Tal Bright writes travel guides and travel planning advice on her blog, Bright Nomad, with a section dedicated to vegan travel. A few months of the year, she travels to Europe and beyond, living a digital nomad lifestyle. The remainder of her time, she spends in her hometown, Tel Aviv – one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the world. As well as her blog, Bright Nomad Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook pages, she also runs Vegan Tel – Aviv. We caught up with her to find out more about her vegan travel planning, and her digital lifestyle.
1) Hi Tal! How did you first start writing about veganism and travel?
When I started my travel blog, it was obvious that it would have a vegan travel section. Before I started the blog, I used to write reviews on Happy Cow, TripAdvisor and Facebook groups, sharing my recommendations and vegan travel tips. Sometimes I found myself writing entire mini-guides, which was a good sign that it was about time to start blogging.
2) How do you go about researching vegan places for your travels?
My favourite resource is Happy Cow. I’ve been using it for years on my travels and contribute pictures and reviews.
Other than Happy Cow, I read a lot of blog posts by others bloggers that cover the cities I’m visiting. They can give you very specific tips sometimes and go into details that make you feel like a local – such as which pastries at a certain bakery are vegan…
I pick the restaurants that I’d like to go to and make a layer in Google Maps just for vegan and vegetarian places. This way, I can see which restaurants are near the attractions or activities I’ve got planned for each day. It makes things very easy, especially in big cities.
3) You have lots of experience finding vegan food around European destinations, what’s been your favourite country for food?
A European destination that surprised me recently was Warsaw, Poland. There are so many vegan restaurants there and I didn’t expect that at all. They’re all wonderfully inexpensive as well. You can eat out whenever you want, and wherever you are in the city.
Outside of Europe, I really enjoyed eating vegan in Tokyo, Japan. It’s a huge city with a huge selection of vegan restaurants. I had an excellent vegan meal each day of my visit.
4) Do you have any tips for vegans travelling to places that are known to be difficult for a cruelty-free diet?
In difficult places, it’s best to find vegan or vegetarian locals who can help. I often look for locals on Facebook groups or on Couchsurfing and connect online.
When I travelled around the Balkans, for example, it was thanks to veggie Couchsurfers that I found that Lent food is in fact vegan-friendly (because in the Orthodox tradition they give up meat, eggs and dairy for Lent).
It’s much easier to eat out when you’re with someone who speaks the language and can explain what you need. Locals may also know things you don’t know as a visitor, like hidden restaurants that aren’t listed anywhere.
5) A lot of your recent posts have included tips for digital nomads. What’s been the most challenging part of going ‘remote’ for you?
I’ve been a digital nomad for a long time, even before I knew the term ‘digital nomad’ existed. The most challenging part, unsurprisingly, was finding reliable clients who pay on time. It’s a common problem in the freelance world.
6) What have you got planned for 2018?
This summer I’m going to Krakow, Poland ,which I haven’t been to yet (but I’ve heard it’s a really lovely place – and it looks vegan-friendly too). Next, I’ll go to London, which is a vegan heaven, and maybe other parts of the UK. I’m also considering going to Italy, Malta and maybe the Azores later in the year.
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