Does your vegetarianism ever hinder your travel plans? Have no fear, or hungerï¿½blogger and vlogger Carolyn Scott, A.K.A. The Healthy Voyager, has scoured the globe in search of veg fare so you can enjoy a healthy meal no matter where your journeys may lead you. Here, she weighs in on everything from the top five veg destinations on the planet to worldwide trends in the movement.
Q: Youï¿½ve been all around the globe tasting healthy cuisine. Can you describe any particularly divine dining experiences?
A: There are two that stand out in my mind: the first is Kenya, in the Massai Mara. ï¿½I was so excited to go but very scared that I would be dining on bread and bottled water. On the contrary, I ate like a queen! The food was phenomenal, perhaps because they cater to so many international touristsï¿½many of them vegetarian Indiansï¿½that they really know how to prepare delicious vegan dishes. I devoured fresh-squeezed juices and flavorful, organic veggie dishes while sitting outdoors and seeing and hearing incredible wildlife.
The second was in Philadelphia. My fiancï¿½ and I dined at Horizons, and it was absolutely delicious. What made this meal significant was that my fiancï¿½, whoï¿½s not at all vegan, was floored by the food. That gave me such hope for the movement of gourmet vegan/vegetarian food, as I feel that as veg cuisine evolves, more and more people who arenï¿½t veg will incorporate healthier dishes into their daily lives without feeling that they are sacrificing taste. My fiancï¿½ still talks about Horizons to this very day!
Q: Whatï¿½s your best advice for veg travelers?
A: My slogan is ï¿½know before you go.ï¿½ Find all of the local places and scope out the menus ahead of time to keep from starving while youï¿½re away from your comfort zone. It saves time and headaches for sure! Also, pack snacks, don’t be afraid to ask your server to add or subtract to a dish you really want, and read The Healthy Voyager, as Iï¿½ve done most of the work for you!
Q: What was the most veg-unfriendly place youï¿½ve ever been, and how did you manage to scrounge up a healthy meal?
A: I remember going out with a group of friends to some seafood place. The menu
was one page, printed and laminatedï¿½one of those ï¿½We’re known for three things and thatï¿½s all we serveï¿½ type of place. Luckily, they had whole-wheat rolls, so I made a pickle, lettuce, and tomato sandwich with mustard and washed it down with an iced tea. Got to be good at improvising sometimes!
Q: Can you list the top five most vegetarian friendly destinations in the world?
A: In my opinion, these places were great to me: The Sarova Mara in Kenya, London, Vancouver, Costa Rica, and most coastal cities in the US!
Q: How about just in the US?
A: Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Portland, and NYC. Those are the big five, but Washington D.C., Philly, and Atlanta are right up there too! Every city Iï¿½ve visited has a dish I would gladly go back for.
Q: Have you noticed any changes in the worldwide popularity of vegetarianism? If so, what seem to be the trends?
A: Oh yes! In the 10 years that Iï¿½ve been vegan, I have seen a gargantuan change in the level of difficulty when I travel. Depending on where I was, the word vegan got me looks as though I had lobsters crawling out of my ears. But now, I can be in the deep, meaty ï¿½McMeatï¿½ South, and no one flinches when I order a vegan meal. Most large chain restaurants now even offer vegetarian dishes. There wasn’t even a Whole Foods in LA when I became vegan, and now they are everywhere. Most any coffee shop carries soymilk. Mainstream grocers carry a slew of specialty veg items and even have their own organic product lines. This is all very exciting.
Q: What have been the most rewarding aspects of blogging and vlogging about your experiences as a vegetarian traveler?
A: Opportunities to spread the word like this, as well as meeting people who enjoy learning about how to lead a healthier lifestyle no matter what their current diet is. ï¿½I love meeting like-minded people and collaborating on projects that are fun and beneficial to people. Traveling and eating are two of lifeï¿½s most wonderful activities and combining them is a home run for me. I started the blog and show because this is what I want to do for the rest of my life, not only by myself, but also with my family. Ultimately, I want to inspire people to enjoy what the world has to offer without any worries of their dietary restrictions holding them back.