A Vegan Abroad
As a vegan, I thought England would be a great place to study abroad because I had done so much research on what kind of food would be available to me–I was definitely right!! There are so many health food stores and there is even a market every single day of the week until 4pm in the heart of Kingston that sells the freshest produce and specialty foods such as olives, oils, and all kinds of things. There are several vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Kingston and London, which is just a train ride away. I have actually been eating better here than ever before, and I feel great. The only struggle that I’ve had with this is travelling and being with people who don’t eat the same things as I do–it’s sometimes hard to go out and not find anything to eat on a menu, but I’ve found ways to deal with this in order to not hold myself back from any experiences I could have had. Whenever I travel or even just go to class or London for the day, I pack myself fruit and granola bars in case it will be a while until I eat again. I also always make sure I have water. I highly recommend this for anyone, even if your food intake is not as limited as mine. While travelling to Prague with my friend Alexa, I encountered the most delicious raw vegan meal I have ever eaten in my life (pictured above)!! So to anyone who thinks it’s impossible to be a vegan student abroad, it has actually become much easier for me here.
My living situation here in Kingston is not quite what I expected, but I’ve gotten used to it. I live with my landlady, Frances, her cat, Poppy, and another student from New Paltz, Kathleen. Kathleen and I both have our own rooms, and we share a bathroom and kitchen with Frances. All bedding and towels were supplied, and we also have use of things such as the washer and dryer, paper towels and toilet paper, and cooking supplies. Although this is super convenient, we live a little far away from the actual town of Kingston. We live in the town right next to it, called Surbiton. I have learned to use this to my advantage by walking to class and town whenever I need to–it is about a 1.5-2 mile walk. I barely exercised before I came to Kingston but I found that it helps to relieve my stress and homesickness. I started doing yoga and walking everywhere, and this has helped me more than I ever would have thought. I didn’t realize coming into this experience that I would have so much time to be alone in between classes and traveling, and exercising and walking has helped me fill this time and also relieve my anxiety.
Here is my landlady’s van (which I find quite funny) and my street, and her cat who has become my good friend. We watch TV together all the time!: