Vegan Traveler or the Vegan on Patrol, NO NEED TO WORRY WHILST OUT AND ABOUT!

Wrights World Map

go-veganMany people say two things, well, lets expand lest I oversimplify my thought.  Many people upon hearing I am vegan seem to shift to a select group of themes regarding my dietary preference.  These usually come in the form of, A. How do you get protein, my natural thought pattern will usually tend towards –  gee I dunno, same place a damn Brontosaurus {Rhina, Elephant, Gorilla et cetera} did.  And, B. What about cheese, I would simply die without it, to which I think –  goodness, thank heavens you don’t have any big responsibilities on our planet, and many, upon learning of my bike ride, immediately ask what I do for food as though another country is now another planet with beings that do not eat food as we know it here on this one.  We wonder why racism abounds to this day… Sigh.  It is this last comment that I wish to address with this post as it would break my hear t to think that some of you actually forgo trips beyond your comfort zone, i.e., wherever you live or are at least sure to not have much of a break in your routine.

This will not be a complex article, and I am hoping that it serves the purpose of impressing upon you a near urgency to travel… very far.  Travel I fully believe is the one thing which will bring the madness we currently see and hear raining down about our ears to a halt.  many of you are vegan and or vegetarian, well, no real and or about that, one or the other, apologies, and you do so as you feel that aside from helping you lead healthier lives and that animals are not cruelly treated, though in the case of the vegetarians, unless you are going to farms that milk by hand, you are living in lala land, my point is this, many of you have these diets as you want to see a better world.  Well, don’t let your diet restrict you from actually seeing it.

The first thing I want to look at is the last word in the first paragraph.  Routine.  This is a tricky word and for many, even when you travel, if you are unable to do certain things with zero deviation from what you are used to on a daily basis, you begin to become unhappy and find yourself wishing you were back home.  This is sad and unfortunately very common.

Lets look at some ways around this.  For starters, and yes I am getting to how to eat when you are not surrounded by megaplex grocery stores and Starbucks, back to routine.  There is routine and ritual.  Ritual is having a cup of coffee in the morning.  Routine is having a cup of coffee in the morning from the same coffee shop, down the street in a certain way, for instance, every morning when you awake, you do your morning thing, go to the local – insert name here – speak to – one of a few names here – behind the counter and order your – insert drink here – .  THAT, is a routine.  Many of you have many of them and may not even realize it.  I mention this and will now compare to ritual as it is important to note where discomfort comes from so you do not inadvertently blame a country or city or town or village when it need not bear the brunt of your, how shall we say, intricacies.  Ritual is simply starting your day with a cup of coffee with no real attachment beyond that.  Could be instant from a street vendor, it is merely there to help start the day.  Please meditate on this as it is a very key factor for why many are seemingly unable to eat vegan when out and about.

Second, we need to understand some basics of economy and global finance.  I do this so that logic helps to dictate this and not simply my word which many of you have no clue who I am, so your logic will help lend credence to my next sentences.

Most countries have their own form of vegetarianism/veganism, let us simply say plant based diets, due to the relative high cost of meat and dairy.  There are not the windfall of government subsidies based on lobbyists, of which we here in the USA enjoy a ridiculous amount of, coming from both the dairy and meat industries, while the organic vegetables lobbyists all see to be held hostage in a yet to be determined location… Not that it would seem anyone has even begun looking for them except Monsanto and that is decidedly NOT a good thing for you the budding vegetarian/vegan.  My point is this, know that whatever country you are gong to, your odds of being able to be fed well as plant based eater are very high, UNLESS of course you go to some far out places like the Antarctica or a snow bound region during the winter months, like the Steppe region in Mongolia that doesn’t enjoy a glut of European or United States influx of foreign produce.

In Asia, you will hear tell of the Buddha Diet, aka, vegan or at the very least vegetarian as with India, where, yes they have their Ghee, but they have more vegetarian and ergo vegan options, once you learn how to dance so to speak with the locals.  Many religions are plant based as they see the supreme importance of not eating animals.  Even Christanity states in the very beginning of the Good Book, “I have given you all the seed bearing plants and herbs to use.”.  Buddhism, Hinduism, The Muslim faith, so many religions, as you become an adept and reach higher and higher levels, the import of not eating animals or their by products, example: Dairy, becomes a given.

Fear not, the rest of the world has been doing this long before you thought of it and lucky you!  Its already set up, you just need to tune in.

