Category: Travel


by Christy Morgan

Quintana Roo is a popular part of Mexico situated in the Southeast corner of the country. It’s home to Cancun, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Akumal, Bacalar, and many beautiful and ancient Mayan ruins. I spent 5 days in December at an all-inclusive resort in Cozumel, then did my own thing road-tripping around QR in March. I discovered, as I always do, that it isn’t hard to be vegan. Some places are more challenging than others, but I never starve!

Cancun and Cozumel are touristy and full of large all-inclusive retreats. I couldn’t do a post about this area of Mexico with touching a little on my experience at Sunscape Sabor. This all-inclusive resort is pretty affordable if you go at non-peak times and has great free activities like SUP boards, kayaking, snorkel gear, fitness classes, yoga, and wind-sailing. However, our food options were pretty dismal. We made it work like vegans do! Even though I contacted them weeks before and they assured me vegan options were available, none of them were standard except for some items on the salad bar. Even the oatmeal was made with milk. It turns out they have a few “vegetarian” options on each menu in their restaurants, but not really vegan.

We had to specifically ask for vegan beans to be made for us (they always put meat in the beans grrrr) and veggies without butter. The head chef happily made us what we asked for but it was nothing gourmet. I stuck with mostly fruit and oatmeal for breakfast (which they made for us with water), huge salads for lunch, and veggie tacos, rice, and beans for dinner. We ate one meal outside the resort and it was just meh. There aren’t many vegan choices in Cozumel unfortunately.

One of my favorite meals was a veggie pizza with no cheese. PRO TIP: take a shaker of nutritional yeast when you travel for pizza and to sprinkle on anything that needs a flavor punch. We survived the five nights there and the staff was very accommodating to make sure we were fed. They thankfully had soy milk for lattes! Honestly, I won’t be staying at an all-inclusive again unless I know for a fact that vegan options are on their menus and the staff knows what vegan means. 

Now onto Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Bacalar!

In March I visited Playa del Carmen on my way back from Guatemala and discovered it’s a very vegan-friendly place! Also you can score an Airbnb for very cheap. My favorite places to eat in Playa are La Senda, Clorofila, and Pitted Date Bakery. I had the most delicious layer of veggies, corn tortillas, and mole sauce at La Senda. Clorofila has great juices, breakfast items, and both have the most variety of healthy vegan options at affordable prices. 

La Senda
Ave 10 N Entre Calles 10 y 10 bis
Mon-Sun 9:00am-10:30pm

Clorofila Green & Vegan
Calle 20 esq. Av. 30 norte 222
Mon-Sun 9:00am-10:00pm

For breakfast and desserts definitely head to Pitted Date Bakery. The omelet pictured above is stuffed with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes topped with a delicious sauce and nut parmesan. They carry both raw and baked vegan desserts, and other breakfast and lunch options. It’s not to be missed! 

Pitted Date Bakery
Calle 26 Norte
Mon-Sun 8:00am-10:00pm

I jumped in a rental car and headed down to Tulum, where I stopped for lunch then took the long drive to Bacalar. This freshwater lake looks like the ocean and is nicknamed Lagoon of Seven Colors for it’s beautiful layers of color. I think it’s often overshadowed by the beach towns in QR, but honestly I prefer fresh water to the salty ocean. It’s a small, sleepy town in comparison but if you are looking for some peace and quiet definitely consider a short stay here. I recommend Casa Lamat for their perfect bungalows along the lake and the above platform with hammocks so you can chill, swim, and sunbath as the waves lull you to sleep.

I was happy to discover a vegan restaurant in Bacalar! Mango y Chile has plant-based burgers made with whole food ingredients and baked goods too. Definitely stop there if you are in the area!

Mango y Chile
Av.3 Fuerte San Felipe
Mon-Sun 1:00 – 9:00pm (closed Tuesdays)

I headed back up and stopped in Tulum at Charly’s Vegan Tacos for dinner. They have more than tacos! It was dark so I couldn’t get a good photo of my meal but I tried the Huaraches (a Mexican version of a pizza but with corn masa as base topped with yums). I did snap this sign directing people back to the vegan truck. Too funny! There is plenty of seating outside the truck and the staff is super nice. You can look on HappyCow for photos of their delicious food. It’s really creative stuff; they do amazing things with seitan and jackfruit, have unique salsas and sauces, and fancy mocktails.

Charly’s Vegan Tacos
Carr. Tulum-Boca Paila km. 4.5
Tue-Sun 1:00-10:00pm

Have you been to this area of Mexico? Any advice for our readers or favorite places you ate delicious vegan food? Share with us in the comments!

