About VeganTravel

Vegans Around the World Contest Winners

About VeganTravel
Our goal is to be a resource for travelers all over the world who are vegan or have interest in becoming vegan by giving
them a space to communicate, share their experiences, and collaborate to spread the message of global compassion.

VeganTravel is a nonprofit community-run site where vegans can come together from around the world to share their passion for travel and adventure, help promote and grow interest in going vegan, shed light on the issues animals are facing around the globe, and to help build a more sustainable and compassionate world.

Our goal is to provide a fun and easy-to-use travel resource for vegans and people interested in becoming vegan. Our users will be able to follow the adventures of vegan travelers, blog/vlog about their own travel adventures, meet and establish connections with vegans globally, track activities of friends, setup and/or join vegan groups locally and abroad, schedule and/or attend global vegan events, read reviews and share your opinions on vegan-friendly travel options, and find people from around the world who share the same ethical and compassionate goals.

VeganTravel relies on the global vegan community to add vegan and vegan-friendly listings, review and rate favorites, participate in groups and forums, and share your perspective and travel tips. We encourage you to share their own vegan travel adventures on our site so that others can follow you and learn from your experiences.

This is also a site where your preferences and the preferences of others determine which listings float to the top of each page. Most listings on our site are sorted based on your comments and reviews, with the listings with the most positive reviews on top (for convenience, some map pages are sorted by proximity). We accept no advertising. Our goal is to provide a platform that truly respects and mirrors the collective vegan opinions and perspectives.

VeganTravel was created with the collaborative efforts of eleven compassionate individuals consisting of 8 Vegans, 1 Vegetarian, and 2 Omnivores – about half located in Europe, and the other half in North America. We also have several other compassionate individuals at DirectNET to thank for their heartfelt support, suggestions and contributions. DirectNET is a vegan-owned company focused on data center efficiency solutions. They too share our goals and ideals in helping to build a more ethical and compassionate world.

VeganTravel.com was officially launched on October 15th, 2015. Since our founding, our global community has been growing steadily with people of good will joining our site daily from almost every nation and cultural background. All sharing our mutual desire to help build a better reality for people everywhere, and for all the other living and feeling beings we are so lucky to be sharing our planet with.

Thank you for supporting our efforts, and for the daily choices you make as a vegan to help make our world a more sustainable and compassionate place.

We hope you will have lots of fun on our site, and on your many travel adventures to come!

Bon Voyage!

Why go Vegan?

  • Health: Some people go vegan for the many health benefits that medical research has clearly documented.
  • Environment: Some go vegan for the environmental benefits which have been documented by United Nations reports and leading scientist around the world.
  • Ethics: Most of us go vegan because we care about our fellow inhabitants of this beautiful planet, and we struggle with the ethics in exploiting animals for food, clothing, or some cloaked form of indefensible entertainment.

For additional details on why you should go vegan, please view the following links: Vegan Outreach: “Why Vegan” and Vegan Society: “Why go Vegan”

While we at VeganTravel are delighted that more and more people around the world are going vegan everyday for one or more of these reasons, we care deeply about how we share this planet with our fellow sentient beings. Our objective is to share the concerns and triumphs of animal advocates around the world, while demonstrating how easy and fun it can be to be vegan.

Vegans Around the World Contest

VeganTravel is proud to cover Around-the-World airfare and travel expenses for selected vegan travelers who are eager to help grow veganism and animal care awareness by sharing their travel experiences of the vegans they meet along the way, reviewing the transportation they use, the restaurants they dine in, and the accommodations they stay at, and helping to tell the stories of the animals they meet at animal sanctuaries, shelters, and care facilities in each country they visit.

Why are we giving away free Around-the-World trips?
Our hope is that by sponsoring these vegan travelers, we will help encourage passionate vegans who are gifted in social media, blogging, and vlogging to help us shed light on the issues animals are facing around the globe, as well as help us vegans lead by example. We would like to demonstrate to doubters just how easy it is to be vegan. How enjoyable and rewarding a vegan life can be. And show the wealth of delicious vegan restaurants, airline meal options, vegan-friendly accommodations, shopping, and other travel options we vegans have available anywhere we travel in the world.

VeganTravel announced the winners to our Vegans Around the World Contest on April 15th, 2016. The winning teams are Shae & Marissa, Giselle & Cody, and Kristin, and they have collectively traveled throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Oceania, and Asia. And we are all very excited about their continuing travel adventures. Our teams have documented and shared their travel experiences and tips. Simply put, our teams share our desire in raising awareness for animal issues, and helping support vegans globally.

Our 2016 Vegans Around the World Contest winners were selected by a panel of 10 ethical vegan judges based in multiple continents.  They were selected based on their eagerness to promote veganism and animal compassion, and their ability to document and communicate their travel experiences.

Personal note from one of our founders:

I started traveling internationally on my own when I was a teenager. I didn’t come from a family with means, so every trip I took was on an extremely tight budget and were sustained by taking an assortment of part-time jobs along with a decent amount of volunteering abroad. I traveled across the U.S. and Canada, and throughout Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. And after university to my parents’ dismay, instead of following my career path, I decided to bike and travel abroad for a year and a half non-stop.