Ghee by the way is a clarified butter used in cooking, very popular in South Asia, India, Pakistan, Iran and other countries.

Things that will help greatly in your travel is an ability to cook or in other words, to feed yourself.  Being able to cook, allows you to look at a menu with vegan eyes.  This means you will be able to look at what is in other dishes and remake them in your mind into food for yourself.  It is so very easy in countries that use mainly vegetables and dairy as removing dairy is very easy, especially with your failsafe detailed just a bit further on.

Now here comes subsection B to this, you need to learn to work with people.  In this case your wait staff, whether they be a young boy in the middle of Thailand, or the middle aged gentleman in the top story of an exclusive Singapore Hotel.  You must be personable, and this I believe is where most of the trouble comes in for people who complain of not being able to eat vegan when they travel.  We are simply, I speak now as one raised in the USA, not used to being kind and understanding of cultural differences, much less actually working through them with patience in order to get what we want, i.e. F O O D.  That we are hungry merely exacerbates said situation and the result can be catastrophic, well, I digress, the result can be missing a meal, which, if you are unable to work with someone to feed yourself, perhaps missing a meal will bring you back down to earth a bit, considering half the world does this an a daily basis.  Hmmm=]

VeganPassportOne method which is rather failsafe is the Vegan Passport available from the Vegan Society.  This book covers roughly 95% of the earths languages and says the same thing in all of them, please feed me, I am about to die and I do not eat anything that comes from animals.  Im kidding….=]  Its a wonderful little book and can be used when all of your miming and charades are seemingly getting you no where at all.  It is written with the most eloquence available and is sure to NOT have you trussed up and plopped into a vat of boiling oil!  It even has the failsafe section – vegan failsafe

 

 

 

Now we’re getting somewhere!

I have traveled to many different countries, The from the Mid East, to Asia, Australia, Europe, never a problem, there are simply no problems eating if you are a nice person willing to take a bit of time, not be an obnoxious rude tourist and take things with a grain of salt.  As we said before, one of the reasons for this diet is to have a more peaceful planet, remember that when you order a meal.

If when ordering you see that your explanations are not working, that the people do not care for your thoughts on animal cruelty or your holistic meat and dairy free approach to the diner table, not time to make them “See the Light”, no, in fact it is time for you to pull out your ninja card…

“Oh, Im terribly sorry, you see, I am actually allergic to dairy and after my stomach surgery, for some strange reason I can no longer digest meat of any kind.  I will simply die right here on the spot in a most horrible fashion, so, whaddya say we try this again?”.  Be full of smiles and understanding, touch your stomach from time to time, make it real.  It isn’t your job to convert people to the Vegan lifestyle, it is your job to eat, enjoy what you are eating and have an enjoyable time wherever you find yourself.

If you are in a very poor place, be prepared to pay for a meal you did not eat if it came out not according to your liking.  Not because you have anything to fear from the locals, but because you are compassionate and you understand and can identify.  In all of this, identify with your fellow humans as much as you do the animals you are refraining from eating.

Sometimes a plate of beans may come out with cheese sprinkled on it, scrape off the cheese, thank them and ask for another spoon or two of beans and RE-emphasize the no cheese request.  You must be willing to go with the flow.  As soon as you start getting upset you are not being a good vegan.  Your goal, again, is to eat and show that world that we are not assholes.  That is how you convert people. Vegan

If you find yourself in Asia, mention Buddha, or the Buddha diet and bring your hands together in a prayer position when you say the name.  Buddha is a safe God to speak of even if you are in a country that worships another God.  This is a consideration which is why I bring it up, you start spouting off about Christ in the middle of some places it may not fare well.  Don’t forget the amount of people that have died because of certain religious names.  To date, the monks who worship Buddha have yet to strike out and seek to convert the world to their way of thinking.  This is important and you would do well to show respect!  Now when I say this to you, I am not making light, I am being serious, you are vegan as no animals are used in your food, this is benevolence, by invoking the Buddha in Asia, you must not be flippant, do you understand, take it to heart and mean what you say and everything works out great.

You will want to take a few things with you, these will be superfoods and will fill in any gaps that may arise from an incomplete choice of fruits, vegetables, legumes [beans] and whatever else does not come from an animal.

1.  Nutritional Yeast.  Very light weight, extremely potent, covers your B’s intake which is supremely important [lack of B’s have resulted in misdiagnosis of Alzheimers, depression, a slew of unneeded complications], zinc and some other vitamins and minerals.  Very inexpensive and extremely powerful.

