Sunday, 11 September 2011

Eating and Travelling: The Mysterious Ways to Get What you Want.

    So I've been out of Canada for the past 2 months and want to share my experiences travelling as a vegan/fruitarian. Most people think that being veg is a disadvantage whilst exploring the globe and I really have to disagree, it certainly has its advantages and everyone will cater to your specific dietary needs as long as you have the right attitude about it.
    Why most people worry about transitioning to a veg diet today is beyond me because I've never experienced a situation where there truly was nothing I could eat. Restaurants and other establishments will cater to anyone's  dietary needs because they want you as repeat customers, its really that simple. If you ask nicely and inform yourself properly you will get what you want.
  1. Plane food: This is actually quite an advantage to the veg people. All you have to do now to eat a veg/vegan/fruit meal is choose is choose whichever you want when you are booking your ticket online or with your travel agent and yes most airlines have a fruit meal option, just bring extra (just not any more than you can eat because although its more than ok to bring fruit into the aiplane, customs at the other end wont let you go through with it) . Another bonus is that you usually get served first and the quality of the food is generally better than the omnivore stuff from my experience.
  2. Restaurants: Here is where attitude is everything! Any restaurant will be more than happy to cater to you, besides they want you and your party to come back to eat there. Just be specific and above all polite about what it is exactly that you want and don't be afraid to ask questions! If your not sure about a menu item, ask whether there is this or that ingredient in it and if so, ask if they can accommodate you and make it without animal products or a salad with items of your choice. If you're travelling to a country that you arent fluent in their language write down a list of either things you don't ant in your meals or things that you do want while precising that you don't eat animal products. And a trick is if they seem to be giving you a hard time, just say you are allergic, their attitude with change quickly and adjustments will be made :)
  3. Airport food: This one can sometimes be tricky, especially if your at an airport late at night waiting for a delayed flight. There are a few things you can do. One is to bring along some snacks just in case, which in the end will also save you money. If you forget this, then you can basically make due, they'll usually have  some sort of veggie or fruit plate and possibly a granola bar or something that while not ideal will get you feeling not so hungry until the on-board meal.
  4. Hotel accommodations (B&B, all-inclusive…): The best thing for this one is to prepare in advance and do you research.  Most B&B's have no issues accommodating special diets and will do so with pleasure, but you may want to check into some of them that have experience in the matter and you have to be prepared to specifically explain to them what your diet entails, especially being a fruitarian and detailing what a ripe fruit is and how much you really eat. There are websites that detail which all inclusive resorts are best for veg food and fresh fruit, but I would say that the higher the rating, the better your chance of having great food. Again just give them a call in advance and before booking to ensure that you'll be comfortable on your vacation.
  5. Vacationning over at friends and family: This a a great chance to showcase how great vegan food is. If your friends and family aren't familiar with veganism or fruitarianism offer to bring along a dish or to prepare one in their home before the meal. If they are familiar with it just double check with them that there will be food that you can eat there.If you are staying for an extended period of time consider just buying your own food, especially if you are eating mostly raw :)
  6. Self-catering; One of the best options when travelling is booking a room with a fridge or a small kitchen. This enables you to have the majority of your meals your way and it's always fun (imo) to explore the markets and fruit shops in different countries to see whats available and to explore different ingredients and if you travel to an exotic destination, some great local fresh fruit!
  7. All in all, the chances of having issues with veganism or fruitarianism and travelling lie with how prepared you are. If you make the right moves and take it all with a relaxed and friendly attitude people will serve you what you want and do their best to make it a great experience. The whole point of travelling is to explore new cultures and landscapes, so concentrate on your adventure and have fun! A positive outlook will attract to you what you need :)

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