Our Vegtravelbuddies' interview series has been running for almost a year now. And we are always thrilled to have our interviewees share their unique stories, life lessons, and veg travel related tips with us. In this latest installment, we interviewed Klaudia Kondorosi, creator of Do Less Get More Done - a website that features photo stories on topics like sustainable travel, lifestyle, and so much more!
Q: How long have you been vegan and what made you decide to make the switch?
I had been different types of vegetarian ( flexitarian \ pollotarian \ ovo-lacto \ ovo \ lacto \ pescetarian) in my whole life. 5 years ago I haven’t found any reason not to go vegan. I am very sensitive to environmental issues and always in search for sustainable solutions in everyday life. Once I started I have also realized this lifestyle has many health benefits too. Beside this, vegan felt more delicious to me too so I gave it a try.
Q: Tell us about your website Do Less Get More Done. What inspired you to create it?
Do Less Get More Done is an ever-evolving visual journey about my everyday choices: (eco) conscious Travel and Lifestyle decisions, sustainability. All started with never-ending curiosity and questioning everything. Analyzing every aspect of life. Experimenting with different ingredients. Based on various interests with a passion for natural and simple. Each photo story on the website is a new discovery on this path towards changing the way of thinking and doing things, finding balance inside and out and exploring satisfaction. It is about my life, my personal stories.
I created it in 2013 for my family and friends. I tried to find the best way to keep them on track regarding a few aspects of my life, without repeating the same things again and again for each of them. As I am living my life on the move, it’s not easy to keep in touch with me. On the other hand, I’m an introvert too, so small talks are very challenging for me. This was actually my solution not only to save some time for myself but for others too.
Q: Can you name some of the most veg-friendly places you’ve been to so far?
Australia (Melbourne), Austria (Vienna), United Kingdom (London, Manchester). I’ve found so far easy to eat delicious veg-food in Costa Rica, Bali, Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) too.
Q: Is there a place that you find particularly challenging to visit as a vegan? Can you tell us about what made it difficult for you?
Hungary. Choices are very limited if you are planning to eat outside. You need to be prepared to be overcharged for a few salad leaves and stay hungry in any meat\fish restaurant. If you are lucky enough to find vegan or a vegan-friendly ones the situation is not much better either. You can’t find a balance between quality and cost. [The] Worst thing, food most of the time doesn’t have nutritional value.
Q: What are some of the best vegan dishes you've had so far? And where did you find them?
I love any kind of Asian vegan soup. I had very tasty ones in Cambodia and Thailand. I found the best ramen in Japan (obviously), but also in Austria. My favourite Vietnamese pho is in London so far.
Q: What would you say are the best things about vegan travel?
I am more prepared about local, seasonal and traditional food choices. I know when, where I can find a farmer market. I always prepare a carefully selected map about cafes, restaurants, bars. I can relax during my travel and get lost in places, because I know when I get hungry I can find immediately a nice, unique place to eat.
Q: How has being a vegan | vegetarian slow traveler influenced your life and your views about traveling?
I really don’t know what was first. What was a cause and what was an effect. Has becoming more and more a responsible, sustainably conscious person influenced my travels or the other way around? I guess it is true visa-versa.
Being on the move, having homes in different countries have been motivating me to be and stay a minimalist. Quality over quantity was always part of my decisions. I like to buy only the really necessary things which last preferably for years or for life. I have no problems with packing, but I really don’t like to take with me a lot of things all the time. I learned to use creativity in everyday tasks. Just to save on unnecessary equipment and of course, the most important, time.
Q: Can you share one of your most memorable experiences as a veg traveler?
I remember when I was staying on one of the San Blas Islands in Panama and for dinner I got chicken with a very big satisfied and proud smile from my indigenous Guna Yala host. Well, what can you say then?
In some parts of the world, chicken is not considered as meat. Like cheese, cream, yogurt or butter are also not exactly dairy products. Only pure milk is, what people think, you use only in your coffee... but in case you cook with it? Again, the dish is “safe”. So you have to be very alert if you want to stay “vegan” as we understand it.
Q: What’s your take on “don’t worry about money, just travel” advice? Any tips for people who want to travel but feel financially stuck?
Traveling is a decision. It is about leaving our habits behind, becoming a new and hopefully a better person every day. It gives new perspectives, new ways of how you see the world around you. Traveling is also a tool to fill different desires with a lot of good or bad benefits. It’s a cliche, but still true that you can travel in your own backyard. You can be a tourist every day, even before or after work. It takes just a little preparation and curiosity.
You need to find first your root cause for your travel desire. I’m pretty sure you can get something around you to fill it for free or for a very little money. You just need to leave your perception and judgment out. Keep in mind your ego is always playing a game with you. Sometimes it leads to an overcrowded travel destination with a lot of tourist traps. Do you really need to be on the road hours between time zones to reach your goal?
If you learn to appreciate and enjoy your every day, you also become a better traveller everywhere. We have so many opportunities around us, we just need to learn to see it and take it. This should be your aim until your financial situation is getting better for longer trips outside your own backyard.
Q: What would be your advice to vegan and vegetarian travelers?
Take your time and do your research before traveling. A personal offline map is a very comfortable solution to find all the nutrition you need. Then you can go with the flow without compromising and you just only need to take your phone out when you really need those information.
Choose your accommodation very carefully. In some places, you really need a kitchen for your own. Booking just a room sometimes could be your worst decision.
Finding vegetarian\vegan food is just one thing. Eating whole foods in a balanced way is another. I think it’s not worth to compromise on it.