My dad was in the Air Force when I was growing up, which meant that we moved a lot. Each time we moved I had to give belongings away, and I’d usually have to give my beloved pets away too. This unconventional upbringing definitely left a mark on me, and as a result I barely like leaving the house. (Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, because I’m not exactly a hermit or a shut-in. In fact, while I’m writing this piece at home, by the time it’s published here on my blog I will actually be in Austin for Vida Vegan Con.)
Because of my nomadic childhood, the idea of giving away all of my worldly possessions, quitting my job, and spending 18 months on the road in an old van gives me nightmares, but that’s exactly what Kristin Lajeunesse did, and she chronicles her time on the road in her new book Will Travel For Vegan Food.
I greatly admire Kristin, and I’m in awe of her adventures. While it’s something I could never do myself, I can live (and eat) vicariously through her. The first time I met her in person, I was kind of surprised at shy and reserved she seemed. She didn’t come across as the type of person you would expect to travel the country in a van for almost two years. But then again, I think an extrovert would probably find spending so much time alone to be rather difficult.
Kristin’s vegan adventures across the country started in 2011 and ended with a big party benefiting Woodstock Animal Sanctuary in 2013. She wrote about the places she visited and the food she ate on her Will Travel for Vegan Food blog while she was still on the road. Will Travel for Vegan Food the book is not a rehashing of what she has already shared. Instead is a much more personal story of her own personal journey.
In Will Travel for Vegan Food, Kristin talks about the men in her life, and the issues she has with relationships. She tells stories of her childhood and her pony Spirit. She remembers her grandfather, who passed away during her journey on the road. (She went home when it was obvious he wasn’t going to make it.) Of course, she does talk about life on the road. Some of the stories scared me a little, like when she was awoken by the sound of someone pounding on the van’s door. Other stories made me laugh out loud, such as when she woke up one morning and very desperately needed a toilet.
Will Travel for Vegan Food is a story of self-discovery and finding freedom. It’s a fun book, and it will make you laugh, cry, and maybe even cringe. You’ll feel like you’re riding in the passenger seat next to Kristin, and you’ll quite possibly feel like going out to see a few sights and eat a delicious vegan meal after reading this book. (Even if you are an almost shut-in, like me!)