2.  Spirulina.  This is an algae in comes in Pill and powder form.  Basically a natural multi-vitamin.  I recommend the one from Hawaii, partially because I actually saw the place and met the people and it comes pre-packaged with Aloha and that is always a great thing!

3.  Cordyceps Mushrooms.  I have only ever found it in, obviously its natural form, and that of capsules.  Cordyceps are a powerful immune and overall enhancer for the body.  Very powerful!

4.  Maca Powder or Peruvian Ginseng.  An androgenic compound that keeps you ninja, click on the title for full information.  This is a luxury, take it if you have the room, otherwise, I have listed them in order from most important to carry to the least.

Check back in a week or so and I will have this updated.

 

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Vegas is gone, welcome back to the real world…

During the week we were at Interbike nine people were murdered in my hometown (that I know about) and a friend of mine is missing… Welcome back home, right?

I have no idea how many times we were asked during this massive convention about our motivation for riding around the world on our bikes, having no home, spreading the word of an ideal for having peace in this world. Surrounded by hardcore cyclists from all over it actually sounds like the most obvious thing to do: leaving everything for living the dream of cruising around on a bike, can any cyclist out there think of anything better?

However, in that ambient of passion and adventure, it’s easy to focus only on the bright side, on the thrill, the challenge and the fun. While that is definitelly a major motivation and it IS incredibly fun and exciting, Pedaling for Peace is for me a desperate measure.

Better said, a measure not to become desperate.

When I joined this adventure I received all kind of comments from my friends and family. Many of them, actually, not very encouraging. They were scared and worried imaging little me riding across wild Mexico. I was scared and worried too. I am.
One friend told me that it is not possible to create peace by riding a bike, that if it was so easy the world would be different… Hmm…

Well, I know that. I never thought otherwise.
But I also know I can’t sit still and carry my everyday life while people are killing eachother on a regular basis for money and pride. Let this be my tool for rebeling from a society where disfunctional is normal. Let this be a peacefull mean for change, so while most likely we won’t get to experience peace in the world, maybe we get to find peace within ourselves.

I am not there yet. At all. I am angry. I am scared. I think about my missing friend and am filled with impotence. And the biggest challenge, the most important one is snapping out of it. I refuse to feed this masive state of fear that covers the world.

So we post our little recipes, we smile to people around us while riding, letting them think we’re silly, we plant a garden here and there and maybe at the end of the day, we can sleep knowing we did something. Because as far as I’m concerned small actions matter. And I believe the biggest change can be done with the small action of being happy and at peace.

I believe a smile is more powerful than a gun.

23. A Beginners Guide to Bicycle Touring – Things before you go…

I know, I know, you just want to get on with it already….  Almost there, this will make your ride better, I PROMISE!

Make sure your teeth are good to go before you head out, it is one of the few things that will easily cause everything to fall apart quickly.  Having a tooth problem.  The only reason I would not take care of a tooth problem prior is if I were headed to a country that was know for good dentists at a much cheaper rate.  Thailand, Mexico, India, all are well known for A+ dentistry at super low rates compared to The USA.

If there are any special medications, make sure you have them.

If you rely on glasses to see, take a spare pair, this is very lightweight and you may find yourself in a place that cant make you a set if your break!

Make sure you have funding and you have spoken with your bank in order to let them know where you are going and not to shut down your account if they see charges outside the norm, which is common these days…

If you own a home make sure it is ready to be un-inhabited.

Make sure someone knows where you are going, unless this is a serious mission and you are out the door never to return type thing…

Make sure to have fun, and if you’re not, let yourself know its O.K. to stop, to go home, to settle… Life is an adventure, this is a piece of that…

Aloha!

Bike ride to Ventura, Communion in Ojai, and one of the greatest companies in the world to work for….

Lets start with the bike ride for those rare folks who actually follow this to hear about my biking, much has happened in this arena.

The ride to Ventura was, in a word EPIC.  For starters, i must commend the Great Republic of California for it’s attention to detail with the Pacific Coast route.  How they managed to make a bicycle route so clearly marked that in all the miles I have been riding it – and lets be succinct, I started noticing it near Oceano, so from my talk with the wonderful children of Oceano Elementary to now, it has been a breeze, no maps needed!

