VWOM: How did you get started as The Traveling Vegetarian, and would you share with VWOM readers a bit about the program?
TTV: I love so many of the travel and food shows on television, but I have long felt that there was a lack of programming for those of us eating plant-based diets. I was looking for work as a TV host and while I was at an audition we started discussing my idea for a travel/food show that showcased vegetarian food. Soon after that audition it occurred to me that I could do it myself and the rest came together easily!
VWOM: What are some highlights from your recent tour of Australia?
TTV: Well, the food was great, of course. I ate at some wonderful restaurants. But really, it was the people I met that made the trip. I made a lot of friends and met so many fellow travelers and that was definitely the best part.
VWOM: Is there still a place you haven't been that you'd like to see?
TTV: Oh, where do I start? Africa, Thailand, Costa Rica, Europe, Indonesia, New Zealand, etc., etc...
VWOM: Is there any country or place in the world that you would not want to visit?
TTV: I'm up for pretty much anything, but I don't have an overwhelming desire to go anywhere really cold. I love being warm.
VWOM: Is there any item that you always take with you while traveling, something you don't leave home without?
TTV: My cell phone and my camera are must-haves at all times.
VWOM: I recently learned that two popular travel program hosts, Anthony Bourdain & Rick Steves, highly recommended foie gras to their viewers while doing a show in France-- both even filmed foie gras production. We really need alternative viewing! Any plans to take your program to a television network?
TTV: My show was just formally passed on by The Food Network who said it was for a niche market. I have to disagree with them as most of my viewers are non-vegetarians who are just curious about the lifestyle or want to know how to eat more healthily, want to know where they can try something new, etc. There are plenty other networks out there though, and The Traveling Vegetarian will be on one of them soon.
VWOM: What is the single greatest piece of advice you'd give vegetarian travelers?
TTV: Do your research! There are so many ways to find out where you can find food to suit your needs if you spend a little bit of time planning ahead. Sites like HappyCow.net are great resources, as are fellow vegetarians. If you're using sites like Facebook and Twitter, get recommendations from people in your destination area. Also, if you're going somewhere that may not have a lot of restaurant options, seek out the places to buy healthy foods. Most cities and towns at least have one or two health food stores where you can get plenty to eat and most grocery stores now have entire sections dedicated to healthy foods. And of course, there is pretty much always a produce market, stand or section in a store where you can stock up on fresh fruits and veggies.\
VWOM: What are some of your future destinations?
TTV: I'm actually home for the month of May, which feels strange since I've been on the road almost constantly lately. I'm planning on attending Vegetarian Summerfest and AR 2009 later this summer, as well as Bonnaroo and Burning Man. As usual, I'll be blogging, vlogging and taking photos of all the great food I eat and posting it all to my website, http://thetravelingvegetarian.tv
VWOM: If you were a non-human animal, what animal would you be?
TTV: I think I'd like to be a dolphin. They are smart, compassionate, helpful, playful and have lots of fun!