Disclaimer: You’ll find some affiliate links in my travel posts. I appreciate you booking through the links on my site so that I may continue giving you free content and sharing my travel adventures! It costs nothing extra for you & I make a tiny bit to keep running this blog. Thanks for your support!



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by Christy Morgan

I had a wonderful month in Medellin, Colombia where I had the pleasure of attending the Spanish Language Course at Flying Tree Yoga. Medellin is the second largest city in Colombia, centered inside a valley surrounded by mountains and tall buildings with the perfect spring-like weather all year round. In November, it was a little bit rainy but that kept it cooled off so you never needed air conditioning or a heater. Medellin has everything you could ever need. It’s totally safe, so you don’t need to worry about that! The Laureles neighborhood where the yoga studio is located was my favorite part of the city. A short walk away were vegetarian and vegan options, all affordably priced. My go-to was Saludpan where I ate tofu scramble and drank delicious Colombian espresso with soy milk. 

medellin

When I arrived for the course I was nervous about being in a big city where everyone speaks Spanish. I had only taken three weeks of Spanish courses in Costa Rica, and used the Duolingo app to brush up on my vocabulary. You will find that very few people speak English in Colombia so be sure to study before you go. It was helpful that three of the five women taking the internship program spoke Spanish along with all the yoga teachers, the house manager and many of the expats I met living in the neighborhood.

spanish-yoga

The internship program was well organized. The Spanish course is the first two weeks of the month so you can learn all the body parts in Spanish, verbs, adjectives, etc. You can take just the Spanish course like I did, or do the full month program where you get more opportunities to teach classes and receive feedback, and learn more about topics like building your brand and class sequencing. If you have already been teaching for awhile and want to learn how to teach in Spanish you might want to take just the Spanish language course. The full program is very beneficial for newly certified teachers and anyone who wants to teach in Spanish speaking countries. I’ve committed to traveling more in Latin America while doing work exchange so being able to teach in Spanish opens up so many more opportunities.

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We started the first day learning the body parts placing stickers all over each other as seen above. The course was so great that I was able to form sentences and give directions on how to get into a pose even having only a beginner level of Spanish under my belt. At the end of our intensive 8 days of learning how to teach in Spanish we taught a short class to each other. I had to mostly read from my notebook, but I felt that after teaching a few more times the words would have flown naturally without looking. It was a fun and rewarding experience. I loved watching the other ladies grow in their practice and teaching skills throughout the course of the month.

My favorite part of the course was connecting with like-minded people from all over the world. The community who attend yoga classes at Flying Tree is super diverse. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. There were digital nomads like myself staying in Medellin for a bit of time, eating vegan food, and learning Spanish. I had the pleasure of teaching two cooking classes during my stay and it was so much fun for everyone!

cooking-class-flying-tree

This course reignited my passion for teaching, both yoga and cooking. I’ve been traveling almost non-stop since I got my certification in India last October, so I haven’t had many chances to teach on-going yoga classes. Attending regular classes at Flying Tree and taking classes from the students in the internship program reminded me how much I love to teach and be part of a community. 

If you are a yoga teacher who would love to learn how to teach classes in Spanish this is the perfect internship program for you. You’ll feel at home in this wonderful yoga community in Medellin!

 



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By Christy Morgan

After spending time on the beautiful island of Ko Phangan I headed to Bangkok to visit friends and spend the last 2 weeks of my time in Asia in the big city. I was a little leery of doing this I’ll admit, because when I visited in 2010 & 2011 Bangkok didn’t leave a great impression on me. At that time there were riots, political unrest, crime, and the streets were dirty and smelly. You couldn’t walk five feet without being harassed on the street. Horror stories were found everywhere online by travelers and backpackers alike.

This time when I arrived at the Bangkok airport no one harassed me and no taxi driver tried to rip me off. There wasn’t a huge crowd of men standing right outside the exit yelling “taxi, taxi, miss where you want to go, need a taxi”. I simply walked up to a machine, printed out a ticket that corresponded to a parking spot where my taxi driver waited for me. He helped me with my bag, and away we went, with the meter on, and the air con blasting. It was a breeze.

I got in very late, so the next morning I hit the streets to do some exploring. Do not go to Bangkok in April/May unless you love heat and humidity. It was already 90 degrees at 8am. Being from Texas I should be used to this kind of weather, but it’s not ideal for walking around a big city.

