Thanks for stopping by!
My name is Kristin and I L-O-V-E loveeee food. There are few things that I enjoy more than discovering new (to me) vegan restaurants. It’s true. I’m the embarrassing friend who giggles over having more than one vegan choice on a menu; can’t sit still over the thought of vegan cinnamon rolls and soft serve ice cream; and takes multiple pictures of food. Yes, pictures in the restaurant. No shame here! ;)
Next to fooding-it-up I love to travel. What I look forward to the most is learning about different cultures and lifestyles.
I grew up in a very small town in upstate NY and my move to “the big city” of Boston (in 2007) was one of the first times I’d been excited about being outside of my comfort zone. I got over that and quickly decided that I’m ready for a new, longer-term adventure.
I’m serious about this travel thing. In fact, in 2011 I completely adjusted my lifestyle in an effort to work exclusively online, so that I can work from virtually anywhere. Since then it’s been one heck of a wild ride. Here are some of the highlights of the past six years:
Twenty seventeen has been all about re-focusing my efforts in my financial situation. I’ve spent the greater part of five years playing around with various passive income streams and/or passion projects which have, in all honesty, led to an inconsistent and often times nail-biting income situation. Therefore at the start of this year, I decided to buckle down on my income efforts as I still have over $100k in debts (mostly student loans) to work off. As of September, I have three freelance jobs that are taking up 90% of my time each week and have left little time to focus on WTFVF. However, that hasn’t stopped me from squeezing in one big trek this year, I’m headed to Portugal, Spain, and France for my birthday month of October! But here’s the breakdown thus far:
> Returned to the states in February (spent 2 weeks in Vegas and then spoke at the Phoenix VegFest).
> Lived in Brattleboro, VT for 6 weeks (trading housing for marketing assistance with the owner of the local veg eatery).
> Lived in Brooklyn for 8 weeks (dog, cat, and housesitting).
> Landed two new paying gigs (a coaching client + a social media marketing manager position).
> Heading to Lisbon, Barcelona, and Paris for October.
> Published my second book: How to Launch & Promote Your First Book on a $0 Budget
> Finished housesitting gig in Aztec, New Mexico.
> Landed second place in the VeganTravel.com around-the-world contest (this company supplemented 3 months of my income in exchange for blog and video content for their site and YouTube channel, as the prize).
> As such I ended up spending a total of 8 months abroad visiting the following countries: Turkey, Greece, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Netherlands, UK, Ireland, UAE, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.
> Spent the first few months of the year in Chicago prepping for the launch of my memoir while ballroom dancing my heart away in the cities Arthur Murray studio.
> Embarked on a 23 city book tour, speaking at various conferences and VegFests throughout the US as well as my own hosted book signings.
> Completed 100 days of daily vlogging!
> Spent that fall and closing winter at a house/cat sit in Aztec, New Mexico.
> While still in Chicago I launched my first online business training course + participated in 30 consecutive days of posting marketing training videos publicly to YouTube.
> Began to buckle down on writing my memoir.
> Sold Vegan Weddings HQ (my first real business!).
> Moved to Fargo, North Dakota for 6 weeks (state number 49 on my list!).
> Spent a few weeks in Seattle and a week road tripping through Alaska over the 4th of July.
> Moved to the Big Island of Hawaii (Pahoa) to double down on book writing / FINISHED the book in October (!!!)
> Spent November on Maui and re-launched an updated version of my online business course.
> In December filmed my book trailer in California and then flew to NY to visit with the fam for the holidays/new year.
> Completed 48 states worth of dining and then drove back across the country in March.
> Sold Gerty (the van) and moved to NYC for 3 months in an effort to finish eating my way through that city (and Brooklyn).
> Began working on the memoir for Vegan Publishers.
> In August I declared the trip officially over and held an end-of-trip party that also served as a fundraiser for Woodstock Farm Sanctuary.
> In September I moved to Chicago to take up a part-time contractual gig with a vegan food production company, working with them on their marketing and social media.
> Was offered a job with Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM).
> By February I’d decided to continue on the journey by myself; returned “Nate” to Boston and then continued to trek on.
> Made my way through most of the rest of the country by the end of this year, with just Oregon and Washington states left, and a handful of eateries back in NYC to visit before I could officially say I’d eaten my way through every single vegan restaurant in the country.
> Quit my 9-5 desk job in Boston, got rid of most of my belongings, and ended a 3-year long relationship in an effort to prepare for this life-changing journey.
> Launched a successful Kickstarter.com campaign to raise money for the road trip.
> By October we were officially on the road for the Will Travel for Vegan Food USA road trip!
> Made it through about a half-dozen states throughout the northeast and midwest by end of year.
When I first started the Will Travel For Vegan Food project (fall 2011) I was definitely anxious, nervous, and excited in ways that made me a leeTEL-bit scared, but in the awesome, oh no she didn’t, and you go girl, kind of ways. This was an indication that let me know that if I didn’t push through and give it a go, I’ll regret not taking this journey.
The tour officially started on my 5 year vegan-versary—August 27th 2011 (but I didn’t get on the road until the end of October 2011).
