My family and I just got back from a road trip through South Dakota. While it was fun, it’s always an eye opening experience to visit different and especially more rural areas than I’m used to. Different communities have varying access to things such as recycling, food variety and availability, public transportation, etc. Today I’d like to talk about how my diet changes when I travel and why.

At home, I eat a mostly whole food plant based diet. I incorporate lots of vegetables and fruits, eat seasonally, and make most meals from scratch. This isn’t always possible when traveling. When my family travels, we don’t always have access to cooking equipment or even refrigeration. We have to rely primarily on store bought snacks and restaurants to eat. But what happens when plant based foods aren’t available? I make a compromise and eat vegetarian dishes that often include cheese or eggs.

I’d like to eat plant based on trips. There are many reasons: I feel better; I sleep better; and I have more energy when I eat vegan items. But when I’m in a town where the options are highly limited, accommodations must be made. Sure, I could choose to never visit towns that don’t offer vegan options, but that would greatly limit the areas I could visit and the types of experiences my family could have.

I stress strongly in my posts that we should all seek to make the best choice available to us. We should also prioritize what is most important to us. For me, learning about and visiting different parts of the world is important enough that I’m willing to compromise on my preferred diet in order to achieve it. Others may not find that compromise enticing, and that’s okay. We all need to find the path that is right for us, in our very different lives.

For now, I’m happy to have visited rural South Dakota and to have eaten nourishing food along the way. I’m equally happy to now be home, eating wholesome and seasonal foods at my own table.