But this post is about what I love about Bangkok so let’s move on to the fun stuff!

veganerietreats

No travel article would be complete without talking about the amazing vegan food found in the bustling city of Bangkok. This being my third trip there I focused on food more than doing the sites, visiting temples, and other touristy things. Thailand is of course known for it’s delicious food, but the vegan options have especially exploded over the last few years. I was staying with a dear friend and cooking most of my meals at home, but there was no way I could come to Thailand and not try the vegan options. I stayed in the Sukhumvit area of town and visited that general area when trying new restaurants. I didn’t visit any of my old favorites from previous trips like May Kaidee and Khun Churn. 

The place I visited most was Veganerie Concept. The first time there I had the chicken and waffles. This did not disappoint. Not only is the food heavenly the space is gorgeously designed, hip, modern, with vegan signs and motivating words all over the walls. The staff is super friendly too. 

You will drool looking over the desserts, drinks, and shakes menu at Veganerie. It’s a bit on the expensive side but it’s worth every penny. I highly recommend the strawberry cheesecake shake and the brownie ice cream sundae seen above! 

thecookthailand

Bangkok is known for it’s malls upon malls. I’ve never seen so many malls in my life. And every mall has a huge food court with cheap food stalls. In most malls you will have at least one “jay” stall that has vegan and vegetarian Thai food. This is hands down the best deal in town. Rice with 2 or 3 entrees will be only 30-50 baht or $1-2 USD. There’s always a row of different items to choose from and you can add a spring roll like I did above. The way to order at these food courts is to get a card from the main register and hand it to the stall when ordering your food.

mayveggie

Another hit was May Veggie Home. I wish I would have eaten here more because their menu is HUGE. This is a vegan restaurant with some creative dishes across all Asian cultures. We started with Thai iced tea using coconut milk instead of condensed milk. Then we had the bacon wrapped mushrooms (I wasn’t a fan of personally), the tea leaf salad (shown above, which was amazingly flavorful), and some other special appetizer that I can’t remember. My friend Brighde got a big steamy bowl of Khao Soi (which made me jealous because it was soooo good) and I had some veggie stir-fry thing. I can’t remember if we got dessert but they do have vegan ice cream that you must try!

bangkokactivism

I visited a new kid on the block for a vegan Meetup and had the most delicious vegan pancakes. Broccoli Revolution is beautifully designed having two floors with enough seating to take your computer and work for a couple of hours. We had a group of about 12 for our meetup. Later that week I went to another Meetup at Veganerie that Brighde hosted to discuss different ways to use activism for the local Thai people. It was a blast getting to meet local vegans and brainstorm with them. I’m so proud of my friend Brighde who created vegan brochures in Thai to put around town.

tacosaladbkk

Most the time in Bangkok I made my own meals like the beautiful taco salad shown above. Produce is fairly cheap and many stores have every sort of product you would find back home. So if you are missing your favorite snack food, chocolate, cereal, vegan cheese, whatever, I bet you can find it at one of the fancier grocery stores. For a price! 

Bangkok is a vegan foodie heaven. It’s loud and crazy, but the food is enough of a reason to stop in for a few days.



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by Christy Morgan

If you want to learn Spanish there are many beautiful countries to choose from for your immersion program. In my research I discovered that Costa Rica, Colombia, and Ecuador were the best places to learn Spanish because the local people do not have a strong accent, making it easier for new students to communicate.

Immersion is truly the best way to learn a new language. I experienced this for 2 weeks at Intercultura in Costa Rica. If you have the option to do a homestay during your course do it! Not only was this the more economical choice (private room and bathroom, with breakfast, dinner, and laundry service for $175 per week), it gives you a chance to speak only Spanish with your host family. You’ll get to experience amazing local food and have someone that knows the town well.

casado-costarica

Once you choose the country you want to learn in, you then need to research the different areas and choose a location for your studies. Do you want to be by the beach, soaking up the sun and learning to surf in your free time? Or do you want to be in the city, surrounded by more locals, getting to know the culture, visiting museums and such in your free time. I was able to experience both the city of Heredia and the beach town of Samara during my courses with Intercultura. Here’s what I learned, which will help you in deciding what kind of location you want to do your studies in.

IMG_4979

The City

  • More crowded, but this gives you more opportunities to practice your Spanish with locals. Also there are more choices for restaurants, shopping, bars, you name it. If you like people and having more choices the city will be a good choice for you. Though people in big cities tend to be less talkative and social, I found people friendly in Heredia.
  • More professional attitude, so if you are someone that likes more structure and punctuality choose a city location.
  • The cost of things like groceries and food at restaurants was cheaper in the city. There was this amazing outdoor produce market with rows of beautiful fruits and veggies (pictured above). I didn’t see anything like this at the beach.

