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By definition, veganism, unlike a plant-based diet, is a lifestyle; a specific mentality and set of values which wouldn’t be broken or ignored just because you really fancy trying Italian gelato or a Greek gyro. The common view is that veganism is a rigid and restrictive diet, meaning travelling is supposed to only bring added fears and challenges in the desperate attempt to find vegan food!
It’s here where my myth-busting knowledge and experience comes into play. During my years as a vegan I have travelled a considerable amount. I’ve been from Iceland to Nepal to Greece to Berlin, and not only have I found veganism both easy and practical, but in many ways it’s completely enhanced my travelling experiences!
Often the search for vegan restaurants gives you the opportunity to explore areas unbeknown to your average tourist. Once you stray from the westernized fronts of McDonald’s and KFC, you may discover a thriving vegan-friendly underworld of cultural cuisine (once I even managed to find a vegan café amongst the insanity of a Marrakech bazaar!). Being vegan has allowed me to experience greater cultural immersion whilst travelling, and even encouraged me to a pick up a few necessities in other languages in order to communicate with locals.
Surprisingly, lots of places (such as the entire continent of Asia!) have vegan-friendly staple cuisine. But if you’re really struggling, most modern establishments have vegetarian options which more often than not can be veganized (if worst comes to worst; there’s always chips!). Another tip is to make use of apps such as Happy Cow which allows you to search for nearby vegan and vegetarian restaurants wherever you travel.
All in all, travelling is an incredible experience and there is no reason being vegan should stop you from seeing the world! The two aren’t mutually exclusive. You can even find veganism helps discover parts of a destination’s culture you never could’ve imagined!
By Hannah Frogson
Life & Style Writer
image link: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maroc_Marrakech_Jemaa-el-Fna_Luc_Viatour.JPG
The UoB Linguist Magazine
Guild of Students,
University of Birmingham