1. Describe yourself in a few lines.
My name is Anna, I was born and raised in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. After graduating from university in 2010 I moved to New York City to attend graduate school. One day my boyfriend and I realized that we are sick and tired of our routine and decided to leave everything behind an go on a road. It’s been a year since then, and we’ve spent most of it traveling across the United States. Now we are exploring South America.
2. What are your travel resolution for 2014?
My biggest travel resolution was to visit a new continent this year, and although it’s only February, I’ve already done it. Other than that, I’m hoping to see Machu Picchu in 2014, it’s been on my list for quite a while now.
3. Why did you decide to go raw vegan?
I was never a healthy eater. Fast food was a big part of my daily life, and so was alcohol. I come from a country where meat is a staple food, and to be honest, I’ve never met a vegetarian there. About two and a half years ago I’ve realized that my lifestyle doesn’t make me feel good anymore, I was getting sick a lot and my energy level was really low.
That’s when my boyfriend told me about raw vegan diet. At first I thought it was the most crazy thing I’ve ever heard. Why would someone give up pasta, or wine, or pastries? But I did a research that week, and we decided to give it a try. It’s been more than two years now, and I can tell you, that this was the best decision I’ve ever made.
4. How do you organize your journeys?
We eat very simple when we travel. Usually we just buy fruit and vegetables at local markets, or if there are none we go to supermarkets. I also love local co-ops and, of course, Whole Foods stores in America.
5. Do you manage to try some local food or dish?
We are in South America right now, and I think we already tried about 25 new kinds of fruit. When we go to raw vegan restaurants, we try to try some local dishes as well. For example, when we got to Chicago we went to Karyn’s Raw right away, and tried their amazing raw deep dish pizza.
6. What’s the situation in the U.S.A. for vegans?
I think it’s extremely easy to be vegan in the U.S. There are tons of vegan restaurants (and even in non-vegan places you can always ask a chef to prepare you a vegan dish) and many stores that carry vegan products. It’s easier to find those in big cities like New York or Los Angeles, but smaller towns also usually have something to offer.
7. What was the most difficult situation for you to find some food?
We mostly eat fruit, and there are always many options available for us. But to be honest, there are parts of America where fruit is not that good and there is not a big variety, so even though I love mangoes and papayas, there were times when I had to stick to apples and oranges.
8. What do you think is the best place to eat and to live for a raw vegan?
I love fruit markets in South America! Everything is so fresh and delicious. Even the cheapest fruit here tastes 10 times better than the ripest organic ones in the U.S. As far as the restaurants, I have two favorite ones: Pure Food and Wine in New York and Karyn’s Raw in Chicago. I also love Glaser Organic Farms market in Miami.