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Episode 0 | Welcome to the World Vegan Travel Podcast| Brighde Reed

Welcome to the trailer of the World Vegan Travel Podcast and I am Brighde, the host! This little episode is going to tell you about this podcast and what you can expect when you subscribe and listen to this podcast!So, why am I starting a podcast? Well a few reasons! We want to dispel the myth that travelling as a vegan is impossible. We think by sharing this information you will be inspired to get out in to this beautiful world and explore it. That travel can bring us a lot of joy whether you come on one of our trips, or just take a hike somewhere new.

We also want to share with you the experiences of people like you, vegans who are travelling the world. It might be people who have not travelled so much and it might even be travel pros, bloggers and the like. People who have valuable information to impart to our listener.

We also want to highlight incredible vegan businesses within the travel industry. It might be walking tours in Paris (check out episode 1) or it might be a vegan hotel in Italy or vegan meditation retreats in Thailand (make sure you check out episode 2 to find out more..

Also on top of that, we want to highlight the work being done to protect animals in the world. We know you are vegan because you care about animals and we want to shine a light on these incredible places so you can support them in some way, perhaps in person by volunteering or visiting when you are there or perhaps it will just make you feel good to know that these people are doing such incredible things.

Transcription

Welcome to the trailer of the World Vegan Travel Podcast and I am Brighde, the host! This little episode is going to tell you about this podcast and what you can expect when you subscribe and listen to this podcast!

So, why am I starting a podcast? Well a few reasons! We want to dispel the myth that travelling as a vegan is impossible. We think by sharing this information you will be inspired to get out in to this beautiful world and explore it. That travel can bring us a lot of joy whether you come on one of our trips, or just take a hike somewhere new.

We also want to share with you the experiences of people like you, vegans who are travelling the world. It might be people who have not travelled so much and it might even be travel pros, bloggers and the like. People who have valuable information to impart to our listener.

We also want to highlight incredible vegan businesses within the travel industry. It might be walking tours in Paris (check out episode 1) or it might be a vegan hotel in Italy or vegan meditation retreats in Thailand (make sure you check out episode 2 to find out more..

Also on top of that, we want to highlight the work being done to protect animals in the world. We know you are vegan because you care about animals and we want to shine a light on these incredible places so you can support them in some way, perhaps in person by volunteering or visiting when you are there or perhaps it will just make you feel good to know that these people are doing such incredible things.

If this is something you think you might be interested in, then press pause now and subscribe to this podcast!

This feels like a good time to give you a bit of background about me.

So I really want to take this time to introduce myself a little bit and tell you my story and how we got to this crazy point where I have a travel company for vegan luxury group tours and that I am making a podcast and putting it out into the world!

So, my name is Brighde. I was born in the UK and migrated to Australia when I was 18 years old. I started university in a small country Australian town. As lovely as this town was I started to get cabin fever pretty quickly and I knew that when I graduated I wanted to see more of the world. One of my majors at university was French and after I graduated I then went on to get a teaching certificate to teach high school and teach French. I realised very quickly that I did not know enough French to teach French as I had not spent any time in France and my fluency was really poor.

I found out about a program that was offered by the French government that I was eligible to apply for. The position was for an English conversation teacher at a French school. I applied and was accepted and was soon off to Douai, a town in the north of France near the Belgian border for 9 months. I had a blast that year and explore as much of the country as I could in my long 4 day weekends and school holidays.

After that I travelled back to Australia when I got a job working in a boarding school in Sydney looking after the students when they were not in school. It was after about 18 months that a friend was looking through the newspaper and told me that she had found something that she thought I would be good at and that was being a tour leader for Intrepid, a well-respected adventure travel company. I was super surprised that she would think that I would be a good fit for that and she said that as I was the ‘ambassador of fun’ and the social secretary at the boarding school and had a good rapport with the students, she thought this would transfer to leading groups around the world.

