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'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.