Thursday, March 4, 2010

Vegan Time Travel...A Flight to Australia

Fly from New York City to Australia and you lose a day.  It disappears.  Twenty or so hours on one flight, and as soon as you cross the international date line...poof!  You've lost Thursday.  You can literally leave Los Angeles on a Wednesday and arrive 22 hours later on Friday.  
 Auckland, New Zealand as seen from a seat on Qantas
The experience of essentially sitting down for that long is pretty much an adventure in itself.  Individual TV screens complete with hundreds of free on demand movies, TV shows, and games help pass the time.  An inflatable neck pillow, eye mask, ear plugs, and a blanket helped with sleep.  Though I flew prepared as usual with a stash of Primal Strips and Luna Bars, the vegan meals on Qantas were actually way better than I thought they would be.  Don't get me wrong, it is airplane food, but I found it quite edible.  The event of clearing your space, ordering a drink, getting the tray delivered, eating, finishing up, and waiting for everything to be collected really broke up the monotony. 
Here's a whole wheat roll, canola margarine, a salad with a side of vinaigrette dressing, roasted potatoes, veggies, and roasted tomatoes and tofu.  
After the epic flight from Los Angeles to Auckland, we had a long layover.  We were pleasantly surprised to find the lone cafe at the Auckland airport offering soy milk.  We had a shockingly delicious soy latte that hinted at the awesomeness of vegan lattes to come.  When we finally arrived in Melbourne, I felt like I walked bleary eyed into a parallel universe.  Yes, I was crazy jet lagged, but I oddly felt instantly at home there.  It all seemed very familiar yet totally new at the same time.
  I think this might have been breakfast...it's kind of a blur when you're on a plane for so long.  Honeydew melon and cantaloupe, beans, greens, and mushrooms, another whole wheat roll with canola margarine, and some orange juice. 

It took me a few days to acclimate to the time difference, and it took me months to mentally organize and process all of my experiences from this trip.  I spent about thirty days traveling through the east coast of Australia.  To say it was awesome would be a laughable, massive understatement.  I swam with a shark, held a koala, almost got tackled by a flying fox, and shared some trails with a cassowary family.  I gazed at glow worms in a pitch black cave and watched christmas tree worms catch some plankton.  I ate ridiculously well and met people that I felt like I knew my whole life.  I'm going to attempt to write about it here, but bear with me.  It was a month's experience that I will vividly remember for a lifetime.

13 comments:

Maria G: said...

Wonderful post about Australia! It may be my next trip (or India). Thanks for the info about being able to hold a koala. How cute! Its good to know Qantas meals are satisfactory for vegans.

lauren lanza osias said...

can't wait to hear more about your trip!!! i am shocked how tasty that food looks!!!! i mean that looks edible!

http://laurenlanzaosias.blogspot.com
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Tom said...

Air France has excellent vegan meal options as well! Sounds like an amazing trip.

Bianca said...

Wow! That looks like awesome airplane food. I've never flown anywhere far away enough to get a meal on the plane. But I'd be happy with both of those.

The Traveling Vegetarian said...

Wow, I landed in Australia one year ago two days ago. I was pretty impressed with Qantas' food too! I mean, not gourmet, but pretty decent! I spent a month there as well. Loved it.

bittersweetblog said...

Wow, that looks like the equivalent of gourmet meal for a vegan airplane option! Seriously impressive compared to the disturbingly inedible slop I've been served...

Vegan Valerie said...

You're a vegan snorkeler? How cool! When I was twelve I got PADI SCUBA certified and went on a few dives and snorkel vacations with my family. But now it's been about ten years since I've been out in the ocean. Here in Salt Lake City, there aren't a lot of local places for great snorkeling. :) And I'd probably need to re-certify and everything, if I do travel to the coast. But my young memories are great--I'll always have those!

Your blog is so alluring! I love to meet other vegans--see what they eat and how they live--and the internet is so helpful for that! Aren't blogs wonderful?!

Talk to you again soon! Come visit me anytime! :D

Theresa said...

Oh yayayay, I can't wait to hear about your trip!

Steven said...

I don't remember having such good meal during my flight to Australia. You must have been in the business class have yah? Well, one thing I don't like about airline food at the economy class is that most of the time, there are only two choices. ATTENDANT:”What would it be sir?... chicken or fish?

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The Vegan Snorkeler said...

Thanks for your comments everyone!

Steven, I actually flew in coach. I've never been able to afford anything fancier! My biggest piece of advice for anyone, regardless of business, first, economy, is to call the airline before you fly and specifically request a vegan meal. I requested a vegan meal online when I bought my tickets, I confirmed a week before on the phone, and I think I might have even called again because I was a bit paranoid.

Bimbus said...

Eco tourism has been increasing by 10-15% annually, reflecting the interest by consumers to help save our planet. One good way to do this is to stay at organic farms, where the food you eat is grown. You can stay out in nature and enjoy the fresh air. Additionally, people in rural areas tend to be more genuine, honest and giving than city folk. Not only will you enjoy clean air, living and healthy food, but you can experience the real culture of the country you are visiting. If you come to Bulgaria we would love to host you.

Eco Travel as a Tourist to Organic Farm in Bulgaria – Healthy Holiday Tourism for Vegans, Vegetarians and Green Minded Travelers and Tourists

Alex said...

There are several things to consider before you decide to travel in Australia. If you have enough budget, then you can hire a travel agent to help you with your itineraries there. Enjoy your trip!

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