An Open Letter to Family and Friends

Dear Family & Friends,

As we look back on the first year of the Vegan Food Quest (and the amazing year it’s been), we want you to know how important you have been to us and to say a big thank you for your support.

When we set off from home on 14th January 2014 we didn’t know what our new adventure would hold; we had a few loose plans, a list of places we wanted to eat at and a bag full of all of our possessions that we’d thought we would need (some of which we quickly sent back home of course).

One year on and we’ve explored Thailand, Malaysia, Java, Bali, Singapore, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and the Maldives and it’s fair to say we’ve eaten our way around all of these countries. We’ve met some fabulous people and seen a lot of things that have left us speechless, made us laugh and even driven us a little crazy at times.

Sunrise at Pansand on day 365

Sunrise at Pansand on day 365

We’ve made a whole new bunch of friends in person, on Facebook and on Twitter; never before have we been in touch with so many people that are interested in vegan food and travel. All of you are absolute stars!

We follow your blogs, posts and tweets with interest and love it when we hear from you. And then there’s the comments you’ve left for us on our website, they help us keep on with writing and it makes you part of the record we are keeping of this amazing journey we’re on so do keep on letting us know what you think.

Thank you to everyone for putting up with endless pictures of vegan food we keep sharing; we know some of you love them but we also know that some of you have probably never had your newsfeed filled with so much vegan food. We just never knew that we’d find such amazing things to eat and that being vegan while travelling would be so easy.

Plus, as you know, we LOVE food and a lot of our memories are attached to the things we eat so when you see a picture of a tasty curry, a vegan burger or some kind of raw vegan cake creation, know that you are sharing a memory with us.

We’ve done a lot of research about vegan luxury travel and have been spreading the vegan message far and wide to people that don’t usually cater to plant based travellers; we’ve visited some beautiful places and eaten food that has been seriously impressive.

We’ve met chefs from around the world that shared our common passion for good food, sustainable living and great local ingredients – its been an education (hopefully not just for us!).

But we’ve also spent a lot of time discovering how local vegans eat and finding vegan food options on the street (we still really love street food) or in small local restaurants. In fact in a whole year we have only found one of two places that we struggled to find vegan food; South East Asia really is a paradise for vegans!

We’ve even managed to meet up with some of you whilst on our Vegan Food Quest to find eat and write about the best vegan food in the world, which has been nothing short of awesome. We have loved hanging out with you in a different part of the planet and without fail when you have all set off on your journey back home, we’ve been so sad to see you go and wished you could stay.

We loved those moments of being together, the laughter and of course the supplies of sun tan lotion, marmite, chia seeds, good chocolate, Space Bars and peanut butter you have brought with you. Not to mention Saints shirts (it’s a football thing), stickers, clothes, trainers, glasses and taking back stuff we can’t carry around…plus donating things to help us on our travels (from medical supplies, hats, scooters, spa treatments and even a roof over our heads)… all of these things have made our lives better for sure and we are truly, truly grateful for your generosity.

The second year of our Vegan Food Quest will see us heading through Thailand and Laos to  Cambodia. We’ve already got a quick trip back to Malaysia booked in (to see the Formula 1 Grand Prix) and we’ll definitely be in Hong Kong at some stage too; who knows where else we’ll get to as the adventure continues!

So, as we begin another year of the Vegan Food Quest, we want to send you all vegan love and plant based happiness. Please do keep in touch and keep sharing your travel tips, vegan food suggestions and your thoughts with us.

Plus, let us know if you’re coming to South East Asia or if you’re already here and have something exciting to offer to vegan travellers, we’ll happily come and pay you a visit and help spread the vegan love.

