Trying to eat vegan can be a challenge even in the U.S. where food options are generally plentiful. So when you decide to travel, figuring out a plan to sticking to healthy eating habits and vegan can be the most difficult part of planning the trip. In the last year, I’ve traveled all around the world, from Costa Rica and Mexico to England, Switzerland, Iceland, and Greece.
Latin American Food Is an Easy Go-to
Costa Rica and Mexico were pretty easy, and anyone who’s been vegetarian or vegan for any amount of time knows that Latin American food is an easy go-to. I ate lots of rice, beans, and vegetables. In Costa Rica, I ate mostly at “Sodas,” which serve typical Costa Rican food (rice, beans, salad, etc.). Everyone was very helpful if I asked for the ingredients, but most people didn’t know what to tell me when I asked if a dish was “vegan.” This meant trying to explain what vegan is in my broken Spanish. Asking for ingredients was much easier, so my first piece of advice would be to brush up on your culinary vocab before getting to your destination.
There’s an App for Everything (Even for Healthy Eating)
For my travels in the U.S. and Europe, I use a helpful app called “Happy Cow” (you can also just visit their website but the app is more convenient). Here you can search all of the vegan restaurants near you; it’s a must-have for any vegan on the road. There are also reviews from other vegans on the app, so it takes some of the guesswork out of a meal (your digestive system will thank you). So far this app has not disappointed, and I highly recommend it.
So while the U.S. and some parts of Europe do make healthy, vegan eating a bit of a challenge, Greece is a vegan’s paradise. The country is virtually lined with olive trees, pita bushes, and falafel plants, and baba ganoush flows through ancient aqueducts like water down the Maritsa River.
You Have Options
What I’m saying is there are options. The native cuisine is inherently vegan; for centuries Greek food has been based on olive oil, bread, and wine. Even for non-vegans, it’s a trip worth making for the food and wine alone, which is a sweet compliment to the rich history, clear blue water, and white, sandy beaches.
While you’re on vacation, you do want to try new things, eat new foods, and enjoy yourself. But that doesn’t mean you should eat whatever you want every day you’re away. Be happy, healthy and travel well! Everything in moderation…I metriopátheia se óla ta prágmata.