Not any more!
Of course, the definition of ‘abroad’ depends on where you live, but there are very few places in the world where it is not possible to be vegan, and in most countries you’ll find a wealth of vegan-friendly foods, shops and restaurants available.
If you move to another country, it makes sense to do your research. Find local vegans, explore the new shops and markets available to you and try the new products that you are likely to find. HappyCow.net will guide you to your nearest health food shop where you are likely to find all the goodies you need. If you move to an area of the world where there are fewer such specialist shops, you may need to rely on your own tried-and-tested recipes to make your favourite items from scratch but don’t forget you can mail order items, too.
If you are planning a holiday, again get online first and do your research! If you are staying in a city anywhere in the world, there is no reason why you won’t be fed extremely well. Again, a quick check of HappyCow.net shows there are 40 vegan restaurants in and around Paris, 62 in London, 22 in Melbourne, 29 in Vancouver while New York has 118. All of them are 100% vegan, and there are a lot more vegetarian and omnivore restaurants that cater for vegans, too. It’s not just the big cities where you’ll find vegan foods – you’ll find good options in towns and often in villages, too. Search for ‘vegan’ + the name of your destination, and you may be surprised at what’s available around you.
In countries where meat is a luxury, you’ll often find a surprising range of meat- and dairy- free dishes. In other parts of the world where meat is not part of the cultural tradition, you may find more soya or bean dishes in any case.
Being understood is not always easy. In China, for example, it might be easier to explain that you want a Buddhist meal than to explain that you are vegan. But wherever you go, it is helpful to take the Vegan Society’s Vegan Passport to help you get the food you want.