I recall travelling to across parts of Europe as a vegetarian teenager, full of optimism and eager to discover the world. What I wasn’t prepared for, was having to explain myself in foreign languages, hand signals and loud, slow speech, that I didn’t eat meat. Europeans weren’t prepared for me – they thought my reasons for not eating meat had to do with the likely substandard version of meat I had been exposed to in Canada.
Recently, I discovered that travelling as vegetarian adult, with a carnivore child, was a much easier prospect. I was very surprised to see how many options there were – my most vivid memory was of the ‘vegetarian’ special at Jimmy’s Tavern on the Island of Santorini – it came with tzaziki, tomatoes and feta cheese wrapped in a pita. Not bad at all – I didn’t have to explain anything, no ‘please don’t put in the meat’ discussion. My son ordered the Gyros sandwich – likely his first authentic version – and spent the rest of the trip looking for them. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was for us to find good food. And it was really nice not to have to order a souvlaki sandwich without the souvlaki!! This always makes my son laugh.