Even though we returned from our yearlong round-the-world trip just over two years ago, it seems like we’ve been back for a long time.
That’s not a bad thing.
The memories and everything we’ve discovered and learned are well alive. In fact, one of our experiences has led us to a new venture, one that features in our preparations and plans for a life of travel.
Traveling with salad
Though I cannot recall hankering for salad—I am, after all, from Slovakia—I do remember that, thanks to Lindsay, who is from California, we ate salad wherever and whenever we could. Salad was an ideal way to supplement our carb-heavy, budget traveler diet.
We tried salad in every country.
Thailand was salad paradise. Take the three we ate at Thai Herb restaurant in Khao Sok:
The salads were the highlights at Thai Herb. This time we tried the fried basil and chicken salad. The basil was actually fried crispy, not stir fried, with a delicate texture, crunchy but very light with thin strips of chicken breast and tart chili and fish sauce.
And we had to try the green mango salad, the fruit oddly crunchy but bursting with mango flavor, dressed with puckering tamarind and fish sauce and crushed peanuts, which added the perfect amount of texture and nuttiness.
But the fern salad. Oh, God, the fern salad. Lightly steamed fern shoots in a thick creamy coconut, garlic and chili sauce and topped with crispy fried onions. If I weren’t in public I would have licked the plate.
One of the reasons we enjoyed staying in apartments was having a kitchen. As Lindsay wrote:
Cooking is the only thing I love more than eating at restaurants, and I especially love cooking abroad. In Budapest, I made a paprikás with local paprika; in Belgrade we made a chopped salad with fresh produce and kajmak, a tangy Serbian cheese. In addition to preventing restaurant burn-out, the ability to cook and make your own meals saves money on food costs.
In hostel kitchens, we made dressing with strange vinegar from dusty bottles from the free shelves.
And we ate a great number of salads in restaurants as well. Memorable enough to mention:
- gado gado, an Indonesian salad in the Netherlands
- piyaz, a white bean salad in Turkey
- side salads in Argentinian parillas and breweries
Though we indulged in local fare wherever we went (that, after all, is the point of traveling), as long as we could have salad, all of the bureks, empanadas, and steaks balanced out.
Salad back home
Upon returning to the United States, we realized salad was our calling. It didn’t happen overnight.
The first spring back in Portland, Oregon, we were driving to Astoria for a weekend trip discussing, as we like to do, ideas for million-dollar businesses. We reflected how the new ideas we have connect to our travels and concluded that, whatever we do has to center around salad.
What could we do that would involve salad and make us money?
Then John Oliver, in one of his signature rants on his show, Last Week Tonight, demolished the chicken lobby, and the idea was born.
Welcome to The Salad Lobby
There’s a dairy lobby. There’s an egg lobby. There’s definitely a beef lobby. Until now, there has never been a salad lobby. It was time.
Thus The Salad Lobby was born.
We tossed the idea around for months, launching it in fits and starts, until we realized it’s not going away. We incorporated as a limited liability company in June 2016, built (and rebuilt) a website, created the first batch of recipes, and launched our first campaign, an election for Veggie in Chief.
The Salad Lobby is a place to celebrate salad, to help you make and eat more salad, wherever you are, and to advocate for salad’s place at the table.
- We provide tools and resources like articles and recipes for you to live a more salad-centric existence.
- We offer advice and tips to help you make salad the priority in your life.
- We sell salad-related gear so you can, once and for all, share with the world (aka Instagram) that you, too, are a certifiable salad nerd.
And there’s more to come!
So many varieties!! That’s cool, I love celebrating food as a memory of travel or family and friends!
World travel certainly taught me to appreciate food as a cultural experience.
I just found their blog last week, so I’m excited you shared this. I love what they’re up to and as a fellow traveler, love the goal of seeking out salads around the world!
Glad you found us, Erin. Itself inspired by travel, The Salad Lobby actually inspired us to modify the focus of the travel blog Where Is Your Toothbrush? as well: “Travel the world and eat your salad, too!”
awesome! i love that salad can be so much more than lettuce and hidden valley ranch, AMIRIGHT?
Lindsay, I so feel you! Much of my travel has been in countries where it’s not safe to eat uncooked vegetables, so I usually return ravenous for salad. My first meal back from a summer in Ghana was this mediocre salad in London, but to me it was pure heaven.
Yes! When I can’t eat salad for an extended period of time, even a so-so one hits the spot. Like my body is craving the nutrients! I try to eat fruits and veggies I can peel while in countries with questionable tap water.
I love how travel inspires so much creativity and entrepreneurship around the world. And I especially love it when it involves delicious food!
Food is definitely our favorite part of travel, so this all just makes perfect sense for us! Thanks for stopping by!
One traveler we know loved Vietnam so much she started a business conducting tours of the best places to have pho. I think she had a waiting list at some point!
Oh man, green mango salad is one of my favorite things in life! Thanks for introducing me to the Salad Lobby site. It looks like a site I will be visiting often!
Welcome, Renee! We’re glad you found us! And yes on green mango salad. The best!
Thanks, Renee, and welcome! Be sure to Like our Facebook page, sign up for our mailing list, and follow us on Instagram. Go forth, eat salad!