Hi I’m Katie, and this is my blog. Let me make my long story short on why I began this blog in the first place; I was curious about life so I traveled, and I learned, and I became vegetarian! Becoming vegetarian in 2012, (and mostly vegan nowadays), was definitely not what I expected to gain from traveling, but it was just one of the many amazing benefits I received from exploring this big, beautiful world. In addition, I have learned so much more about life and true happiness, and I intend to share with you what I have found on this blog, including how I eat through recipes, and travel stories photos, and tips on places where I have been.
So that’s my short story, and here goes the long version: I stumbled upon the study of the German language while in University, thanks to some incredible professors. (Ja, ich spreche Deutsch!) I took my first trip to Europe with them in 2009, and fell madly, head over heels, in love with Berlin, and I said to myself “one day I will live in this city.” (P.S. Please Americans, do not wear your running sneakers in Europe, it is tacky, and you look stereotypical, I learned that on this trip and have never faltered from this valuable lesson).
After graduating from undergrad in 2010, I moved to Munich, Germany, and worked as Au Pair for a few months. After working with the family, I had some money saved, and nervously embarked on my first solo travel through Europe. This trip was so exhilarating, it made me want to see as much of the world as I can.
Returning to the states, I thought to myself, “fun is over, it’s time to be an ‘adult’ and begin your career.” I looked for jobs, and found zilch, nada, nothing. Tired of working as a server in a restaurant and looking for other options, an email appeared in my inbox. It said “Master’s of International Relations and Diplomacy: Berlin, Germany and Dubrovnik, Croatia.” And I said Berlin huh? But what/where is Dubrovnik, so I googled it, and this is what I saw:
So I went, first to Berlin for about 5 months, and then to Croatia, a place I knew nothing about and a place where I did not speak a word of the local language. During my Master’s program, I had some crazy adventures in expat living, including living in a hostel for about a month, and navigating visa procedures in a post-communist country. I also made some of the most incredible friends, traveled through Europe, and gained on understanding on what is really important to me at this point in my life: traveling and learning from others. So how did travel teach me about vegetarianism? Well, after returning to the States in 2012, one of the first things I noticed was that meat and dairy in the states did not taste the same as it did in Europe. Besides that, I met many vegans and vegetarians while overseas, and was mildly curious about their lifestyle. I also noticed all these people were skinny. As a person who was at least 30 pounds overweight for most of their teenage and adult life, this observation struck a chord with me.
So I decided to try going meat and cheese free for a few weeks, mostly as a sort of “cleansing diet.” After two weeks, I started losing weight, and I felt great. So I said why stop? At the same time, I started learning more about the food industry in the United States.
- I learned about GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), and how the United States relies heavily on GM corn and soy as feed for our animals, and how these ingredients are snuck inside many processed foods.
- I learned about pesticides, and the importance of organic, sustainable farming for the future of our planet.
- I learned about the horrors of the meat production industry, and that our bodies do not need meat or animal protein to thrive in today’s day and age.
- By informing myself, I became dedicated to a vegetarian diet, and continue to eat as plant based as possible today.
Here are some resources I used to learn about vegetarianism, and the food industry in the United States:
And almost two years later, what was the outcome of this experiment?
- I lost 50 pounds!
- I saw an improvement in my lifelong allergies, and asthma.
- I cured many long term hormonal imbalances, namely my PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).
- I have more energy.
- I rarely get sick.
- I have reached a new level of mental clarity.
- And most importantly perhaps, I am happier and healthier than ever in my life!
So what are you waiting for? Give it a try. Here are my tips on adding more vegetables to your life. Here are some of my most “meat eater” friendly recipes, recipes that everyone loves.
Since I really love to travel, and did have some fears about traveling after drastically changing my diet, I want you to know that you can travel as a vegetarian or vegan. Here are my travel articles featuring veggie options abroad.
For more information on my travels: General travel tips and where I have been.