Traveling Vegan

Happy February/Veganuary Veg-Heads!

I hope that all of you are living your best lives in 2019!

I know I am.  I spent the holidays in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia and ended up ringing in my “New Year” there.  It was a wonderful experience.  Well… almost completely wonderful.

For all of my plant-based eaters out there, have you ever felt like you were going to starve to death while traveling?  That is usually my experience every time I travel by plane.

It’s quite comical actually.  I have found myself accustomed to not being accommodated for in the airport and while in flight.  I get nasty looks when going through TSA because I pack plates of food in my carry on.  Not to mention that my checked luggage is usually filled with water, snacks, and food.  I spare no expense when it comes to my food.  After years of doing field training and learning how to pack food on-the-go, I would say that I’m quite proficient.  I’ve even been asked, “Why do you have all of this food in your bag?” I smile and kindly reply, “When you all start accommodating my dietary needs maybe I wouldn’t need to take my fridge with me.” There are no liquids in question and my food always checks out, so they let me through to catch my flight.

Domestic travel is one thing, but when you are on an international flight struggling to find food… S*** gets real, real fast!

That’s what happened to me on my last trip.  My amazing and exciting trip to Ethiopia…

Can you imagine traveling over 13 hours with hunger pangs?  I was worried and concerned, but I was rescued by a lovely flight attendant who graciously “created a meal” for me in flight.  Apparently, I did not have “vegan/vegetarian” annotated on my ticket and my options were fish, chicken, or veggie… Yes, veggie… with lots of cheese!  So, I kindly explained what the mix up was and she said, “I’ll have to come back.”  I waited for what seemed like an eternity (about 40 minutes), but I continued to be patient.  I mean, after all, I was on an international flight and the plane was PACKED!

The flight attendant finally came back with a meal that was clearly not on the “menu” and was pieced together with perfection.  I had vegetable potstickers, steamed vegetables, and a mushroom medley that was heavenly.  The flight attendant was apologetic and seemed disappointed that she could only come up with this meal, but I thought it was absolutely AMAZING!  It was by far, the best in-flight airplane travel food I’ve ever had!  I even had other passengers looking over to see what I had on my plate.  I enjoyed every

More Airline food. Wish I had taken a picture of the first meal… I crushed it, so here’s one from the flight back to the US.

bite and to be honest, I was set for the rest of the flight.

After that delicious meal, I really began to wonder why it was so difficult to just have a vegetable dish or even have a vegan option.  We’ve come so far with being mindful of those with allergies (they don’t serve peanuts anymore), but not really those with a dietary preference of being vegan.  So, I have been talking about it to some pretty important people and I believe that we’ll make a change really soon.  Just wait and see.  The life of traveling is about to change in a big way! Until then, keep packing those snacks and always read the regulations for foods/beverages when traveling.  As always, keep it Fresh!