A vegan on travel

I am vegan, there I said it! I have not always been vegan though – it is a lifestyle I adopted out of necessity I guess. You see, I grew up in rather traditional home. We ate practically everything; meat, vegetables and everything in between. My vegan life began in adulthood. For some reason, my kids developed a severe allergic reaction anytime they consumed animal proteins of any kind. Well, what do I do as a parent to show solidarity? It was simple for us – have a complete shift in diet and vegan was the way to go. Honestly, I like every bit of this new lifestyle – I would be lying if I said that I do not miss some old delicacies every now and then but there are quite some interesting alternatives.

While most meals taken at the house are put together right in our home, we never let a chance at eating out pass us by. By the way, if you took time to sample some of the restaurants that are the preserve for vegans, you will be shocked at just how enjoyable a vegan meal is. You don’t believe me? Here are my favorite spots that can be accessed from Jacksonville that will leave you yearning for more;

Asheville in North Carolina is home to the block. Off Biltmore, this bar is a space where vegans from far and wide converge for their kind of foods and drinks. Some people come down south but have no idea of the vegan side of Asheville which is well known for barbecue. If you are looking for a place where you can interact with educators, artists, community organizers and other vegans in the area, this is the place to be. The food is made even more enjoyable by the talks and poetry which is read by the community activists. This is the melting pot for vegan chefs from different corners of the city and you can expect dishes such as hummus, vegan pate and gazpacho. You can indulge in all these if only you could spare 1 hour and 15 minutes for your flight from Jacksonville.

Portland in Oregon is where you should come if you get the occasional burger. Have you ever eaten something that felt and tasted just like meat but is nothing close? The vegan chefs at Homegrown Smoker will turn soy, tofu and tempeh into impressive imitations of meat. This is where to stop over on those days when you are really tempted to go back on being vegan. You however might need to organize for a full day’s parking for your vehicle because the flight to this destination and back will take you close to 12 hours – without factoring in the stops you will have after your meal.

Santa Fe in New Mexico is a hub for promoting the vegan movement all over the state. With a vast menu that comprises of vegetarian and vegan food options, Café Pasqual is a big brand when it comes to Mexican vegan dishes. Did you ever imagine the starter being anything other than bread? Well, how about sunflower seeds as served here? I was amazed too but utterly impressed. New Mexico has a rich South American culture and you might not want to go back home so soon. How about you make long-term jax parking reservations for your vehicle at the airport in Jacksonville?

Boulder in Colorado is the home ground for some vegan and vegetarian restaurants. Julia’s Kitchen owned by Julia Hellerman was the pioneer of healthy foods in this region. Dealing with a wholesome vegan cuisine, you can expect the food you eat to be organic and gluten free. The owner herself is present in the restaurant and visitors are sure to sample her signature veggie pancakes and crepes made out of sprouted buckwheat millet. Are you nervous about using the regular table salt? Julia has got you because she dusts close to everything with a sprinkle of Himalayan Sea salt.

Burlington in Vermont is where you should come if the vegan movement is a strict lifestyle for you. This is the food mecca of the vegans and some of United States health conscious and environmentally friendly people will feel at home here. If you are looking for a restaurant that aligns to what you believe in, the Revolution Kitchen does it. If for nothing else, people come from very far to get a taste of the jerk seitan, Thai massaman noodle bowls and mango and basil salad rolls.

Miami in Florida is glitzy in the eyes of many people and many people will not consider it to have room for vegetarians and vegans. Quite the contrary, the city is quite hospitable and the vegan lifestyle has been adopted here. To stamp this, a special place is reserved for the vegans during the annual seed food and wine fest held in November. A star-studded affair this is and celebrity chefs interact with participant eager for them to taste new dishes. Are you looking for a fixed spot where you can come back over and over again? The plant based and entirely vegan restaurant, Plant Food and Wine by Matthew Kenney does it.

Berkeley in California is a great tourist destination but no tor would be complete without stopping by at Alice Waters’ legendary Chez Panisse. The first customer was served here in 1971 so it bears a rich history of food and particularly with regard to vegan. Before Chez Panisse, California cuisine was just in the minds of people as mere stories. Food critics have on several occasions been rated as the top vegan and vegetarian restaurant in the world. While most people flock here to eat all sorts of dishes, it is the complementary vegetarian dishes that are exceptional.

Leaving your car at the airport

What do you do when you come to the airport driving your own car and there is no one to drive it back home after you board your flight? I know this is a dilemma for many people because it was for me. Keen on cutting down travel costs, coming to the airport using my own means of transport was the best option for me. Luckily, Parkos – Jacksonville airport makes it all worth it because parking space is provided at a fee. Depending on the duration of Jacksonville airport parking needed and additional services required, Parkos is the best option for the budget traveller. Using the Parkos platform is quite easy because everything is easy to follow and airport parking lots are as diverse as the parking prices that one is willing to spend.

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