What is it like travelling as a vegan? As a raw vegan? What’s the vegan situation like in Ljubljana?
Travelling as a vegan is just as easy as travelling as a non-vegan. If you like to eat out, for the best vegan dining experience I recommend researching vegan-friendly restaurants in advance using Yelp or HappyCow. Lazy vegans might choose the more adventurous route by simply walking into any restaurant and sorting a meal. It might just be a baked potato and some veggie sides, or fried chips, but you’ll find something edible. Check out My tips for eating out as a vegan for more useful info. Vegans really can eat anywhere!
I’ve travelled all over the US and am just now starting to make a dent in my international travel bucket list, and I’ve never had an issue finding vegan options in restaurants, cafés, airports, or hotels. Yes, even basic continental breakfasts have vegan food. Think bagels, peanut butter, jelly, and fruit.
It’s true that some cities are “better” for vegans than others, but this means better for vegans who like to eat out. Glasgow is considered a vegan paradise because it has several all-vegan restaurants and scores of other vegan-friendly or almost-vegan places.
But veganism isn’t just about eating out at all-vegan restaurants. Veganism, from a diet point of view, means avoiding the consumption of any animal products. This basic premise of a vegan diet is easy to satisfy. You could travel anywhere on Earth and find vegan staples like rice, beans, potatoes and some type of fruit and veg. Obviously, you won’t find these in a place like Antarctica and I doubt you’ll be visiting anytime soon, but if you do, you’d bring food with you anyway.
I’m always baffled when anyone living in a civilised part of the world complains that they can’t find anything vegan to eat (besides chips, of course). Any place you visit has grocery stores and food shops, packed full of vegan food! The entire produce section is vegan, and staples like pasta, rice, beans, frozen and tinned veggies, and (unfortunately) many processed foods are vegan.
I understand that new vegans aren’t up to speed on all the processed garbage that happens to be vegan (or accidentally vegan, as they say), but that shouldn’t matter. If you’re struggling to find vegan food, you’re either not looking or your definition of food is so far removed from what real food actually is. Real food like fruits and veggies is 100% vegan 100% of the time.
So when people ask me what it’s like to travel as a vegan, I tell them it’s easy because that’s the truth. Now we vegans might not be able to ‘indulge’ in the meal provided by the airline whilst on a flight, but we’ll be fine if we plan ahead. (Some airlines do offer vegan food. Request it when you purchase your ticket and verify it a few days before your flight, just in case!)
Eating as a vegan requires extra planning and I never see it as a big deal. So what if I can’t stuff my face with whatever fast food is available at the airport? So what if I need to read labels to ensure the veggie wrap is free from egg or milk before I buy it at the gas station? So what if I need to research menu options before going out to eat?
Is extra planning so bad? Shouldn’t we all want to eat with intention, so we know we are eating the best food possible?
In my opinion, travelling as a raw vegan is even easier than traveling as a vegan who likes to eat out. Eating out is rare so my planning is simple. It involves asking locals where I can find the tastiest produce in town, searching Google Maps for food shops, visiting various food shops once I arrive to see what produce they offer and compare prices, and researching what produce is in season.
Raw vegan food is everywhere! All food shops have some sort of fruit or veggies for me to munch on. Some fruit is more difficult to eat on the go, however. Peaches need days to ripen so I can’t just pop into a shop and have peaches for lunch, so I keep my eye out for grapes, watermelon wedges, berries, or whatever fruit is in season. Alternatively, I can keep peaches at the flat to ripen and bring them with me. This just requires planning in advance.
The vegan situation in Ljubljana is just like the vegan situation in any of the other places I’ve visited. It’s perfectly fine!