One of the things I love about interviewing vegan and vegetarian travel bloggers is that I get to hear about a lot of fascinating stories, learn new things, discover things that connect us, and see the world from different lenses. In this interview, we picked the mind of Kate, creator of Plant-Based Kate where she shares about everything related to a healthy plant-based lifestyle. Kate completed her yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India and decided to stay there to teach. Read on to find out more about her story and get tips about vegan travel, food, and more.
Q: How long have you been vegan and what made you decide to make the switch?
I have been vegan for 5 years now. I first made the switch due to health reasons - obviously being plant-based is the healthiest way anyone can live, but it very quickly changed to ethical reasons after watching documentaries like Earthlings & learning more about the Animal agriculture industry. There was no way I could contribute to torture & murder of poor innocent beings any longer. This sparked a real passion inside of me too - wanting to share everything I can about veganism with the world!
Q: You completed a 200 hour Yoga teacher training course in Rishikesh, India. How long did it take you to complete it?
I have indeed & have since completed a 300 hour Yoga teacher training too. Both courses were 1 month in duration, the 300 hours being more intense & full on.
Q: What was your experience like staying in Rishikesh while completing your training?
Rishikesh is like home to me. I was here for a month last December when I completed my 200-hour course & as soon as I left, wanted to return. So I did. I went back to Australia, worked my butt off in order to come back to my favourite place in the world, complete my next level yoga training & stay here, teaching yoga. I’ve lived here for 5 months or so now, fully immersed in this magical land & culture. I truly love it so much.
Q: Do you have any tips for vegans traveling there?
In my opinion, Rishikesh is the perfect mixture of East meets West. Everywhere you go, they cater so well for us foreigners when it comes to food so being vegan is super easy here - there are vegan options at every cafe you go to, as well as vegan sweet treats at many places & soy milk too. Soy chai is life!! There are many local places to eat too, just be sure to ask that they are not using Ghee to cook the food & not oil.
Q: Tell us about the Plant-Based Kate website.
I created plant-based Kate to share my love & passion for veganism, well-being & travel. I write blog posts that are both personal & practical on these topics in the hopes of inspiring people to live a healthier, happier, more authentic, soul-inspired life!
Q: Can you share one of your most memorable experiences as a vegan traveler? What would you say are the best things about traveling as a vegan?
I just enjoy the smile that you get every now and then when you order something vegan from a non-veg restaurant. Like yeooow, respect - haha. I really just enjoy letting people know that there is a demand out there for the vegan food! The more people that know this the better…Planting seeds everywhere I go.
Q: Can you name some of the most vegan-friendly cities you’ve visited so far?
Ubud in Bali is literally Vegan heaven. The best vegan food I have ever eaten is hands down in Ubud. I miss it so much & actually have a blog post with my favourite spots to eat at - you can check that out here. Rishikesh here in India, Chang Mai in Thailand & Sydney in Australia are also amazing for vegan options & spots. Chang Mai has so many vegan restaurants, it’s amazing & Australia is just so ahead of the game when it comes to veganism (especially compared to New Zealand, where I’m from), so the options there are abundant 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?
The hardest place to be vegan that I have been so far is hands down The Philippines. Even being vegetarian there is a rarity so I cooked often & ate a heap of fresh tropical fruits as well as plain vegetables & rice. Even when asking if things were vegetarian, they would say yes, even if it had fish in it. Then there is Fish or oyster sauce that you have to worry about there too & I just didn’t trust it, you know. They just didn’t quite understand the concept. In saying that though, there were 3 (from memory) incredible vegan spots in Cebu & on Panglao Island. It literally makes me so happy how many vegan places there are all around the world, even in places you wouldn’t expect!
Q: What are some of the best vegan dishes you’ve had so far and where did you find them?
I am so easily pleased haha, give me a smoothie bowl, salad bowl, fruit muesli or spicy curry & I’m happy..but hmmm it depends on the type of cuisine too! Straight away what came to mind is seeds of life in Ubud, Bali. It’s an amazing fully raw vegan cafe that has the most delicious food including pancakes, wraps, smoothie bowls, salads, sweet treats etc…All the goods! There is a place here in Rishikesh called Soul Kitchen which makes the best vegan Tahlii eveeeeer, for super cheap too.
Q: Any tips or advice you can share to newbie vegan travellers?
Make sure you have the HappyCow app! This is just a life-saver if you are anywhere where it is hard to find veg places to eat or want to find a good place. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for vegan options. If you are going to a country where they don’t know a heap of English, learn how to say no milk, cream, meat, etc. In that language too.