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The Beach

  • More chill environment, which means people are casual, service is slow, and more partying to all hours of the night. If this is your lifestyle already then head to the beach!
  • Do you love to swim in the ocean and surf? Then the beach is probably a good choice for you, unless it will become a distraction from your studies. You are there to learn, so don’t forget to do your homework! The great thing about the Samara location of Intercultura is many places give discounts to students. The surf school next door lets you have a board for the week when you purchase a surf lesson ($35). If you’ve always wanted to learn to surf I highly recommend trying it there. The lesson was excellent and the waves are perfect for beginners.
  • I found the food to be a bit more expensive at the beach, but more variety and healthy options since it caters more to tourists. In Samara there was local food, sushi, Italian, lots of seafood if you are into that and even a vegetarian restaurant. My cheapest meal was about $4 and most expensive was $20. So you can see there is quite a range.
  • The school offers free classes outside of the language class like Zumba, latin dance, and yoga. Both campus’s offer these but it was really fun to take classes outside overlooking the beach!

yoga-costarica

Immersion in general

I found immersion learning to be the best way to learn Spanish. Living in a city of Spanish speakers forces you to use what you’ve learned, and encourages you to practice outside of class so you are able to communicate more easily. It’s like accelerated learning. I had locals tell me the whole time I was in Costa Rica they were shocked I had only a couple of weeks of classes. The program at Intercultura was the best experience. The teachers were amazing, I met so many beautiful people from all over the world, all while exploring a new country and culture. I couldn’t recommend it enough. I’ll be heading to Colombia to continue my studies through immersion in a couple of months!

Have you done immersion learning? What was your experience like?



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by Christy Morgan

You want to go to Thailand and visit it’s pristine beaches, but you are a health-minded person. You are into yoga and healthy food, and have no interest in getting wasted or having sweaty Europeans rubbing up against you in a hot club. If you are anything like me you travel to see the world and have experiences not to party.

Ko Phangan is famous for it’s crazy Full Moon Party. I was on the island for 8 days and had the most brilliant time never stepping foot in Haad Rin or swinging glow sticks on the beach. Granted, a little part of me did want to see what the fuss was all about, but I just couldn’t be bothered. Call me old or uncool if you will, but I didn’t want to miss my morning yoga class. You can see where my priorities are when traveling. I chose to go to Ko Phangan because I heard one little part of the island was a heaven for yoga and healthy food.

Srithanu

Srithanu is found on the northwest side of the island far, far away from the party area. It’s somewhere a vegetarian, vegan, or yogi would want to plant some roots. I fell in love with this little area of the island for many reason. Today I share my top 5 reasons to visit the island if you  care about your health and well-being and aren’t interested in partying much.

It’s Cheap

Thailand is known for being inexpensive but the islands tend to be more touristy and pricey. Thankfully, you can easily stay in Srithanu for $25 a day backpacker style (for a room, food, & scooter) or splurge a little and have 5 star luxury at $50 a day. Fruit is abundant and cheap for breakfast. Thai food is easily found for under $3 a meal in shacks set up along the road. Accommodations range from hostels at Shiralea Backpackers (only 200 baht/$6 USD for 8 bed dorm with air con and share bathroom) to the beautiful Phangan Akuna (where I stayed in a private bungalow with a friend for 1300 baht/$37 USD). I scored a scooter for the week for 800 baht (about $3.35 USD a day), found free yoga classes (see below) and even my fanciest meal cost around $10 USD. Things would be even cheaper if you stayed for a month at a place with a kitchen. All of this makes it a dream for a short vacation or a longer stay.

beach-kophangan-thailand

There’s Beautiful Beaches

Sure, you can find beautiful beaches all over the world, but the water is so crystal clear it’s the ultimate diving and snorkeling destination. Just look at that blue water and sandy beach! I love how it has layers of the most beautiful greens and blues as you look out into the ocean. We went on a half-day snorkeling trip (900 baht/$25 USD including pickup, lunch, drinks, and equipment) around the northwest side of the island and I was shocked at how clear and lovely the water is. If you go during hot season the tides may be low and the water right off the beaches will be hot, but the further you go out the cooler the water will get. I definitely recommend getting out on a boat if you can!

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Abundant Yoga Classes

Within 3 kilometers there are six beautiful yoga studios where you can take yoga classes of all styles. I tried classes at Samma Karuna, Orion, Gaia, Agama, and Ananda Wellness Resort, but missed Sunny Yoga. Each studio is unique, with experienced teachers and every style of yoga imaginable throughout the day. Almost all are open air studios (many with mosquito netting) that can get pretty hot so be sure to wear appropriate clothing, bring a towel and a full water bottle. Most have drop-in rates at 300 baht ($8.50 USD), or 5/10 class passes at a discount. Agama and Gaia let you take your first class for free!

kophangan-food

Vegan Food Galore

If you are looking for healthy fare Srithanu area of Ko Phangan is where it’s at! This is what drew me to the island; a quick glance at HappyCow shows an abundant amount of choices. From those cheap Thai shacks on the side of the road where you can get pad thai for $1.50 to fancier vegan cafes where you might spend $8-12, everything you could ever want is here. Check out this comprehensive blog post from Mostly Amelie and I share my favorite meals here on my personal blog.

bottle-beach-kophangan

It’s Quiet & Relaxed

Even though Ko Phangan is known as a party island, I found the north/west side of the island to be quiet and secluded. Granted I was there in April during low season, but I’m guessing that area is often a little slower than Haad Rin and Thongsala. I felt totally comfortable driving a scooter around and had no fear of crashing (like I did while in Canggu, Bali). If you are in town during the full moon party it does get busier during that time and hotel prices go up so keep that in mind. But other times are the month are super chill!

Have you been to Ko Phangan? What is your favorite thing about the island? Share with us in the comments below!

 


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by Christy Morgan

Air travel between Asian countries is relatively easy and inexpensive. They are numerous airlines that offer one way fares as low as $30. What you might not realize is the budget airlines charge extra for baggage over 7kg in weight. And that isn’t a lot of stuff!

I made the mistake of booking through Skypicker.com the cheapest flight I could find to get me from Bali to Thailand. That meant I was flying two different airlines for each leg of my journey. Air Asia for Bali to Singapore and Jetstar for the Singapore to Phuket leg.

carryon

My second mistake was not being clear on what 7kg looked and felt like. All I knew is that my bag is carry-on size so I thought I could bring it as a carry-on. Feel free to check out what I packed in my carry-on for my 2 month trip in Asia right here. They weighed the bag and it was a whopping 14kg. So much for packing light! I had to pay a 350,000 rupiah fee (about $30 USD) to check my bag with Air Asia Indonesia as they refused to let me take it onboard.

Since I was flying another airline for my second leg I feared I would have to pay again when I checked into Singapore. Yep. There I had to pay $60 Singapore dollars (about $45 USD). Even if you check a bag, but have a layover in another country, you will have to go to baggage claim, grab your bag and recheck it again.

So my “cheap” flight got a lot more expensive. I would have saved a bit if I would have added the luggage on when I bought the ticket online. But that is still extra money that I didn’t account for when I booked my flight.

When all is said and done I probably could have flown one non-budget airline for the entire trip that has free checked luggage (like Bangkok Airways which I took from Phuket to Ko Samui or Thai Airways which I took from Surat Thani to Bangkok) and paid about the same. And much less hassle with a higher quality service. The staff for both Bangkok and Thai airways were amazing.

So don’t make this mistake when booking flights in Asia.

1. If flying a budget airline in Asia with a bag over 7kg add the luggage on when you book the flight online. It will be more expensive at the counter. Even if your bag is carry on size, weigh it to confirm it meets the weight restriction.

2. Try to fly the same airline carrier for all legs of your trip if possible. Then you pay only once for your luggage. Or take a nicer airline that has free checked bags and make sure not to go over their weight limits (20kg for Bangkok, and 30kg for Thai Airways).

Have you ever made this mistake while flying? Tell us about it in the comments!



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by Christy Morgan

I’ve had the pleasure of spending 17 days in Canggu (pronounced chain-goo) at the surf and yoga resort Pelan Pelan. You can read all about my days at the retreat here on HappyCow. My breakfast and lunch was provided Monday through Friday but for dinner and on weekends I explored the surrounding area for vegan cuisine. What I found was a pleasant surprise! Here are just some of the many vegan meals I found in this small surfer town that won me over with it’s friendly people and tasty grub.