Back to now, or 2 days ago.  The ride was epic, I of course made the NUMBER 1 mistake of seeing bright happy sun, this would be the morning of the day after I was given an opportunity to speak before the man and women of Fishbon artist collaborative, for some reason i re-call bowing a lot, why not, how often to do you get to be on the front page of a paper and speak to ninjas in the field of Art, so i bowed….

I got up, I was allowed to sleep at the collective on the 3rd floor, woke up, gathered my things from the Hostel where I met Rachel from Brittain, what a hoot she was, and off I went, such a fantastically beautiful day, bike path pretty much the entire way down the beach, huge bike lanes, me with no shirt never once realizing what was going on to the skin on my back…

I got to lend a hand to a guy with a flat and got to race a couple who was decked out in ninja racing gear, i got them on the flat, when the hill came my 120 lb load negated my superior ninja skill….

Upon arriving in Ventura, well, I hope everyone can have a string of good fortune like that, keeps a person smiling.  I got a place to stay from Shelley, beautiful lady who owns the Bike Depot, then went to Patagonia, the gentleman i was to meet, George was not in, never the less, i was given a meal at their cafe, and I mean a meal, then went to my couch host, Mark, I was wholly unprepared for this place, felt like I was walking into a tropical Asian styled meditation center, way to go dude, you rock!

We cooked a great vegan lasagna and the next day i went to meet with George at Patagonia again and not only got hooked up with sweet gear, BUT, got hooked up with Chris, sponsored by Patagonia and I’m sure others, AND rides for the Heart Association teaching kids to be healthy at schools AND (yeah, this dude is a ninja), he does something that I can not tell anyone about lest the magic be lost, AND, he hooked me up with Mike (?), a former racer and now paid PETA activist, very rare, they went through everything I had and helped me lose HALF OF MY STUFF!!!!!  My time moving forward will be a breeze, I weigh half as much=)

Ray, from Rays bikes, replaced my front rim with an Easton 50, I had an Aksium racing rim, which was rad, and due to it’s flat blade spokes made the sweetest sound heading downhill, like a ninja chopping corn in a field….. really?

So, the problem with this was the spokes, the flat spokes and the inticacy of design would make it very difficult to find replacements, so much so that not even Joselyns who honored me with it had replacements.  So now I have SUPER NINJA front rim….

I got the download from chris and Mike(?) and Chris’s girlfriend who is a doctor, I mean, I’m outside of myself with the love being sent my way… Thank you, from the top and bottom of my heart, thank you!!!

Eves dropping now, Reese Witherspoon just got married in Ojai and big ballers all around=)

Tonight I go to a magical property to get some high intensity ninja training and a vegan dinner/potluck….  So much happening..

So, I’ll be here for a couple days, went to church this morning and was given a wonderful time, Many thanks to the Ojai Valley Community Church, I wrote down two things – Acts 17. 25 and John 4.32  whats it mean to you….?

Right, now, I have been given the gift of a tune up, so, away I go=)

Aloha!

 

P.S.  One of the best sayings that I have heard in a good long while – from the movie Ong Bak 3, thanks to tony Jaa for being waaaaaaaaay beyond ninja, anyway the quote ” where there is shadow, light is nearby”.  lets remember that moving forward, it is easy to focus on the shadow never once acknowledging the light that makes it so.  Lets now start turning our daily conversation to the light.

Killer Amoebas From outer Space…

My gandpa used to say that all the time, got watch out for those killer amoebas…

Yeah, guess so.

Leaving San Fran was tough for me, i really love the city, like a big city made of little towns, people are friendly, people seem largely happy, except when they drive, cars somehow make people mad ultimately, I am still working on this, so we are in theory only.

I made it to the happy town of Half Moon bay with little to no trouble, nice ride, LOTSA hills.

I did some ninja camping on a cliff overlooking the ocean and had quite a night re-adjusting to my mummy sleeping bag/bivvy sac.  I tossed and turned so much I cant remember actually sleeping, and yet, i rode to Santa Cruz the next day, so i must have done something at some point=)

The ride from Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz was interesting at best, you know, i need to be more of a man anyway, it was interesting.  It is rare that I have had to pedal DOWNHILL, and yet there I was, of course, the extreme headwind was backed up by the ever popular, steady cold drizzle/blast or hard rain.

Absolutely nothing like it to get me screaming at God the sky, wind, rain, basically showing people how truly inept at being one with the planet I am.

