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Hiya! I fell in love with full-time travel about 5 years ago when I embarked on the ‘Will Travel for Vegan Food’ project. At the time I thought it would be a good idea to quit my 9-5 desk job and attempt to travel around the US, to eat at every vegan restaurant in the country. What I thought would take 1 year ended up taking 2. It also resulted in my falling for the nomadic and minimalist lifestyle, and completely changed my life and career. I’ve been traveling full-time ever since, working/freelancing remotely from my computer, mostly around the US. However, last summer I embarked on VeganTravel’s contest winning adventure and for the past nearly 8 months now I’ve been traveling abroad. So far I’ve been to 19 countries and counting! 🙂
Oh yeah, and in 2015 I had the great honor of becoming a published author! You can check out ‘Will Travel for Vegan Food: A Young Woman’s Solo Van-Dwelling Mission to Break Free, Find Food, and Make Love” on Amazon or on VeganPublishers.com. 🙂
11 years, 10 months ago
- My Vegan Journey
I was 16 years old when my parents told me that they wanted to become vegetarian as a family.
My brother, Josh is five years older than me and he introduced the idea of vegetarianism to my parents. When they found out that he had already become vegetarian they were immediately worried about his health, as they thought—at that time—that eating meat was necessary for optimal nutrition. But instead of telling him why he was wrong or shunning him entirely, they did what awesome parents do: they researched the heck out of vegetarianism. I think they were looking for a way to prove to him why this diet was bad, but instead they came to the undeniable conclusion that not eating meat is a much better way to live.
So, there we were in 1999 transitioning to vegetarianism as a family. I wasn’t particularly thrilled, but decided to give it a go.
I went off to college and my parents kept up their research, joined a local vegetarian group and continued to learn about the influence that diet has on health, the environment, and animals.
Every time I came home for a break or holiday there was something new and “healthy” in the refrigerator—or worse, something missing. I still remember coming home one summer to no more milk or cheese. It was gone and I was devastated: not the ice cream!
By the time I finished college my parents were full-on vegan and I was still chowing down my beloved dairy ice cream and cheese pizzas. Aside from the fact that I had maintained a vegetarian diet, was eating vegan meals when visiting home, and gifted vegan-labeled sweatshirts, stickers, and buttons whenever my parents were given the opportunity, I couldn’t fathom giving up dairy. And then, in the summer of 2006, at a veg event in upstate NY, the sea parted and in walked Registered Dietitian, George Eisman. Despite the fact that my parents had at one time or another gently provided the same information that Mr. Eisman presented on this day, once I decided to listen and truly understand how very bad dairy was for my body and for animals, I was done with it. That very night I ate my last cheese pizza and never looked back. Well, I might have looked back once, or five times, but never did go back.
It took me a good year as a relatively unhealthy vegan to start doing even more research—like learning how to prepare meals instead of buying ready-made ones. But some new reading material (hello VegNews Magazine) and a change in my environment (hey there, Boston) soon helped me learn how to live a healthy vegan lifestyle.
In the fall of 2007 I moved to Boston for graduate school. I joined the Boston Vegan Association and started working part-time for the New England Anti-Vivisection Society. The friends that I made in these two organizations led me to so much support, inspiration, and so many new resources that being vegan became a cinch. I love telling people who ask about my diet how much more I enjoy everything about food now; from shopping to cooking, prepping, and purchasing a ridiculous number of vegan cook books. It feels like it has so much more meaning now and I take pride in the meals I prepare. I never felt this way as a meat eater…not even as a vegetarian for that matter.
Today my parents help run the Albany Vegan Network and host an annual Vegan Expo (now in it’s seventh year!) in upstate New York.
It all started with my brother, was followed by my parents’ amazing support, and then happily grew into an education, a group of friends, and a lifestyle that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
- I've Been To
Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam