Today on our vegan traveler interview series we catch up with Alex Curtis-Slep, one half of the team behind Vegans Travel. Alex, a lifelong vegetarian and vegan of six years, writes for Vegans Travel with his mom, Octavine Swanson, where they share tips, tricks and stories from their travels as vegans. Alex also makes YouTube videos which you can find at HealthyLivinAlex (http://YouTube.com/
How long have you been vegan? How many places and where have you traveled since you’ve been vegan?
I’ve been vegetarian from birth and have been vegan most of the time for about six years (all vegan for a while just gone back to vegetarian a few times here and there). As a vegan, I’ve been to over a dozen places within six different countries. In the US I was in Miami, Florida, Hawaii (both Oahu and the Big Island), New York City and upstate, Austin, Texas, Chicago, Illinois and Charlotte, North Carolina. Outside of the US I’ve been to Dominica in the Caribbean, Panajachel, Guatemala, Costa Rica two times, Zihuatanejo, Mexico, south of France-Roujan and I’m writing this from Aix-les-Bains, France. Five of the international spots I have traveled to as a house and pet sitter, which is a great way to see how locals live for an extended period of time.
Sunrise in Roujan, France. Photo by Vegans Travel
What’s your favorite place or places you’ve traveled as a vegan?
My favorite spot as a vegan was Zihuatanejo, Mexico. The weather is warm, the beaches are gorgeous (there’s even a basketball court at Playa Principal- the main beach, the best setting for a court I’ve ever seen) and there’s a great vegan cooperative in Zihua. What more could you ask for?
Oh, fresh tropical fruits, friendly people and a growing interest in veganism!
Playa La Madera in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Photo by Vegans Travel
What was the best vegan meal you’ve had while traveling? How did you find the restaurant?
The best vegan meal I’ve had was an Enmolada from La Casita Ecovegana (the vegan cooperative) in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Enmoladas are a Mexican dish and this was the veganized version of them. Enmoladas are basically mole enchiladas. Having fresher, more locally grown Mexican avocado’s complements this dish perfectly. I found the vegan cooperative before I traveled to Mexico, I heard about it online (through YouTube) and from a friend.
Enmolada at La Casita Ecovegana. Photo by Vegans Travel
What was the hardest place to be a vegan? How did you find food? What did you eat?
The hardest place to be vegan was a really rural part of Costa Rica called Nandayure. There wasn’t much around in terms of shops or restaurants. The fruit season wasn’t super strong either, unfortunately. I ate vegan, but not the best food by any means. Corn chips, jif peanut butter and a little bit of fruit were the staples we had to go with. A local eatery would prepare us a somewhat more proper meal of rice, beans and a salad daily too. That was a difficult two weeks!
Where are you planning on going next and what vegan places will you be checking out?
Next the plan is to go to Geneva, Switzerland! I have a friend there and we’ll look in more detail on Happy Cow and see what’s around. MU-Food sounds like a nice spot. My friend told me there’s one particularly great vegan place so hopefully I’ll get the chance to go!
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