I am staying with some of the raddest people here in Santa Cruz, it’s beautiful, things keep coming together more and more and more.  I’m not sure HOW this is going to come together, but for sure it is, apparently i am mean to…

 

O.K., I love Santa Cruz, also, i am learning what it is to be en-guarde.  these bike theives are so super smooth and fast, like waaay beyond ninja fast, So far my under saddle bag is gone and all my lights.  Strange in a way, one of the most chill laid back places, and yet the bike crime is ridiculous, not just me and my sob story, I was talking with the Bike co-op, the Bike Church Santa Cruz and they get broken into with a regularity to the point they have some hard core window dressing….

K, time to talk to the guys at Spokesman, i need a tube, it was stolen…..=)

Aha! Now I’ve got it! Celibacy is needed to round out the Ninja….

Celibacy, thats the key that I have been missing, at least, thats what I believe, and I am not coming at this from a positive or negative, I think it may be part of the underlying fabric of things that huge adventures to bring about some change, or exploring love with another, requires an equal amount of energy and, at least for this soul, it is a option “A” or “B”, not, however “A,B”.  I will have to do some research on this to be sure if I am knocking on the right door, it kind of came to me as I was thinking about my trip thus far…

See, I allowed my self the luxury of riding across the states without having to DO anything BUT, make it across to CA from PA. My reasoning behind this was to ensure that I would finish the ride, my only pressure was making it….  You know, I have never done this before.

Well, here I am.  Given what I want to do, now I have to go into the trip I was just on and the overall outcome based on what I was doing and then based on how that would play into things if I would have started my mission already…

Time to look at the tale of the tape starting with the first Celibate hero, that comes to mind…

Jim Jarmusch made a recent film which I dare not launch into conjecture about what the aim was, the very filming was so epic, that, no matter how many times I watch it I end up in the same mind space, the man, Mr. Jarmusch, is truly amazing, then you get into Deadman and  Down By Law, I never even saw Ghost Dog, was told it was rad…  well…… blah blah blah, amazing.

Limits of Control is the movie which defies my ability to explain, not defies, there is just no point, you, must see it.  Focus…..  The main character, or the pivotal role was played by, well, i refer to him as James Bond for the illumined, in one part fo the movie you learn that when it comes to him being confronted by a  knockout lying naked on his bed holding a gun on him, she asks if he wants to… you know….. he states, “never while I’m working”….

Line 6 of the Epic Poem/song, Impossible Dream, “…To love, pure and chaste, from afar,…”

Laundry list of persons real and imagined which could only do their good as long as they were sleeping single….

Batman, Red Sonja(could best nearly any moratl man as long as she did not lay with one), Jughead, Judge Dredd, Wallace from Sin City, Eddie Murphy in “The Golden Child” was told by the Buddhist Master he must stay celibate to complete the task, Sir Gawain, Sherlock Holmes, Tintin, Dumbledor (Harry Potter), Dr. Who (British, Tardis, time travel), Secret Agent – aka – Danger Man, LADY GAGA!!!!!(one of the very few “public” people I would go on a date with=), The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, Jesus, Master Chief in Halo (gotta love the backstories, his celibacy comes from too many operations from all his injuries, one of the side effects), Ghandi, Newton, Nikola Tesla, Joan of Arc, Lawrence of Arabia, Et Cetera.

So, for me to come to this idea, apparently, I am in good company.

I must say, this San Francisco experience is becoming more and more trippy, Thursday I roll….=)

Part of me thought I might find that special someone and would be able to settle down once I got my peace initiative well underway and rolling on its own steam, in the thinking I have been allowed to do, here, in San Fran, thinking about my entire trip, my whole life…

I’m beginning to think I dont want to find”the one”, or anyone, I dont think I ever did, I know that I did not want to be alone, and yet, I no longer feel alone and when I am alone it seems things go my way, as soon as I connect in with another, things go a decidedly different direction….

I don’t want to find the one, I just want to save the world so everyone else can….

 

I love San Francisco!

Another sweet mountain bike ride yesterday with total extremes of highs and lows, a, well, not sure if it is a low or a high, went over the bike handles at speed and supermanned into bushes that were full of poison Oak and Ivy.  I did not get a new skin condition if you’re wondering=)

Saw Sammy Haggar, thats always a high point in my book, afterall, wasnt he responsible for the song “Right Now”.

Met a lot of really cool people yesterday in the biking world, Thanks for introducing me to all these cool people Maurice.

Saw True Grit the other night in a movie theater where they serve real food and great beer, felt like I was in Europe for a minute, but then, it was baby night, so, plenty of auxiliary noise=)