I Am A Nomadic Vegan
When I first heard about veganism in May 2014, I had never met a vegan in real life before. I had somehow stumbled upon a telesummit called the Food Revolution Summit, hosted by father-and-son team John and Ocean Robbins. John and Ocean interviewed a number of doctors, dietitians and activists, but the talk that left the biggest impact on me was the one by my teenage girl crush – Alicia Silverstone.
A few weeks later, I stumbled on her book “The Kind Diet” at a used book sale and bought it on a whim. I didn’t think I would ever be able to go vegan, but Alicia brilliantly gave readers the option of “flirting” with the vegan lifestyle, and that was how she drew me in, because flirting was all I was prepared to do at that stage. I never thought that I would be able to go fully vegan.
And yet, the more I learned about the health benefits of a plant-based diet and about the horrible and needless suffering caused by animal agriculture, the more certain I became that being vegan was the only way of living that made sense and that aligned with my core values.
But I had two major fears to overcome. First, as an avid traveler who has visited all seven continents and 98 countries, I was convinced that being vegan would ruin travel. I wasn’t even sure it would be possible to stay vegan in some of the places I planned to visit. Second, my husband is passionate about cooking and prepares all of our meals, and I was sure that he would be resistant to the change and that it would put a strain on our marriage.
In September 2014, I set off on a three-week trip around Greece and decided to give vegan travel a trial run. As it turned out, my fears about travel were completely unfounded. Not only did being vegan not ruin the experience, it actually made it much, much better! I learned so much about the country and its culture through its food, and I discovered traditional dishes that most tourists are completely unaware of.
I’ve traveled to quite a few places since that trip. Far from being a hindrance, being vegan has greatly enhanced my travel experiences, giving them new purpose. Each day on the road is a treasure hunt as I seek out naturally vegan local specialties.
Veganism has become a window through which I can explore the world from a whole new vantage point. I’ve slowly came to the realization that, throughout my travels, vegan options were there in abundance all along. I just didn’t see them because I wasn’t looking for them.
I knew that other people must have the same misconceptions and fears about vegan travel that I once had, so I created a blog, The Nomadic Vegan, and made it my mission to help remove that stumbling block for others and to show them how they can be vegan anywhere and spread compassion everywhere. Never have I felt a greater sense of purpose in life.
As for my relationship with my husband, my initial announcement about changing my diet was indeed met with a healthy dose of skepticism. But we worked through it. While the transition wasn’t always easy, he gradually built up a repertoire of delicious vegan meals that we both enjoy, while at the same time making changes to his own diet.
And then, on 1 December 2015, he announced that he too had become vegan! While he doesn’t have the same activist spirit as I do (he refers to himself as “the quiet vegan”), he has started helping out with The Nomadic Vegan behind the scenes, particularly with the photography and video aspects of the site. It’s really wonderful to finally be able to share my passion for veganism with him and embark on this journey together. I’m so glad I didn’t let my fears hold me back, because what once seemed like an impossible change has brought so much joy, peace and sense of purpose to my life.
Wendy Werneth is the author of the vegan travel blog The Nomadic Vegan – where she shows you how you can be vegan anywhere and spread compassion everywhere.
For more tips on finding delicious vegan food while travelling, download her free ebook, 8 Steps for Fun and Easy Vegan Travel.
Wendy also has a YouTube channel for The Nomadic Vegan where she films her vegan adventures around the world.
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