Travelling while being vegan can be daunting due to language barriers and cultural differences.
I am very aware of my lifestyle and what it entails. Especially if I start to travel to places that aren’t as well off as the countries I have lived in. It is very easy to be in a first world country and have certain views that could come across as disrespect in many other countries. Food is quite a big part of many peoples culture.
This got me thinking about when I am encountered with situations that I would now feel uncomfortable in.
How do you overcome these situations?
Research the area you will be visiting. Many places that you will visit will welcome the lifestyle you have and will understand. Many countries have lush vegetation and surround their food culture with many plant-based dishes. You need to be aware of the vegetation surrounding the place you go to. Is it mostly land, dry or wet? Is it mostly lakes or seas? This will usually give you an idea of the stable food in that area.
Many countries have lush vegetation and surround their food culture with many plant-based dishes.
Communication. Find a way to communicate respectively. Either through a translator or pictures. Communicating what you eat can sometimes differ in different cultures. Sometimes it is possible to just say you don’t eat meat or dairy other times you might need to communicate the reasons behind why you choose this lifestyle. Always being respectful of other peoples cultures. The easiest one to understand is the respect of animals and this is why you don’t eat them. Many cultures have different ways of respecting animals so it is a very common and straightforward way to explain your beliefs in a way that can be understood.
Sometimes you might end up eating something you don’t want to. This will happen. You might be unaware or in a position that you can change the situation and where it is heading. In these situations, there is no point retaliating. You might have drunk a drink that contained milk or eaten a dish with fish sauce in, even though you tried to explain as much as possible. In this instance, I say take a chill pill. You are in other countries with people that speak other languages and there is no use getting angry because it won’t be understood. Obviously, in situations where you are allergic, greater precaution and research would have been done to make sure you are don’t end up in a situation that is out of your control. Always choose safety first. I sound a bit like a health and safety officer but when it comes to allergies then you cant just accept any food.
At no point am I saying that you should just give up being vegan sometimes? What I am saying is that we need to respect certain cultures that might not fully understand. Be prepared and respect yourself.
What would be your best way to travel as a vegan?