Eating Vegan Food while Traveling

As brand new folks to the vegan movement, we thought we would share the whole truth about our experience traveling while eating vegan food.

Having gone from a full-fledged carnivore diet only two years ago, we slowly weaned ourselves into the vegan lifestyle. We started by cooking one vegetarian meal per week. We then committed to not cooking meat and fish at home. As we started to travel South East Asia, we decided to give the vegan lifestyle a go while traveling.

Since we’ve gotten so many questions about our vegan food posts on instagram, we thought we would share a bit more on our vegan experience.

When did we start eating vegan food?

Becoming vegan is a process and everyone has their own story. Michael turned to the vegan lifestyle overnight after watching the documentary What the Health shortly before we left. He’s in it for the long haul. Kristina is giving the vegan lifestyle a try but still longs for cheese and a small piece of bacon.

Ultimately, the vegan lifestyle is a learning process. After watching heaps of documentaries while we were living in Canada, we were struck by the nature of industrial farming and the food we were putting in our body.

So does VEGAN become an identity? Are you either a die-hard vegan or not? Not necessarily. What we have come to realize is that we really enjoy vegan food. And we are testing out the effects of the vegan lifestyle for our mind and our body.

It’s as simple as that.

Why are you giving the vegan lifestyle a chance?

We both came at it primarily for health reasons. As we learned more about the impact of meat, fish and dairy consumption on our body, it became harder and harder to deny that a plant-based diet is straight up better for our health.

Kristina’s bacon and egg cravings are a real thing. Especially when you miss home. But, learning more about the industrial farming production of meat, fish and dairy floored us and definitely triggered the ethical compass for our health and for the planet.

Isn’t it hard to eat vegan food while traveling?

Honestly, the experience has been amazing and it’s been surprisingly easy! We’ve been using the Happy Cow app and have been led to the most beautiful, peaceful, and tranquil restaurants in different parts of each city.

For breakfast, we’ve been making a yummy oatmeal and chia bowl with fresh fruits every day. Our breakfast routine makes going out to lunch & dinner that much more special.

Are you sure you’re getting enough protein, vitamins and minerals?

With nutrition packed meals, we know for a fact that we are getting the right amount of goods in the meals we eat. We are also taking a B12 supplement which many vegans take, as it is the only vitamin that is lacking from a plant based diet.

How do we feel?

We feel amazing. Neither of us have been sick, our skin has cleared up, our bowels are regularly (yep, we went there) and we feel energized to take on any adventure that comes our way. We always pack peanuts and some fruit as a snack for those hangry moments.

We are not consuming as many calories as we do with a meat and dairy packed diet, so we make sure to eat more frequently.

We haven’t missed eating meat or seafood while traveling through South East Asia so far.

Vietnam is a Buddhist dominant region. The monks that live in the monasteries are vegetarian, so we’ve found that there is an incredible selection of vegetarian/vegan food restaurants throughout Vietnam. We are in Ubud, Bali for the next month and the vegan food restaurants are absolutely dynamite.

Why is Kristina hangry so much?

With action packed adventures in Vietnam, sometimes you get to dinner and your body’s energy tank is on empty. The result? Kristina gets a bit hangry when Michael tries to take pictures of her.

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How we became Minimalists

Ever thought you could get rid of most everything you own?  Your beloved sofa that’s perfectly moulded to your comfort?  That really unique dining room table that you refinished yourselves?  Or even that amazing fireplace that you found on the side of the road?  We couldn’t.

Before this year.

Anyone who knows Kristina knows her love of antiques, particularly a red barn door that’s been threatened to be used as firewood many times.  While the barn door and other irreplaceable antiques and travel memorabilia are in safe keeping in our parents’ basement, everything else is gone.  We are now minimalists.

We’ve sold all of our belongings for a one-way ticket

As we sat in our hammock one evening in August, we talked about our departure date in 2017.  If we were really going to do this, we were going to commit now. Commit to making a change in the way we were living this next year.

Both of us were doubtful we could make anything happen in the two weeks before the next month’s rent was due.  But what we’ve learned about our dynamic duo is that when we set our focus on a goal, we make a beautiful combination of calculated and impulsive decisions to make it happen.  No excuses.

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We thought it was funny that our landlord seemed so personally invested in what he believed was a tragedy- “why would you ever want to get rid of all this stuff and leave our safe jobs? You have benefits!”  He saw it as a loss.  We see it as an opportunity.

In the matter of two weeks, the kijiji-queen went to work (a website where you can buy and sell used items, rent apartments, etc.) and piece-by-piece, our apartment became empty.  With every item that disappeared, an incredible thing happened.

We felt lighter, freer, and we could breathe easier.

What we’ve discovered is that we so often fill our lives with material things that consume us.  And the bigger the living space, the more we seem to accumulate.

So we purged, we sold, and we gave away endless amounts of stuff that no longer held meaning to us.

Living a minimalist lifestyle has been a liberation; with less stuff, we discovered we gained more time.  Sounds a bit crazy?  It isn’t. We’ve discovered that having less, offers minimized distraction.  Less time dedicated to meaningless things around the house and more time for us.  We now spend more time reading and nurturing ourselves as individuals, and as a team.

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As we closed the door to our first home together, we saw our empty apartment as the end of a chapter and the beginning of an exciting adventure.  A focused goal which brings us closer to living a lifestyle that is unconventional.

So what’s the plan for the next year?  We now only own a bed, a dresser, a desk, and the essential belongings to get us through the next year in Canada.  Oh and one set of wheels.  We will be living with family (an amazing couple and their 9-yr old son) who have graciously welcomed us into their home.

Sell all our belongings?  Check.  Minimalist life?  Check.

One step closer to living in a backpack.