You long to experience new places - see the sights, hear the sounds and taste the...whoa! Not so fast. Whether itâs for ethical or health reasons, you might find the national dish of Tajikistan hard to swallow. Oâsh! Itâs tough to travel on a vegan (no animal products at all), vegetarian (no meat or fish) or raw food diet (strictly living food: uncooked, processed as little as possible and usually vegan). But there are many resources out there to help you along your natural way. Here are a few challenges that may arise and how to prepare for them.
Far far away in the land of Las Vegan.
Some countries are more in line with your idea of good grub than others. Most Russians eat meat, but most Indians donât - simples. Research the national dishes and find out what foods are produced there. More vegan-friendly places include Vietnam, Malaysia, India and Thailand.
The all-important airline meal: Chicken or fish? Neither.
Most airlines - provided you order ahead - offer vegan and vegetarian meals, but the raw food movement is still at grass roots level...for now. Until living food reaches new heights, take your own snacks along for the ride.
How to lose friends and alienate people...who try to feed you.
Your Kyrgyzstani hosts may be offended if your turn up your nose at their lovingly prepared Beshbarmak. But considering it involves a boiled sheepâs head (sorry to offend readers), youâd have to take a stand. Even if the dish on offer appeals, your digestive system may not be able to process it. Rawist travelers in particular beware.
I am hungry, hear me raw!
When in Hungary, or anywhere else, donât let yourself get hungry. Always have snacks at the ready. For vegans and vegetarians, peanut butter is the number one high-energy foodstuff you should arm yourself with on your travels. Rawists, hereâs a list of foods to consider taking along: green superfood; raw honey; goji berries; cacao nibs; dried fruits and nuts. All agree that Happy Cow is the ultimate global restaurant guide.
Do you speak vegetarian?
You donât eat no meat?! Make sure you can explain what a Vee-gan is, or be equipped to ask where and how and when that purple carrot was grown. Learn a few words and phrases to help you get by. Foodie local guides are also a good way to go.
But is this the authentic experience, man? Totally, man. Food is not everything. Happy Travels.
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