Later in my 20’s I got an opportunity to work abroad – something I was very excited about but thought would only last for a year. The year turned into six incredibly rewarding and joy filled years. I married abroad and we continued traveling internationally every year. Never pausing, even after our children were born. With a bit of planning, traveling with infants and toddlers is a lot easier than most people imagine.

I am in my 50’s now but I still get so thrilled every time I plan any new travel. So I can easily imagine how excited you all must feel in planning your incredible travel adventures. You will surely experience some incredible nature and historical wonders. And in my opinion, of even greater value, will be the many new friendships you build with people from different countries, cultures, and perspectives on life. Some perhaps will even end up being lifelong friends. That is what I’m most grateful for from the extended travels I’ve had the good fortune to do.

How we came up with VeganTravel:

Shortly after my 50th birthday I had what I have since come to think of as an epiphany. It came after I suffered a really bad late spring skiing accident, which nearly ended my life. A specialist had to be flown in to perform an operation to save me from a massive blood clot that had formed and the subsequent pulmonary embolisms.

In the weeks post surgery I laid in the hospital thinking about how lucky I was to still be alive, and contemplating my life. At that time I had run my own technology business for several years and I had earned enough that I could have made the decision to retire. Not to live lavishly, but with enough means to live my dreams of traveling modestly around the world for the rest of my days. But day after day in my hospital bed, the thoughts that kept gnawing in my head were the sad state of our world and how important it was to me to make a difference in our world.

It took me almost 9-months of physical therapy to get off the blood thinners and learn to walk normally again. My first post-“epiphany” changes were to dramatically increase my company’s focus in educating business leaders on climate change and inspiring them to go green by adopting energy efficient designs for their data centers.

Another decision I made after my recovery was to take a few months off to travel the world with my daughter who was just graduating from high school. During that trip, she and I came up with the concept for VeganTravel. We purchased the URL early on, but it took years of planning before we felt comfortable enough with the idea to launch the site. Last spring, I made the decision to wind down my responsibilities in the company and make VeganTravel a reality.

We have some very talented people in the company that I knew we could count on for help. By then we had been in business for over 21 years, and over those years had built several successful websites. But we needed someone with additional graphic and social media skills. Luckily an ad placed in our local vegan Facebook group brought us Shannon along with her strong passion for ethical veganism and animal compassion, and her endlessly impressive graphic design, video editing, and social media marketing expertise.

I also threw as much of myself into building the site as I could, and we had help from Michelle and Simon who contributed what they could while attending Glasgow University full time. They introduced us to Ross & Ellie, two ethical vegan friends of theirs who were really supportive about what we were trying to accomplish.

On October 15th we launched VeganTravel.com. At roughly the same time, Ross & Ellie started their around the world journey. We are so grateful to them for their many heartfelt contributions over the 6-plus months of their travels. Those efforts will surely have many lasting benefits for our vegan community.

And we are continuing to grow. A few weeks ago we were very lucky to have Jaclyn, another ethical vegan, join our team. Jaclyn has extensive expertise in end-user marketing, communications, and management. She also regularly volunteers at a local animal sanctuary. And in addition to Shannon & Jaclyn, we routinely get help from several other colleagues in the company.

I am so impressed by how much our team has accomplished in the little over 6-months since we went live. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have features on the site that are in need of improvement. We know we have lots of development ahead of us before we could hope to fully realize our goals. But having been through this web development cycle on several other websites before we started VeganTravel, I feel extremely confident that the site will continually improve in the months and years to come.

Personally, I do my traveling these days with a sense of urgency that I didn’t have when I was younger. I have steady recovered physically, but I still bear quite a bit of damage to my lungs and arteries from the accident. We all know our days will one day come to an end. But it took a near death experience for me to really appreciate just how precious the time we have to live really is.

We can’t tell you for sure that our efforts with VeganTravel will have as much of an impact as we are all hoping for. But we can assure you that everyone at VeganTravel are ethical vegans fully committed to making a positive difference in our world and building a compassionate global vegan community.

I have already put in place plans for others to completely take over my responsibilities in the company within the next year and a half, so I can focus all my attention on growing VeganTravel and furthering compassion.

We are hoping you will all help us lay the groundwork for the positive changes we are all seeking. If you have read to this point, you most likely share our belief that all sentient life deserves to live a life filled with as much love and compassion as possible. But unfortunately, the state of humanity in 2016 is so sad in so many ways. So many people live material lives devoid of reason or perspective of our place in this time in human history. And sadly, way too few of us these days even put much thought in to living a more compassionate life.

We came up with the idea for the VeganTravel hoping to support people like you who share our appreciation for being ethical vegans. We also hope you share our desire to help promote veganism and compassion. Essentially having both the desire to have an amazing time exploring our beautiful world, but also the desire to share your experiences as thoughtful members of a global compassionate vegan community.

Our hope is that as more people become familiar with ethical vegan travelers like yourselves, the more hearts and minds we will be able to help open to being vegan and living more compassionately.

Thank you again for the compassionate choices and many contributions you have made and will make in your lives.

Alan
June 2016

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