Veg Jaunts And Journeys: Hassle-free Compassionate Tourism For Vegans

Since the age of seventeen, Kim Giovacco knew she wanted to be a travel agent. Fascinated by cultural diversity spanning the globe, Kim pursued a degree in geography which helped her to land a job with a map company in New Jersey. From there she moved on to oher positions within the industry; the Korean tourist office in New York and eighteen years as an office manager in Boston for a government agency tasked to create jobs in Singapore. This final position allowed her to travel throughout Asia, make international contacts, and expand her hands-on experience in travel and tourism.  During this period, Giovacco also served in a volunteer position on the board of a co-op and discovered new ways of doing things that were contrary to the perspective of the corporations and conglomerates of which she had long been a part. She adopted a vegan lifestyle and gradually came to the realization her values were no longer aligned with the work she was doing. From this understanding came the idea of starting her own company. Thus, Veg Jaunts and Journeys was born.

 

 

Kim began small by arranging vegan honeymoons and anniversary celebrations. She charged an hourly rate, researched the itineraries, and the clients would book the trips themselves. She naturally progressed to booking the entire travel arrangments for her clients. She got some training and learned how to do it. Since May of 2016, Kim Giovacco is living the dream she has harbored since her teens.

 

Kim Giovacco

The idea of creating tours evolved out of twenty-five years of traveling alone or with close friends. Giovacco always arranged her own trips rather than booking tours. She did this for two reasons: First, she didn’t want to pay the single supplement, which is essentially a fine for traveling alone. Organized tours are usually based on double occupancy, and singles are penalized. The extra fee can be anywhere between $500 to $1,000, depending on the length of the tour and the quality of the lodging. For cruise ships, the single rate can be double the price.  Secondly, on a standard cruise, vegan options are limited. While non-vegans have choices across the entire menu, if you are plant-based, there may only be one or two options from which to choose. Why pay all that money for food and be limited to one or two items? Kim saw a vacuum that needed to be filled.

 

 

When Kim created Veg Jaunts and Journeys, she had the single, vegan client in mind. Of course, couples are also encouraged to participate, but there are no penalties for traveling alone, and the dining venue is always vegan or vegetarian. The rare vegetarian restaurant on the tour itinerary will always offer a wide range of vegan options. Kim scopes out plant-based restaurants around the globe, and as the world rapidly becomes more vegan-friendly, opportunities abound for the plant-based traveler. “In the tour I took to Berlin in August, we were there for eight days, and only ate at vegan restaurants. I think we didn’t even get to 25% of them, that’s how many there are there. And pretty much every mainstream restaurant we passed had a sign outside that read vegan options available.”

 

 

Vegan restaurants are evolving from the fast-food type of comfort food to healthier options, and Kim consults with her clients as to the types of food they prefer before booking restaurant venues. Her tours tend to be small and intimate, from six to twelve people. Another interesting aspect of her service is that she doesn’t necessarily travel to the typical touristy spots. Giavocco takes her clients to visit rooftop gardens, tea manufacturers, on walking tours, to visit markets and vegan festivals and on green tours related to eco-tourism, to name a few.

 

Brewery in Berlin

Lodging is usually arranged in residential areas where vegan restaurants are more likely to be located. The group takes subways and local transit for a ten to fifteen-minute ride into the cities. This gives the traveler a more authentic experience of the country they are visiting rather than exposing them to one tourist site after another. If one has an interest in these sites, there is an entire unscheduled day where the client can choose to split from the group and explore on his/her own. Kim helps them with maps and directions and they will usually meet up later at a designated restaurant or hotel. The small groups tend to stick together, however, and form bonds of friendship by the tour’s end.

 

 

Veg Jaunts and Journeys is not limited to overseas travel. Kim Giovacco is also busy putting together itineraries within the United States. Some of these tours are close to her and her partner’s new home in Asheville, North Carolina where she is becoming familiar a presence in the thriving Asheville vegan scene. She has recently been asked to join the board of the Asheville Vegan Society. Kim is collaborating with another company to offer vegan tours to animal sanctuaries, vegan restaurants, local breweries, and nature trails in and around Asheville.