IMG_3521Peloton Supershop (Jln Raya Pantai Berawa, 8am-4pm, cash only) is one of the two all vegan restaurants in Canggu. I think it’s Australian owned so it has plentiful options of burgers and wraps, gorgeous salads, fresh juices and smoothies, & small plates. If I had been staying nearby I could have eaten here every day, except that they close at 4pm! I had the Be Strong smoothie (Spinach, Mango, Banana, Moringa Protein, Spirulina & Coconut Milk) and the Burn Out Burger (served on a Charcoal Bun with Caramelised Onions, Tomato, Purple Cabbage, Lettuce, & Vegan Mayo with a Side Salad & Sweet Potato Fries) and both were very good. Also had some shots of moringa, mangosteen, and turmeric so I didn’t lose my “healthy vegan” card. It’s a bit more expensive than some of the other places but worth it in creativity and tastiness. Even though it’s air conditioned, the large glass windows keep it pretty hot in there so an ice cold drink is a crucial start to the meal.

green ginger noodle house bali cafe

Green Ginger Noodle House (Jln Raya Pantai Berawa, 8am-9:30pm, takes credit cards) is a vegan cafe down the way from Peloton. It’s Asian fusion so if you’ve had a favorite dish somewhere across Southeast Asia you’ll find it here on the menu. My first meal there was Spring rolls, Pad Thai, and this beautiful White Tiger Salad to the right (roasted pumpkin, sesame, carrot, tempeh, pickled ginger, bean sprouts, cucumber & lime soy dressing). Then I got food delivered later in the week and opted for the Laksa (a flavorful noodle soup from Malaysia), which blew my mind.Bonus: the restaurant is air conditioned and actually cool inside making it a nice reprieve from the scorching heat and humidity. Everything was excellent and the staff is friendly. If you go to other parts of Bali you’ll notice that in general the local people in Canggu are very friendly and accommodating. I noticed this time around people in Ubud were not as friendly. Guess they are getting sick of the tourists.

IMG_3486Warung Bu Mi (Jl. Raya Batu Bolong No. 52, all day, cash only) was shown to me by another vegan who lives in Canggu part-time. It’s the cheapest vegan meal you can get and I went there 3 or 4 times during my stay. Warungs are traditional Balinese cafes that typically have a row of vegetarian/vegan dishes to choose from (along with a row of meat and seafood dishes). You either serve yourself and pay per pile of food or someone serves you as you point to what you want. It’s an experience called “Nasi Campur”. And you’ll pay a measly 25,000 (less than $2) for this huge plate of food. Each time I went I tried something different, but the pumpkin and red beans made it on my plate each time because it was that tasty. Some things had egg but it was pretty obvious what was vegan or not. The veggie dishes are typically vegan in Balinese cuisine anyways and Bu Mi does a good job of keeping most the bottom row of food veg, while the top row is the meat stuff.

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Canteen (Jalan Batumejan No. 33, 7am-5pm, cash only) doesn’t tout itself as a vegan-friendly place but I found their menu easily adaptable and they serve the best coconut milk latte in town! I went here many mornings first thing to work on my computer before the brunch crowd rushed in. One time I had their smoothie bowl, topped with granola, toasted coconut, dragonfruit, and banana (featured right) another time I altered their bagel sandwich swapping out the salmon for tempeh and eggs for avocado. My last morning in town I had them make their breakfast quinoa bowl with tempeh instead of eggs. Easy and delicious. Staff is friendly enough and you’ll even get to strike up conversations with the nice western locals if you go early enough.

I also enjoyed the bowls at Poke Poke, and had a wonderful salad at Avocado Cafe (but sometimes they are out of avocado which is ironic). Betelnut was totally overhyped and I didn’t find many vegan things on the menu.

Do you have any favorites in Canggu? Be sure to leave them in the comments and tell us what you think of our choices! 



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Hello friends!

We are currently in Canggu, Bali at the surf and yoga retreat called Pelan Pelan. After spending 2 weeks here (only 5 days left) we will go to Ubud on Saturday for the first retreat of the year with Allison Rivers Samson. It is so incredibly beautiful here in Canggu. A little surfer town with tons of healthy, vegan food options, we highly recommend you stay here when you come to Bali.

Christy is documenting her travels through her Instagram and YouTube channel. On this blog we will share our best travel tips and where you can find the most amazing vegan food in the locations that we visit. If you haven’t already signed up for our email list, you’ll get our Ultimate Packing List for fit chicks and dudes to help you stay in tip top shape while you travel.

The internet here is never 100% and you never know when the power will go down so we are trying our best to stay in touch and get new content out to you. For instance, I can’t get any photos to upload to this post though I’ve been trying all morning! Bali tests our patience like no other place in the world. You have to go with the flow or you’ll just be miserable. And you have to show some gratitude for all the beauty that surrounds you.

