6 Survival secrets of a Vegetarian Traveler
I love travelling and I love food, both go hand in hand, but not always, especially if you happen to be a vegetarian.
I am a vegetarian both by birth and choice, not a vegan though. And whenever I have spoken to my friends about my impending travel to Europe or South East Asia, for example, they give me a look of pity and say, “Oh! You are a vegetarian! How will you survive?
I am not in total disagreement with such feelings however my travels and experiences prove that this is a myth. A vegetarian can survive anywhere in the world, wherever there is vegetation, if I may say so, though I have not had an opportunity to go on expeditions to the sandy wastelands of the Sahara or the icy regions of the Antarctica.
Here are 6 Survival secrets of a Vegetarian Traveler – tips straight from my survival kit:
Gorge yourself with the complementary buffet breakfast
I was in Switzerland for more than four weeks and my day would start with a heavy breakfast of Bread and Butter, Yogurt, Fruits of all colors and sizes, Hash Browns, fruit juices and finally Coffee or tea. I would breakfast as if there was no tomorrow. Who knows whether I would get anything for my vegetarian palate for the rest of the day!
Carry an ample stock of instant energy busters
On all my travels I carry along with me stuff that is easy to carry and also has the potential to release instant energy and be filling. What in case I couldn’t find anything for Lunch or Dinner! The stuff that I usually carry are chocolate bars, dry fruits like almonds, cashew, raisins and energy bars made out of sugar and peanuts. All these are very effective to combat those sudden hunger pangs in the midst of your travels.
Plan where you could eat even before you travel
One of the aspects of travel planning that I give extra importance to is track and locate vegetarian food outlets near the place I would be staying in or visiting, through Google maps and include them as a part of my itinerary itself. You can always locate a Subway or McDonalds for beverages.
Research on the local food of the place you are travelling to
It helps to familiarize oneself with the different food options available in the destination you are travelling to, this would give an idea of what would suit one’s needs. I remember ordering a Vegetable Risotto at an Italian restaurant with full confidence as I knew that this would be a vegetarian rice preparation, similarly I did not think twice before taking a generous helping of Roasted Vegetable Lasagne at a corporate lunch.
Make use of ‘Heat and Eat’ stuff for one of the meals in a day
I have survived on plain oats mixed with boiling water with a pinch of salt as dinner for almost three weeks on one of my trips to Europe. On other occasions I have eaten cup noodles and a variety of other assorted ready to eat concoctions which just require hot water, which is easily available in any hotel.
Indulge yourself in a full and proper Vegetarian Lunch or Dinner once in a while
It is not that you do not have Vegetarian restaurants available at your destination, in most of the cases they are there, but quite expensive and if you are travelling on a budget, it is impossible to fit in 2 or 3 meals every day. The next best thing is after surviving for 3 or 4 days one can indulge one’s gastronomic desires in one of these fancy restaurants. I remember having a grand dinner in a vegetarian restaurant called HILTL in Zurich during one of my travels there. Read more about this in my other post – A Vegetarian Dinner in Zurich.
One may feel that this is cumbersome and takes the pleasure out of travelling, but one needs to bear in mind that travel is not for the sake of food alone, there are other things which compensate. How many of you would have thought about food as you gazed in awe at David, the masterpiece by Michael Angelo at the Accademia in Florence? How many of you have felt hunger pangs while admiring the view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower? How many of you thought about your lunch while being serenaded by a Gondolier in Venice?
Yes, it is a little tough sometimes as a vegetarian but the benefits and the experiences by far outweigh these small discomforts and nothing can stop this intrepid Vegetarian Traveler from traveling the world and assimilating new experiences.
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