Fish are friends not food! – Bruce (JAW-some Shark in ‘Finding Nemo’, Fish Friend, non conformist)
To travel the globe you need an energized body to go with that healthy mind, This doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your taste-buds to consuming anything with a mother! Because who wants to do that, right? We love mothers !
Due to my major fear of food poisoning and cross contamination I managed to travel across Europe and through Asia without actually considering myself Vegetarian. As most food related illnesses come from meat, poultry and fish I decided that I don’t want any Bali belly or Thai tummy holding me back from my awesome adventure.
For starters, it ain’t easy! This is no walk in the park, as lot of cultures don’t even consider chicken/fish as meat, so when ordering make sure the server understands that you don’t want any animal and don’t freak out but when you ask for something to be customized into vegetarian a lot of the time the waitress will just pick out the meat from your meal, these are something’s you will have to get used to.
On one occasion I said I was vegetarian, and the non-english speaking chinese server pointed to noodles and then various meats and started mooing, making chicken noises, and then went to barking and meowing….so yeah that’s when I just settled with the restaurant next door.
Do expect: “you’re a what”? and then with astonishment ask “so what do you eat”? Grass?
Growing up in nearly all vegetarian/ flex-atarian family I never considered that some people couldn’t even imagine surviving without meat, However it is great to see when traveling how many people are interested in learning and trying to be vegetarian.
It sounds hard but it is still possible ! J Here are some of my best tips on how to plan, prepare and enjoy !
Plan Ahead: As a busy globe trotting traveller you don’t have the time walking the streets to find a meal that will suit your dietary requirements, and as the world has progressed so much when it comes to vegan or vegetarianism more restaurants are adding vege options to their menu, check out any vegetarian apps and websites like Happy Cow which is a popular website for locating vegetarian restaurants. Vegetarian/vegan options are everywhere we just need to know how to find them. By doing this you won’t be stuck and searching for hours then only realizing there was a vegan restaurant down the road.
Change up your meal: Have you ever seen a delicious meal and thought ‘omg that would be great without meat’ if so, just ask the waitor/waitress if you can have the meal with no chicken or meat but the best option I found was to say “just vegetable” because “no meat” can mean no red meat or some meat. Most restaurants will accommodate to this, I’m not saying it will always be purely plant based but its better than eating your right arm for dinner.
SNACKKKS: or ‘snack-a-roo’s’ how a true Aussie says it! Healthy little snacks are your light in the darkness if you simply can’t find any food and have almost given up hope. Especially if you’re taking a long haul bus trip and don’t really have a choice where the driver pit stops for lunch, this tip can truly save your hunger pangs. Note down to stock up on Nuts, dried fruit, muesli bars and corn chips, they are great for nutrition and travel extremely well.
Explore a new taste palate: Do like the locals do! and get yourself immersed into the ethnic cuisines like Indian, Thai, Mexican ect. Because they love their Veggies as much as we do and almost always have a vase range or vege options.
Release your inner chef: let Jamie Oliver flow through you and start cooking up a storm whether you’re staying in an AirBnb or Hostel, utilize the kitchen and save money while doing it ! Even if you are lazy like me and just heat up that frozen meal it’s an easy way to know exactly what you’re eating and remain a lazy (but happy) vegetarian.
Just add water: dehydrated soups, cuppa noodles, instant mash and porridge mixes are your new best friends! This isn’t just handy for your diet but for long haul train and bus trips too!! Feeling like you’re not getting the nutrition you need? Get some vitamin drinks and top up all those great vitamins you need in a drink! Honestly these tips saved me on a 3 day long non-stop train trip through Russia – click here to read my post on traveling across Russia here.
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I hope you liked my post, do you have any extra tips? Or a traveling while vegetarian story? Let me know in the comments below.