When you come to Bali there are many different types of places you can stay. If you are into the beach, want to learn to surf, have many yoga classes at your fingertips, and be spoiled by all the amazing coffee and vegan food, Canggu is where it’s at. The town is filled with locals and expats who came to visit and never left. It has a pretty young vibe; we’d guess that most people here are in the 20s and 30s, but that shouldn’t deter you because everyone is nice and doing their own thing. You’ll want a scooter to get around as Canggu isn’t super walking friendly and it’s just so hot in Bali, the scooter gives you natural air con to dry the sweat from your brow.

If you want beach with a lot more solitude then Amed is the next up and coming beach town toward the Northeast side of Bali. For more of a city vibe head to Ubud in central Bali. There is something for everyone here and an abundance of healthy, fresh food waiting around every corner.

Keep an eye out for more posts about beautiful Bali!



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by Christy Morgan

The infamous best meal you’ve ever had question. Being a chef I often get this question. It’s like choosing your favorite child. It’s near impossible. Especially for foodies like us vegans.

When asked to do an interview for The Vegan Word, this question undoubtedly came up. I thought to myself long and hard, then chose something unique that also had a special place in my travels. My new friend Brighde had taken me under her wing in sweaty, smelly Bangkok 5 years ago. I was there working on a Southeast Asian cookbook with May Kaidee. Having a vegan friend there during those two months contributed to my happiness and ability to survive such a grueling town.

She introduced me to Miang Kham.miangkham

You get this tray of little bowls filled with awesomeness (you can also find it in baggies on the street!). The name means “eating many things in one bite”. You take a herb leaf and fill it with these things, top with sauce, and it’s heaven in your mouth. It usually comes with little dried shrimp so be sure to ask for something else or to leave that off your platter.

This is just one of the many amazing vegan meals you can find in Thailand. Vegan Food Quest has an epic post with some of the best (including their miang kham featured in the image to the right)! Check it out here.

To be especially annoying we turned the tables and ask the favorite meal question to some of our vegan travel blogger friends. Here’s what they had to say!

Do you have a favorite meal you’ve had while traveling the world? Tell us all about it in the comments! 

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Caryl and Paul from Vegan Food Quest

Caryl has been vegan for over 12 years and me for nearly 2 years so that is over 15 thousand plant-based meals to choose from! We love everything from simple street food to exquisite fine dining so picking our favourite is impossible; however, we love burgers and this delicious plant-based burger at Six Senses Con Dao in Vietnam was pretty special (pictured).

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Amanda from Burger Abroad

Here’s where I’m supposed to say a salad, but I’m a huge sucker for vegan comfort foods, especially pizza. I recently found the best vegan pizza in Brighton, England at Pizzaface (pictured). They made a delicious vegan cheese pizza with sour cream, sausage and rocket on top. Amazingly good.

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Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan

I’ll go with the sushi at Pirata in Vienna (pictured). Before I became vegan, sushi was my favourite food of all time. If I’d been told I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, I would have chosen sushi. While the sushi I ate almost always contained fish, I now realize that what I really loved (and still love) about sushi were all the plant-based flavours the fish was wrapped up in – the pickled ginger, the spicy wasabi, the salty nori and the slightly sweet rice. Unfortunately, vegan options in sushi restaurants where I live tend to be limited to rather boring cucumber rolls. That’s why I was thrilled to find out about Pirata – a fish-free sushi restaurant in Vienna! They make really creative sushi rolls; my favourite was the mango and avocado with sesame seeds. Yum!

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Caitlin from The Vegan Word

I was lucky enough to have a 9-course gourmet meal at an upscale Japanese-style vegetarian restaurant in Taipei, Yu Shan Ge. All for under $30! Of course, in local currency that’s quite a lot. The restaurant is apparently frequented by a lot of local celebrities. The food was phenomenal and I’ve never experienced service like that. I had a private waiter to myself!

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Amelia from Plant-Powered Nomad

The one that stands out maybe isn’t the most culinarily extraordinary, but it’s one that shows just how easy travelling as a vegan and finding amazing meals can be. I was with another vegan friend at the time visiting Alishan mountain in Taiwan. It’s utterly beautiful, but we were staying in a tiny village with incredibly limited food options. Chancing our luck we wandered into a restaurant and asked the man (in Chinese) whether there were any vegan options. He pointed out several and so we took them all. We ended up with bamboo shoots, tea noodles, and wasabi tofu which somewhat stole the show. It was incredibly simple, and yet fresh and delicious. It combined the traditional Chinese culture of Taiwan with the Japanese influence left in Alishan: the area is renowned for its wasabi growing.

