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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been three years vegan and am going to go travelling through Europe with my family (who I haven't seen for 6 months), Paris, Romania, finally Marrakesh.<br>
I am very excited and look forward to spending time with them, but one thing worries me - the prospect of putting a dampener on their trip because of having to make sure every place we go to is vegan friendly.<br>
Fending for myself in a European city alone is NO trouble, I just have to be aware of the vegan-friendly places, buy produce, eat simply. But when you are with nonvegan loved ones who want to be spontaneous, drop into a cafe by the side of the road, eat at a tavern etc without worrying it's a different matter.<br>
For instance, croissants and other traditional French breakfasts and a lot of French cooking contains butter or cream, and I am sure the others will want to eat croissants in a cafe in Paris (a special experience that they are looking forward to and I used to dream about myself before my vegan days!) I have been trying to locate places where vegan versions are available, e.g. on happycow, but not having much luck - I certainly have found some veg-friendly dinner places that we could all eat at, but it does mean that their choices of where to go are necessarily limited and will have to travel.<br>
Also my French is very basic indeed which makes things difficult at the best of times as a tourist in Paris - even without the veganism - and in Romania and Marrakesh I do not know the languages at all.<br>
I suspect also that we will pass through rural and faraway places where even vegetarianism let alone veganism is pretty much non-existant, and people don't even understand the concept. In a previous travel even as a vegetarian I had this trouble once.<br>
I'm seriously beginning to wonder if, only during these difficult times, it would be best to let small exceptions with minor ingredients pass, ONLY if there is genuinely NO other choice other than going hungry and/or offending the hosts and/or dampening my family's enjoyment of the trip - under the rationale that veganism only requires you to minimise animal use "as far as is practical and possible" in the circumstances and culture you are in at the time? As a vegan exploring a far-away and vegan-unfriendly place, would you do this temporarily?<br>
I am somewhat dependant on my dad still, who has been more than generous in catering to and supporting my veganism, as well as all my studies and expenses.<br>
I am in a dilemma because my veganism is important to me, but my special time with my family is very important to me too. I would really hate for either to give way. If anyone has any advice, perspectives or personal stories to share that might help with my decision that would be excellent.<br>
Thanks!
 

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I recently went to Marrakech and it was wonderful. The easy thing with Mediterranean based foods is that they rarely use dairy - so as long as you stay clear of the obvious meat and fish and eggs you will be fine. I ate a lot of the veggie couscous and the veggie tajine. Both were divine. I also found that it was much easier to say you were vegetarian who didn't eat cheese instead of trying to explain what vegan was. Oh and they all speak french, some english too.<br><br>
I think Paris will be your biggest issue because of the greasy french cuisine. But on the other hand, being such a large city you will probably find vegan and vegetarian restaurants.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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The best suggestion i can come up with is to just go with them to a restaurant and if there is nothing vegan or not enough, just have a small drink and a side dish and drop by some grocery store while you are walking around the city to get something
 

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When I have traveled in Europe and the Mediterranean I wasn't a vegetarian. But, I ate very little, almost no meat at all. I would think that it would be very easy to stay Vegan traveling in "the old world". My experience was that people in Europe eat lots of vegetables, pasta, bread, nuts, rice, potatoes, etc.. I think you'll be fine.<br><br>
I personally find that people always forget that I'm a vegetarian. That never slows me down. If I know that there is a potential issue coming I will snack. I'm, believe it or not, a youth leader at my church. They always have meat centered meals, hot dogs, lasagna, sloppy joes, meat pizzas, you know, cheap junk food. I always snack before I get there. Then my wife and I eat after I get back home on Sunday evenings. I don't expect them to engineer the meal for a hundred kids to suit my needs.<br><br>
You'll get by just fine. I'm always pleasantly surprised at the healthy, meatless, options in Europe. I do agree that you will have to watch out for the butter. But, plain bread, like rolls or french bread, probably doesn't have any butter.
 

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As per the language barrier - you could get a <b>Vegan Passport!</b> It's a little pocket size book (just google it!) that explains veganism in every language, so you just flip to the page you need and let the waiter or shop clerk read it. Then they can point you towards vegan options, knowing what you can and cannot eat.<br><br>
I just took a road trip with my omni family, and that was hard. I found myself eating a lot of french fries and salad. I would have a small fries or a small salad at the restaurant, and then when I passed by a market or health food store I would pop in and get something more substantial. I also carried a lot of snacks in my backpack for munching on.<br><br>
It won't be ideal, it won't be as fun as travelling with another vegan, where the two of you can run around to all the specialty shops and devour boatloads of vegan goodies, but don't let it stop you from going or having fun!! Just be prepared to be eating lots of plain foods and/or foods from the grocery store.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Take some time beforehand to plan a couple meals at restaurants aimed for vegetarians and vegans. Arrange this with your family so they are expecting it as part of the trip plan.<br><br>
As you know, you can find places to eat here:<br>
Happy Cow: <a href="http://www.happycow.net/" target="_blank">http://www.happycow.net/</a><br>
Veg Guide: <a href="http://www.vegguide.org/" target="_blank">http://www.vegguide.org/</a><br><br>
A new book just came out called "<i><b>A Vegetarian in Paris</b></i>." I'm pretty sure it's aimed at lacto-ovo vegetarians but it's worth a look.<br><br>
If you have an iphone or android then it makes sense to install the Happy Cow app to help you find vegan-friendly restaurants. here: <a href="http://www.happycow.net/mobile.html" target="_blank">http://www.happycow.net/mobile.html</a><br><br>
Make sure to pack a few travel foods like energy bars and bags of nuts that you can keep in your bag and eat when there's no other option.<br><br>
Suggest that there be days when the family packs sack lunches so they have more time to take in the sights.<br><br>
Likewise, it's a good idea to bring something to keep yourself busy when family is doing stuff that offends you: bring a book! (or kindle or nook)<br><br>
Enjoy!
 

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no i wouldn't stop being vegan. almost anywhere in the world, and certainly where you're going to, i'd be able to at least find a place that sells fruits and vegetables. worst case scenario, i'd sit and watch everyone else eat at restaurants for a few weeks and then eat the fruits/veggies i purchased.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you so much, all of you, for giving me all the support and helpful advice - it makes me feel a whole lot better about the trip!<br>
This is my first time travelling with the family since going vegan. We're planning to take the train through Budapest, Timisoara, and then drive past the mountains and castles toward Bucharest. Very exciting!<br>
I will see if I can find a Vegan Passport online (or print out some French and Romanian phrases) - that might also help a lot with the butter issue in Paris.<br>
I am most relieved to hear about the dairy situation in the Mediterranean - it's much harder to spot than meat is!<br>
I've heard of A Vegetarian in Paris but haven't read it yet.. but hopefully the others will be happy to come to some of the veg-friendly restaurants listed on Happycow and VegGuide.<br>
Packed lunches and "emergency snacks" sounds like a great idea too, I'll definitely do that. Maybe I'll suggest a couple of visits to Farmers markets if there are some around.<br>
I haven't yet found out about cooking facilities at our hotel.. so maybe bringing a couple of plates and knives would be a good idea.<br>
Much appreciated!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 
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