Wanderings

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” ― Mark Twain

Follow my family and I on our journey through new and familiar lands where I share what each location has to offer and the vegan gems we’ve come across. We’ve been to cities that range from being Vegan Meccas to others that need to get with the times but we’ll share how we’ve navigated them as best as we could. While traveling is important to exposing us to other cultures, even just across state lines, it’s important we remain steadfast in our determination to live a cruelty-free life, even if that means passing on local traditions, saying no to the photo op with enslaved animals, and dealing with the discomfort of declining a generous offering to remain true to our Do No Harm philosophy. We’re still learning how best to navigate this beautiful world and seeking out budget friendly ways to travel to maximize our ability to do it most often while still within the rigid guidelines of corporate America and the US school system leave times, for now. Our views on travel have greatly evolved over the years and I’m looking forward to growing and sharing what we find. We have a lot of ground to cover.

In 2016, you can find us visiting:

March – New England road trip: MD > RI > ME > NH > VT
April – Austin
May – Puerto Rico
July – annual trip to the Catskills, NYC
Oct – tentative trip out west
with more to come.

Photo Credit: matadornetwork.com
 
Over the last couple years, Bryan and I have been auditioning cities, that’s been part of the reason for our travels. Unfortunately, we keep coming up dry, aside from having some great vacations under our belt. But what makes a great vacation doesn’t always make the ideal living situation. We’ve been to many places we love but there is always something that is majorly unfit for us to remain for any amount of time – very often that reason is the cost of living. Also, with Seasonal Affective Disorder, climate is very important as I’ve decided that living 6 months out of the year struggling against nature doesn’t make sense, especially in a city where the anger already just hangs in the air weighing on you like a wet blanket. I’m not a tree or inanimate object, I am able to move somewhere that will provide a better quality of life with purpose. While under the black cloud of Baltimore, I’m in constant self-care mode that doesn’t leave much else.
 
Cost of living and climate has ruled out our initial top places, California, Portland, Austin, the Hudson Valley. Florida is reasonably affordable and has all sun the I could want but intense humidity and scary predators like alligators and republicans. I’m only partially kidding, I’m sure alligators are easy to avoid. For whatever reason, we are currently drawn to an area of Nevada that we’ve not yet experienced. It feels like it’s calling us but how can that be when we’ve never even been? We’ve been to Vegas many times, always a favorite destination but we are coveting the land beyond the lights for Nevada’s almost year round ideal climate, cost of living, the access to many other desirable destinations in the west that would make perfect weekend escapes, plus all that vegan food in Las Vegas. Knowing we aren’t too far from vegan normalcy puts me at ease. We aren’t in a vegan meca currently, our offerings are pretty subpar, relatively speaking, but they are there and improving all the time. My struggle is wanting to, and feeling like we should be, giving up our current life style while simultaneously being scared to. Those what-if’s are real. We want land, not a lot but definitely some that would allow us greater ability to figure out how to live off of it in a more sustainable way, even that harsh dessert land, and take in animals in need. This means we would have to be a great distance from where everything is and that land, the animals would become our life. But the thought of not living in a city, potentially a great distance from a city, has me wondering if I can do it. The thought of land separating us from the masses is SO desirable but I worry that 3 months in, not being able to just run to the store in a pinch and going out to eat being a major event reserved for a special occasion (because let’s be honest, we’re vegan spoiled and I doubt any country setting will satisfy us in the food department) has me wondering how I’ll fare. Typical suburbs are absolutely out of the question as I rather claw my eyes out. I understand why schools and living expenses drive people out of the cities, especially families, but I find them truly soul and mind numbing. Cities are great, rural can be used for great, but the suburbs are for someone other than me.
 
What we want is a Saugerties, NY type of place, where we can have a small farm, but one that is only a short drive from the action, without the New York weather and with southern US pricing without the racism. Does this place exist? Can we adapt from crime ridden, angry, dirty, yet easily accessible and creative DIY, grass-roots Baltimore to desert country life? And if we can, can Julian? That’s a lot to ask of a teen who has anywhere from 3 – 10 friends over at a time. We always thought we would move right to the heart of another city, one that is vegan and pedestrian friendly where our reliance on cars would become obsolete. But that means no space for taking in animals in need. That means greater access to the frustrations of humans and it means not the simple, but hard working life, we envision. It’s very weird to feel like you are meant for one life that is currently so foreign to you – how do I know if it’s really right for us? Or what if it’s right for me but not the whole family? For now we are still auditioning but eyeing hard Henderson and surrounding areas of Nevada, just outside of Vegas – all the Vegas convenience without the Vegas life. A friend who made the move there from Boston has me sold on it but for the life we want to live, we need a bigger change to live our true purpose. We need farmland or we need to be smack dab in the middle of the action. And we need to keep moving until we find that place, while it’s still a somewhat “free” country. It’ll come, because it really just means giving up what is familiar and therefor comfortable and truly embracing change, trusting that we are able to listen to our hearts and know our true selves. I’ve never been afraid to take chances before, this isn’t the time to start being scared.

Remember that road trip I mentioned? Scratch that, it’s getting postponed. Although we are still looking forward to that route someday, we decided we want to get out west and maybe do a trip that requires less driving (work) on our part right now.  The Pacific Northwest has been calling me since high school, a […]

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Like many folks here, my husband and I have a goal to travel to all 50 states in the USA. Between the two of us, we’ve already hit most of them long before we met and our earlier travels together we spent mostly in the various tropical islands. In order to make the 50 state […]

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This post is entirely too long over due. Our road trip to Providence, RI feels like it was years ago, and that’s not too far off as it’s been almost a year. We had several trips last year in a short amount of time and although I had every intention on recapping them all immediately […]

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While VegNews magazine is fabulous, I’m really drawn to the vegan publications that go beyond typical vegan news and recipes. Along with Chickpea Magazine, another one I adore is Driftwood: “travel and culture for the graduated vegan“. Only my favorite things for my favorite demographic. I genuinely love supporting vegan-owned businesses especially those who use creative […]

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  Long time, no blog! There are a million reasons why blogging had temporarily ceased, some are valid, some are excuses, and there’s also something new in the works which I’m really excited about that I can hopefully reveal next month. But, I’m right here, right now, and wanted to share this long overdue thank […]

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Our week spent in Puerto Rico was nothing short of amazing, life changing even. A bit of a personal transformation went down for me on the Island of Enchantment and it’s been hard to put into words. I’m not sure it’s something that words can even quantify but I plan to find my way back […]

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{Just a warning this a bit of a read and not a complete guide to Vegan in Austin but an overview of our short time there with a few extra resources at the end } I wrote in All About Austin : Part 1 how we scored some budget tickets on Spirit to get us […]

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