.
Disclaimer: All views and links expressed in this blog post are those of Justine de Jonge of Fire & Tea.