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Kristin from Will Travel For Vegan Food

I don’t think I have ONE favorite meal but many, many, many good ones. Which is a good thing, for sure. If I had to choose one to highlight here though it would be the ice cream sundae from Portobello in Portland, OR. Not sure if it counts as a “meal” per say, haha but it’s my favorite because at the time I’d never had ice cream that was so rich and creamy. They topped it with whipped cream and it had a chocolate cake base filled with chocolate syrup. Ugh, it was so good. Plus, I got to enjoy it with my parents which made it extra special. Actually, we each got our own because…yeah.

I don’t know about you but my mouth is watering! Thanks to everyone for sharing this delicious food with us! One of my favorite things about traveling is trying all the beautiful, compassionate food around the globe. Each place has it’s own unique flavors, textures, and presentation. Eating is probably the best thing about traveling actually! Do you agree?

Do you have a favorite meal you’ve had while traveling the world? Tell us all about it in the comments! 



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by Christy Morgan

I remember my first time out of the U.S. like it was yesterday. I had just graduated with a fashion design degree and wanted to go to a fashion school in Florence, Italy. The weekends would be spent traveling up and down the country in exploration. In Rome, my camera was stolen out of my backpack in a hostel and I lost all the photos I had taken (back then there was film in cameras!). Even though I had no proof that I had visited the Colosseum and the Pantheon, the memories remained etched in my brain.

I remember traveling down the Amalfi Coast with my mouth agape at the beauty. Cinque Terre was so cute and close to Florence that I went twice. These travels led me to say goodbye to schooling and continue to travel. I had been bit by the bug! I continued up to Switzerland, where my purse was snatched in Zurich and caused so much frustration and pain trying to replace my passport.

camelposeIn every country I’ve visited since you will find similar stories of trials and tribulations, but all the magic I have seen far outweighs the bad. It took me 10 years and traveling to 28 countries to learn how to be a better traveler, the ins and outs of transportation, and surviving as a vegan. Going on a retreat saves you so much stress because someone like me who has been through everything plans it all out for you!

Riding river taxis through Bangkok. Cycling on rickety bikes to Angkor Wat at sunrise. Dripping sweat at the Taj Mahal. Watching the Legong dance in Bali. Taking the tube in London. Picking strawberries in the mountains of Malaysia. Releasing baby turtles into the ocean in Mexico. Sipping the best soy latte in Australia. Doing yoga at an ashram in Vietnam. The list goes on and on of the magic I’ve experienced thanks to traveling the world.

One of the most magical times I’ve ever had was in Bali last year with 13 beautiful and unique women. These retreats teach me so much about myself, but the most amazing thing is watching how they transform others. From the woman who went to honor her parents who had passed during the same week years back, to the mother who had never left her child and fell so much in love with Bali she’s been back again. To the many who had never left the country and trusted they would be taken care of by me. To the puppies we found under a lounge chair on the beach and found a home for. We all have unique stories to tell.

4 reasons why you should go on a yoga retreat

Less planning, less stress
It takes hours and hours of researching to find the perfect hotel, make sure you’ll have the healthy food you desire, what part of town you should stay in, figuring out transportation and customs, etc. When you go on a retreat everything is planned for you. You just show up and enjoy a vacation of a lifetime! That right there is priceless!

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Connection with like-minded individuals
Retreats are perfect for solo travelers or those who don’t want to spend their whole vacation alone. It’s not always possible to travel with your friends or family. But that shouldn’t stop you from going to a magical place to have an amazing experience. If you go on a retreat you instantly have 10+ friends and you aren’t left all alone with no one to share your experiences with. Even the most introverted will feel more secure on a retreat because all the activities are optional and you get plenty of free time to do you own thing too. And who knows, these people may become life-long friends.

Come home better than when you left
Going on a retreat that includes things like yoga, mind/body connection, and healthy food lets you come back home better off that when you left. That is the whole purpose of our retreats! Remember that last vacation where you drank too much, ate crappy food and came home drained and like you needed a vacation from your vacation? Going on a healthy retreat will leave you feeling refreshed, recharged, and ready to take on the world. The Bali retreat will give you a self-care plan to take home as well.

Say-YES-to-life-and-seeSaying yes to you
Most people are living day in and day out trying to make ends meet, caring for their friends and family, some are running businesses and managing families. Women in particular spend less time on themselves than they do on the people around them. Taking time away from everyday life allows you to think more clearly about your needs and to connect with your authentic self. And you deserve it!

 


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