People often ask me if I stick to my vegan lifestyle when I travel and although it can be challenging my beliefs travel with me. Travelling with a language barrier alone is already difficult and then when you throw in dietary restrictions—mamamia it gets that much harder. It’s true, cutting out meat, eggs and diary is completely foreign to most Europeans but it is possible to still enjoy yourself. The same thing goes for being gluten intolerant or having any other dietary restriction.
When we were in Thailand everyone knew what vegetarian was but it seemed they had a hard time understanding what “strict vegetarian” was. I was prepared, I had my cue cards, I knew how to say it properly and I even spoke really slow. For some reason I always still got a little bit of animal on my plate. This is when my tour guide taught me to say Gin-jay which took vegetarianism to a whole new level—a religious belief. As soon as that happened my meals were beyond amazing.
In Greece I’m always lucky because I speak the language (okay my conjugation is awful but they get the point) but for places where we are alone with no guidance here are some tips on how I get around:
- Bring Cue cards in the countries language breaking down exactly what you cannot eat. Be mindful in some countries a some residents are not able to read.
- Have a translating app on your phone and connect to wifi to use it.
- Ask locals who speak English how to explain your needs.
- Read the menus at restaurants ahead of time so you don’t feel overwhelmed once you arrive.
- Learn a couple of the words before you go so you know how to pronounce them before hand.