The plan: eat at and write about every single all-vegan restaurants in the United States by October 28th, 2012—my 30th birthday! :) As the ever inspiring Chris Guillebau once said, “I may succeed, I may fail—but I’ve committed to documenting the entire process for you, win or lose.”
GREATNESS: If you want it badly enough, and are willing to make some changes in your life to cause it to happen, you too can take over the world.. or do anything else you really want to do. The only things you’ll need to give up are assumptions, expectations, and the comfort zone that holds you back from greatness. —Chris Guillebau
More Than Food & Travel
This journey has been so much more than food and travel. While these two elements are the outlying forces surrounding my desire to bound across the country, what I really want to accomplish is a lifestyle of self-discovery and nonconformity.
Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to. —Alan Keightley
I was more than ready to shift to an unconventional lifestyle; one that enables me to live and work from anywhere in the world, take risks for the sake risk-taking, follow my whims, chase and accomplish my dreams, and ultimately live a life worth living.
I can’t begin to tell you how many hours I’ve spent reading about travel, working exclusively online, and minimalism. Once I happened upon these resources that’s when I knew I hit my personal jackpot. And I’m not talking about money but personal, deep down, true satisfaction simply by finding something that clicked.
I’ve discovered an entirely new group of amazing people who have set out on their own journeys. They’ve inspired me and I hope that my website and adventures will inspire you to live a life that fits your personal jackpot.
It’s not about seeing what’s out there and how to fit in, but how to create a life that fits you. —Kelly Holt
My Vegan Story
I was 16 years old when my parents told me that they wanted to become vegetarian as a family.
My brother, Josh is five years older than me and he introduced the idea of vegetarianism to my parents. When they found out that he had already become vegetarian they were immediately worried about his health, as they thought—at that time—that eating meat was necessary for optimal nutrition. But instead of telling him why he was wrong or shunning him entirely, they did what awesome parents do: they researched the heck out of vegetarianism. I think they were looking for a way to prove to him why this diet was bad, but instead they came to the undeniable conclusion that not eating meat is a much better way to live.
So, there we were in 1999 transitioning to vegetarianism as a family. I wasn’t particularly thrilled, but decided to give it a go.
I went off to college and my parents kept up their research, joined a local vegetarian group and continued to learn about the influence that diet has on health, the environment, and animals.
Every time I came home for a break or holiday there was something new and “healthy” in the refrigerator—or worse, something missing. I still remember coming home one summer to no more milk or cheese. It was gone and I was devastated: not the ice cream!
By the time I finished college my parents were full-on vegan and I was still chowing down my beloved dairy ice cream and cheese pizzas. Aside from the fact that I had maintained a vegetarian diet, was eating vegan meals when visiting home, and gifted vegan-labeled sweatshirts, stickers, and buttons whenever my parents were given the opportunity, I couldn’t fathom giving up dairy. And then, in the summer of 2006, at a veg event in upstate NY, the sea parted and in walked Registered Dietitian, George Eisman. Despite the fact that my parents had at one time or another gently provided the same information that Mr. Eisman presented on this day, once I decided to listen and truly understand how very bad dairy was for my body and for animals, I was done with it. That very night I ate my last cheese pizza and never looked back.
It took me a good year as a relatively unhealthy vegan to start doing even more research—like learning how to prepare meals instead of buying ready-made ones. But some new reading material (hello VegNews Magazine) and a change in my environment (hey there, Boston) soon helped me learn how to live a healthy vegan lifestyle.
In the fall of 2007 I moved to Boston for graduate school. I joined the Boston Vegan Association and started working part-time for the New England Anti-Vivisection Society. The friends that I made in these two organizations led me to so much support, inspiration, and so many new resources that being vegan became a cinch. I love telling people who ask about my diet how much more I enjoy everything about food now; from shopping to cooking, prepping, and purchasing a ridiculous number of vegan cook books. It feels like it has so much more meaning now and I take pride in the meals I prepare. I never felt this way as a meat eater…not even as a vegetarian for that matter.
Today my parents help run the Albany Vegan Network and host an annual Vegan Expo (now in it’s seventh year!) in upstate New York.
It all started with my brother, was followed by my parents’ amazing support, and then happily grew into an education, a group of friends, and a lifestyle that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Kristin Lajeunesse is the founder of and blogger for the award-winning website Will Travel for Vegan Food. In September 2011, the New York native began traveling throughout the US in an effort to eat at and write about every single all-vegan establishment she can find. Eighteen of those early consecutive travel months were spent living out of a renovated sports van affectionately named Gerty. Almost immediately after beginning her journey, Kristin discovered a deep passion for nomadic and unconventional living, and has since chosen to maintain a mobile lifestyle, indefinitely. As of July 2014, Kristin met her goal of visiting and eating in each of the 50 states. A self-employed business and lifestyle strategist, Kristin now works with small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to turn their passions into profitable careers. Kristin is also a founding member of the Vegan Weddings HQ website (formerly Rose Pedals Vegan Weddings) and the Unabridged Addiction podcast. She has a Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication from Emerson College. Follow her travels and business adventures on wtfveganfood.com and kristinlajeunesse.com.