A Nomadic Vegetarian Adventure

Being a vegetarian for the first time can be tough on foreign grounds. In some areas of the world, it is as a foreign as being an alien. Communicating these needs to locals can often be met with a blank expression or a head shake. This should not restrict you from immersing in the full experience as there might be plenty of pleasant surprises along the way. Equip a few of the tips and tricks below with a positive attitude and you will be ready to take on any challenge.

Learn to say 'no meat' in a foreign country
This phrase and a few others can be essentials for you on your travel. You may encounter people that assume vegetarian means no red meat or just less chicken. Learning the words for beef, pork, ham, fish would help ease communicating to locals. Hard to remember? Why not save it as a memo. Remember, the direct translation of vegetarian is useless in certain countries as it has no direct meaning.
Do not be a fussy eater
Being vegetarian does have limitations but in my personal life, I find it worthwhile. Vegetarian cuisine can be extremely varied so it can help to source out a few food places that offer a vegetarian alternative for your next meal. Remember to leave your taste preferences at home or you might be disappointed.
Plan ahead
After researching into the destination you might realise that vegetarian options are quite limited or hard to find. In this instance, café bistros might handy for a light refreshment or packing non-perishable snacks might be convenient for on the go. Nothing is stopping you from getting creative with this option. Why not stock up on a variety of delicious snacks and treats?
Learn to cook
If your accommodation includes kitchen facilities then the simplest and least expensive option might be to use these facilities. There is no shortage of vegetarian ingredients and access to recipe ideas from Google, YouTube and even TikTok. Depending on the circumstances, cooking meals might be more practical. But remember to enjoy yourself and sample out local veggie-friendly delicacies.
Express your stance
If you are a vegetarian for moral reasons, you need to be careful about how to express this. Finding a way to present your case in a logical way and being ready for typical retorts will help people respect the dietary decision. The goal when travelling should be to gain the respect of the people than one of the convincing people.
Find essential apps
A few to mention:
Happy Cow - Great for recommending the best affordable restaurants for vegetarian and vegan options
Foursquare - Provides a great collection of photo and reviews from real customers
Zomato - Take a peek at restaurant menu options including delivery to your door
And of course, google translate and a web browser for reference
Become a menu reading expert
If you visit an eat out which does not indicate meat-free options clearly, use your detective skills and try finding queues instead. Typically, meals are arranged by price so the vegetarian option is usually the one cheapest. If you struggle with this then try making a request to the waiter or owner.  
Consider a compromise
If you struggle to find food, don't get upset or berate yourself to others for the hassle, it is not your fault. You can find a compromise by stashing up on snacks you like. Do not let the food limit your enjoyment abroad. Perhaps less focus on eating might save time for you to pay better attention to historical landmarks and urban sights.
Ask others for advice
Try asking others near you like tour guides or search on forums online like Lonely Planet thorn tree, on Quora. Eating vegetarian is typically easier in some regions than others. Getting away is great but big cities are more likely to cater to vegetarian options and offer a much wider range of options, making you feel more nourished.
Have an easy-going attitude
You may find in situations feeling very limited in the foreign destination. If you are trying out vegetarianism for the first time, it might be best to take the diet after your travels. The commitment can feel stressful especially if you have just recently stopped eating meat and fish in your diet. Being a vegetarian should never feel burdensome, so take it easy.

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Cedric Noronha said...

It's good to be a vegetarian as it gives a good nutritious value. Vegetarian food is a must, if one has to take care of his or her own health.

Marcie W. said...

I have explored a vegetarian diet a few times throughout my life. I had good experiences, but my doctor was concerned about my vitamin levels, so I had to add meat back in.

Ntensibe Edgar said...

Hhhhmmmm....you have said it all well....most especially, the part to do with asking for help. Many of us, when in new territory get stuck and don't really know how to ask for help and yet, it is priceless and that easy.

Gervin Khan said...

I am not a vegetarian but I have a high respect to those people who are under this kind of diet. And yes, many of the restaurants offered a limited vegetarian dishes so it is better to research first before going for your trip.

Melanie williams said...

I am veggie myself and do not eat meat or fish, so this is right up my street for sure x

Marie at Complete Literature said...

This is something that most people don't think about but could be critical for some people to do. Your advice is spot on, especially being able to cook and being able to communicate your needs to others.

Matt said...

It is very easy to find vegetarian food here in the States. I guess I didn't realize how difficult it may be in other countries. Great tips!

Aliceee Traveler said...

I love this motivational articles. I wish I would have read this after I came back from India and started eating meat again.

Nkem said...

Good tips. I went vegetarian when I lived in Korea, which is a very meat and pork heavy country... at least where I was staying. It was a bit difficult at first but I ended up cooking way more. I liked the challenge!

Elicitfolio said...

Great advice! Especially with planning ahead! I will also checkout your app recommendation! 👌

Cristina Thomas said...

This is really true - I've done this for many years and it is quite challenging in some countries. I am glad you are finding your way through this. Let the world surprise you with vegetarian food from all over the world!

emman damian said...

Being vegetarian can be difficult especially in my country where 90% are meat-eaters. It takes patience to cook and source ingredients.