I applied and got the job and then 6 weeks later I was heading to Melbourne for my training and then flying to Singapore to start my first training trip which was a Singapore to Thailand overland trip!

I finished one contract of 18 months in South East Asia and loved it! Taking people around and showing them the beautiful country was really fun and I loved the camaraderie between the other tour leaders, many of them I am still very good friends with today.

Then in 2003m SARS broke out. If you can remember, it started in Asia and as a result bookings with Intrepid went down and people were too scared to travel! Intrepid took steps to mitigate that risk and future risks  by opening up trips in other parts of the world. They were going to Europe and I was keen to jump on board and I was one of three tour leaders who did that first year of France tours!

The following year, Intrepid started trips in Africa so I put my hand up for Morocco! As a French speaker I was accepted along with two other people, one of those was Seb, my partner in business and in life! Seb was actually a noob tour leader and he was a trainee on my first trip. I was so annoyed at the thought of him. I had arrived in the country a few weeks before the first trip to realise that the trips needed a huge overhaul and that transport connections were not going to work and we had fully booked trips! Not only that, I had never stepped foot in the country before and then on top of all that, I had a trainee who seemed to be through his emails a bit of a joker.

Well, I realised that Seb was a bit of a joker and was really funny and we quickly fell in love! Now, I can safely say that it is very hard to actually spend time together when you are both tour leading especially in a country where there are only 3 tour leaders. If you have a week off then, the other person will  be with a group. We decided to give tourleading a break and we moved to Vietnam and in together!

This adjustment was not easy! New country, back to ‘normal’ life and moving in with someone and I didn’t really know what I was going to do. For a few years I was a little lost and then I decided to resurrect my teaching certificate and teach in international schools.For the next 10 years, I taught in international schools in the region in Hanoi, Jakarta and Bangkok and just as I left Vietnam I discovered veganism. It was through a podcast and I was pretty quick on the podcast train and I stumbled across Food For Thought by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. I was a vegetarian at the time and didn’t know a single vegan yet through her podcasts, some of them I listened to it  many many times, I slowly internalisted all the information and of course I became vegan! To say that I embraced the ideas is an understatement. I started cooking like crazy and loved everything about being vegan.

For the first few years I was still listening to Colleen’s work and we had become friends after we met up once in Berkeley and then on a trip that she hosted with another company in Italy! We became travel buddies and the four of us went to places like Rwanda, Botswana, Provence, Scotland and so much more.

While I was teaching, Seb had been working on his TV location services business where he does logistics for TV shows coming to this part of the world and he suggested to Colleen that why don’t we run a trip for Colleen’s followers to Thailand! Colleen agreed to try it out which to this day we are so thankful that she trusted us with her name and reputation.

The trip was a huge success and a lot of work to put together, especially all the food, as most hotels had not really looked at developing their vegan food options. Our travellers seems to have had not only a fantastic time, but the trip had been just what they needed. I’ll put some testimonials and video in the show notes of this trip so you can see what I mean.

Because Thailand worked out, Colleen was keen as we were to try more so six months later we did a trip to Vietnam again it went really well and we started wondering if this could be something we could work on full time! It took a bit to convince Seb for me to give up my amazing teaching job but he agreed!

Since that Vietnam trip we have run a trip to Christmas Paris and Alsace with Colleen, two back to back trips to Rwanda, a Paris and Alsace trip with our someone who is not Colleen but the fabulous JL Fields and we have a lot of trips coming up! These trips are the core of what we do and we love spoiling vegans rotten because we know that sometimes vegans get a bit of a rough ride and deserve a lot of TLC but even if you don’t come on one of our trips, we hope that you get a little bit of travel inspo!

We really hope that you join us for this podcast and subscribe and give us lots of feedback and help us make this podcast as good as it can be. We don’t know where this little podcast project will take us, but we are excited about it. For now we are going to be releasing episodes weekly for a total of 10 weeks and then we will start season 2 when we have enough episodes!

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