 

 

Asheville is a hub for vegan markets, restaurants, festivals, and animal groups that draws people from neighboring states that have not yet awakened to the needs of their burgeoning plant-based population. These plans are still in the organizational phase, so be sure to subscribe to  Veg Jaunts and Journeys to be apprised of new tours as they are created.

 

 

Europe is way ahead of the United States in fully embracing the social imperatives of the vegan movement and where veganism has become more mainstream. In the United States, this movement is still in its infancy. Giovacco arranges many of her tours to catch some of the most interesting vegfests in the country with speakers that draw a large audience. She handles the schedule, the travel arrangements, restaurants, and lodging, so all you have to concentrate on is having a great time!

Whether you are thinking of traveling overseas to exotic locations like East Berlin, Bucharest, Vienna, or Prague or stateside to Nashville, New York, Boston or New Orleans, vegan travel has never been easier nor more accommodating. Never again will you have to pick at a salad while everyone else is enjoying the bounty of a full menu.

 

 

Traveling alone or with a group, Veg Jaunts and Journeys will help you create a hassle-free vacation that is designed with your needs in mind. Contact Kim Giovacco at Veg Jaunts and Journeys for more information.

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About!, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles, and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She is the author of, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health,” and is a co-founder of the plant-based cooking blog, Time For Change Kitchen. Contact Danielle directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

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Dan Kerry – On A Plant-Based Mission In The Big Apple!

 

 

by Danielle Bussone

 

Dan Kerry is on a mission to teach people how to liberate themselves from food-related disability and disease by eliminating animal protein from their plates and replacing it with whole foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. It has become clear over decades of scientific research that many diseases are life-style related and can be improved and even reversed by simple changes in one’s diet. Simple changes in the way you eat can literally save your life!

 

 

Dan is a recent graduate of Food For Life, a teaching program designed to promote a healthy plant-based lifestyle. Food For Life is the brainchild of Dr. Neal Barnard, President of Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine based in Washington, DC.  Accepting only a handful of applicants each year, the program is designed to teach people suffering with Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, Obesity and other food related diseases how to improve or even reverse health outcomes by simple changes in their diets.

 

 

Dan has jumped into this activity with both feet. He is currently teaching a 21-day quick-start weight loss classes in his community in Manhattan, NYC. Using the curriculum of Physician’s Committee For Responsible Medicine (PCRM) for the series which targets the lifestyle of western civilization, Dan seeks to demonstrate how these classes can enable students to take control of their health by making better food decisions. The classes are a combination of cooking classes of easy, tasty meals that compose a plant-based diet. It is accompanied by a video of the founder of PCRM, Dr. Neal Barnard, who explains the nutrition and science behind a plant-based lifestyle. Each class is designed to focus on a particular food and each series is designed to focus on a particular issue whether it be diabetes, cancer, weight-loss, etc. Each class is designed to show how clients can make the most of that information.

 

 

For the last five years, Dan has worked as a life coach, helping people to live happier and healthier lives. Something felt missing to him and he began to look into expanding his practice. Serendipitously, his younger brother introduced him to the film, Earthlings, which is more about the ethical side of a plant-based diet. The film had a profound effect on Dan. “It changed my heart,” he said simply. “It changed my heart.” He could no longer participate in the cruelty connected with consuming animals. He didn’t know how to go about it, but he knew it was something he had to do. Then Dan discovered that he just felt better and he wanted to continue to feel better. This led him to look at the nutritional aspects of being a vegan. He took Cornell’s e-program on plant-based nutrition, started following Michael Greger’s NutritionFacts.org, and was eventually introduced to PCRM through an email communication with Dr. Greger.

 

Dan Kerry Receiving Food For Life Training Certificate

 

Dan became plant-based Feb 2, 2014. “It is always interesting to me that the change to a plant-based lifestyle is often so profound that people remember the exact date they made the switch,” Dan recalls. He discovered that he felt better, more energetic and the arthritis issues he had been dealing with completely disappeared. “It is all the things that one can expect when switching to a plant-based lifestyle.”

Dan is teaching classes out of his home in Manhattan, is partnering with a local yoga studio to teach classes. When I asked Dan about the responses he’s receiving from his students, his response was surprising. “It’s interesting. I thought the biggest challenge would be the purely plant-based approach, but what I actually found was that the students understood some of the issues with the animal products. They were really more shocked about the issue of cutting out or minimizing the oil in their diet. They had not looked at cooking from this perspective. They were actually shocked at how tasty the vegetables were that we produced without oil; it still had its flavor, it was still moist, and all these things.”