Much love,

Caryl and Paul


More vegan food for thought…


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  1. liz carter January 16, 2015 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Such a lovely open letter. I’ve absolutely loved hearing about your travels and I’m really looking forward to hearing all about your 2015 adventures xx

    • Caryl January 17, 2015 at 5:11 pm - Reply

      Thanks Liz,
      We love that you love our little updates (ooh this is like a vegan love in!). We’ll be seeking out adventure and food (of course) just for your reading pleasure. One day we’ll make you join us to eat spicy hot curries in the tropical sun 🙂
      Caryl x

  2. Sam January 17, 2015 at 1:49 am - Reply

    Congratulations guys, and what a nice message! I’ve really enjoyed following your journey and seeing how easy you’ve found it to find vegan food in the short time that I’ve been aware of your blog. Looking forward to seeing how it goes going forward. Keep up the great work!

    • Caryl January 17, 2015 at 5:09 pm - Reply

      Hi Sam,
      Thanks so much (and thanks for following and the support you’ve been giving us – we’re really feeling the vegan love!) we’ll be following your trip around SE Asia closely, you’re heading to a lot of our favourite spots! It’s incredibly easy to find vegan food in this part of the world (of all different varieties) and we can’t wait to see your new discoveries!
      Let us know if you want any tips or info

  3. Andrew Holland January 17, 2015 at 9:27 am - Reply

    Paul and Caryl, it was great to be part if you amazing adventure. We hope to meet up with you in the not to distant future (Thailand perhaps) so that we can share in your lust for life and great sense of humour once again.

    PS I know some wicked scooter riding around Chiang mai…

    All the best
    Andy and shinta

    • Paul January 17, 2015 at 5:02 pm - Reply

      Hi Andy & Shinta,

      Our time with you in JOGJA was so much fun, you made us feel at home, showed us around, taught us how to ride scooters (including off-roading down the side of an active volcano:) and even joined us in opening a pop up vegan restaurant!

      We laughed, we cried (well Caryl did anyway), we drunk beer and put the world to rights – thanks for everything mush!

      Our paths WILL 100% cross again, would have been great to see you in Chiang Mai but we are leaving early Feb so will just miss you…

      Safe travels, all the best for 2015 and take care,
      Paul & Caryl

  4. Slam January 18, 2015 at 10:34 am - Reply

    So f’ing proud of you 2s and a little kindly envious! It takes a brave or stupid decision to get up and go and risk everything but that decision usually changes your life ’round and eats up the majority of fear we all carry around with us. I hope you can keep this up for many years and when my dog dies my lady and I will come and join you!

    Peace and love,

    Slam x 🙂

    • paul January 18, 2015 at 10:39 am - Reply

      Thanks Slam for your kind words!
      I think a little brave and a little stupid were the requirements for this trip…
      We’ve had an amazing year and miss our family & friends so much but the fun, adventure and new experiences certainly help!
      Would love to see you at some stage?
      Hope you are well?
      Paul x

  5. Mulkern Mush January 20, 2015 at 4:51 am - Reply


    • Paul January 20, 2015 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      Thanks John

      You know that this trip may never have happened if we had not spent time with you in Sri Lanka all those years ago on our first ever visit to Asia…


  6. Jean Perkins January 22, 2015 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul and Caryl,

    What a lovely letter, you have really had an amazing time, wish Mike and l had been a little younger when we met you, the travels would have been something that we would love to have done. It was great meeting up with you both in Ko Bulone and look forward to reading about your ongoing travels.

    Lots of love Jean and mike

    • Paul January 23, 2015 at 4:45 am - Reply

      HI Jean & Mike
      Thanks for your comment!
      It was great to spend a few days with you on ‘our’ paradise island, sad to leave as always but sure we’ll be back…
      Stay in touch and hopefully we can meet again next year on Bulone or maybe even Cambodia??
      Paul x

  7. Shannon January 27, 2015 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    This is lovely! It’s been great following your adventures and even better meeting you in person! And I’m always happy to bring space bars!

    • Paul January 28, 2015 at 9:56 am - Reply

      was lovely to meet you too!

      my mum arrives from England today with more Space Bars, they’re pretty addictive:)

      hopefully we’ll catch up again soon…


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