After the experiment that was freshman year of college and a summer filled with waitressing misery, I’m jet-setting on a three month European adventure. I’ll be spending the first semester of my sophomore year in a castle in the Netherlands. (NBD, right?) Of course, to become the princess I’ve always deluded myself to believe I am, I actually have to get there. This means a six hour plane ride from Boston at seven p.m. that lands in Amsterdam at eight a.m.
Traveling is a stressful experience for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for vegans. Airport vendors usually consist of Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, Sbarro, Fuddruckers, etc., which are less than vegan friendly. The coffee shops usually offer soy milk and the fast food places often have salads, but these options aren’t always appetizing. With limited choices and time, what’s the perpetually hungry herbivore to do?
For me, preparation was the most important part of my vegan adventuring. I, and I assume most other vegans, chose to be vegan because I am conscious about what I put into my body. What better way to ensure full taste buds and body satisfaction than packing your own vegan noms? I like to keep it as simple as possible when I travel, so throwing some cut celery and carrots into a plastic baggie was my ideal solution. To give the snack more staying power, I plopped some spinach artichoke hummus into a small plastic container, making sure to keep it cold for as long as possible. Although cut veggies can easily be acquired at most airport kiosks, they usually come with ranch. Of course, hummus may also be available, but probably only in a separate package with pretzels. Suddenly, this simple snack has become more complicated, not to mention more expensive.
The whole reason behind this snack was my skepticism of the quality of food forced upon the victims of these mile high prisons, especially the vegan version. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I received a ratatouille-like dish over white rice, accompanied by a small salad and fresh fruit. Because my school knew that I, as well as some of my other classmates, were vegans/vegetarians, they had ordered special “pure vegetarian” meals for us. Of course, individual vegan travelers can do this as well, with (considering the circumstances) pretty tasty results. Sorry I have no picture to show this surprisingly decent meal. My camera was unavailable, and I had already gotten enough weird looks the first time I brought it out to photograph my snack. I got lucky with my vegan traveling, but what are some of your tips to make the vegan jet-setter’s life easier?