 

 

Dan is creating a plant-based eating guide for his students to assist them in choosing restaurants that will support their goals. “One of the things I got to think about in my own journey and in talking with New Yorkers, because it is very common to eat out in New York. People eat out about 30% of the time, it’s the lifestyle of the city. It’s good to have these recipes but most of the people eat out about 30-40% of the time. So how would that work if they want to have a social life with their friends. I started to look at the restaurants in my neighborhood and I started to reach out to them. I was surprised that in my neighborhood there were at least twenty restaurants that were able to provide two or thee main courses and then sides that were totally vegan. We reached out to these restaurants for information. Some of them responded, some didn’t, some are vegan so we know what they will provide. We just want to give people that extra boost for going plant-based and dealing with the social challenges of going plant-based can really get in the way of going all the way in this lifestyle. No one wants to be the troublesome person who asks the waiter too many questions or sends the food back when it has animal protein in it. So I wanted to cut out that barrier to their transition. We have already asked the questions of the chefs and the managers. I really wanted to make it easy for each person who attends our classes.”

 

 

Dan and his wife, Angie, are looking for their first child in March. They are excited to raise a vegan child, giving him or her a healthy foundation on which to build its life.

You can learn more about Dan Kerry’s plant-based Food For Life classes at his website: theplantstrongproject.com.

 

 

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She is author of, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health,” released January 1, 2015.   Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

 

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Visit our New Site – Time For Change Kitchen

 

 

 

by Danielle Bussone

I am happy to announce the launching of our new website Time For Change Kitchen.

 
time-for-change-kitchen3

 

This focus of this site is on learning to prepare whole plant-based cuisine. The amazing colors and flavors of these dishes will show you how adding healthy foods to your diet can be so delicious and hearty you won’t give artery clogging meat and cheese another thought. So, join me at my new site Time For Change Kitchen and let’s start cooking!

 

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Chef Leslie Haas Talks about the Upcoming Plant Based Cooking Summit

 

Certified PCRM Food For Life Cooking Instructor & eCornell graduate in Plant-Based Nutrition, Leslie Hass, talks about the upcoming Plant Based Cooking Summit to be held in Lake Lure, North Carolina this October. As a cofounder of The Eat Smart Live Longer Club, her community’s interest in a plant-based lifestyle  grew from 60 to 600 participants.

 

 

Leslie says that people understand the value of a plant based lifestyle and the the interest is there. What she feels is needed is hands on experience in plant-based cooking and that’s what people will be getting at the Plant Based Cooking Summit.

 

 

In this last segment Leslie explains what she likes about plant based cooking and what you will be able to learn from her.

 

 

Register Now

 

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Omowale Adewale’s Upcoming Book Signing at VSpot in the East Village

    
Vegan Super-Middleweight Boxing Champion, Omowale Adewale, will discuss his new book, An Introduction to Veganism & Agricultural Globalism. Come and enjoy great food at VSpot Organic in the East Village and be a part of the conversation. Omowale will be available to answer questions and to sign your copy!

 

Register For Free

For more information Go to
Omowale.org
Twitter Page
Facebook Page

 

  
by Danielle Bussone
    

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She is author of, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health,” released January 1, 2015.

Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

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Chantal Poulin-Durocher — Changing Hearts And Minds Through Art

by Danielle Bussone

 

Chantal With Raccoon

 

Canadian artist, Chantal Poulin, is on a mission. Driven by her passionate love for animals, Chantal creates huge, in-your-face paintings she hopes will not only fill the room with her evocative images but will fill your heart with empathy for the vulnerable animals she depicts.

 

Chantal Boy with Chicken Drawing

 

My paintings are large because I want to give them the space they deserve. If I paint small it is just another animal painting. But when confronted with my paintings, they are so big you don’t have any choice but to look in their faces and feel something. When people come to my studio, they look at my paintings and at first they say, “Oh, it’s beautiful!” but when then they notice there is a tag in the cow’s ear or that the pig is in a truck going to the slaughterhouse, or they see the title “Please Don’t Kill My Friend,” then they begin to become uncomfortable. (more…)

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