I love books. I have been travelling through half of Southeast Asia carrying Karl Ove Knausgård’s My Struggle part 6 in my backpack (hard cover, 1,200 pages), because it was so good I didn’t want to give it up even after reading. I guess Marie Kondo wouldn’t be too proud of me.

So it is no surprise that the idea to the Vegan Burger Tour evolved by reading couple of kick-ass books that brought me inspiration and opened my eyes for things that are possible. Here they are!

Kristin Lajeunesse: Will Travel for Vegan Food

I was buying a cookbook online when a suggestion caught my eye. I decided to add this book to the basket because of the name. I don’t even remember what the other book was that I was buying but this one I remember for sure.

Kristin Lajeunesse quit her job, bought a van and decided to visit every vegan restaurant in the US. The book is about what happened during the journey and how it shaped her life. There are also a lot of stories of those glorious meals she had in 547 restaurants.

When I started this journey, I was simply heeding a call that I couldn’t ignore. A deep desire for something different. For change. Whatever that meant.
– Will Travel for Vegan Food

I was reading the book on a sunny summer morning next to the sea near my home. I was not very happy with my work at that point and I wanted to do more for the animals, travel with a purpose and create something meaningful. I stopped reading for a while, did nothing. And then it hit me. I wanted to go and eat vegan burgers. Maybe around Asia? Or Europe? It was almost a joke that I always ordered a burger if it was on the menu. I was already travelling for food and I wanted to show people that travelling vegan is most definitely possible and also fun.

The idea started to shape itself. I wanted to meet inspiring people and share their stories, show how much one can achieve with determination and compassion. Will Travel for Vegan Food gave me inspiration where to start to make my own vegan food travels happen. I am quite sure it wouldn’t have happened without reading this book.

Though the tour wouldn’t have been the same without…

Chris Guillebeau: The Happiness of Pursuit – Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life

I read Guillebeau‘s book after I had gotten idea to eat a burger in every European country. But it gave me the very much needed kick in the butt to actually start and pursue it.

Luckily Finland has an amazing library system and we are spoiled with being able to borrow books for free. The best part? You can randomly find interesting books and fall in love. That happened with this one.

I have seasons when I read self-helps but to be honest, I hardly ever remember any wisdom after reading them. Well, this one is not full of empty words but awesome stories of people who have made a quest happen. I have read the book now twice and if I would own it I would have underlined almost every sentence.

If you  are going to worry about something, worry about the cost of not pursuing your dream.
– The Happiness of Pursuit

The book is about, as the name suggest, how the pursuit itself actually creates happiness and purpose. To have a goal that one works towards, step by step. It can be anything from knitting thousands of hats to travelling all the countries in the world. What combines these projects is that they are journeys “toward something specific, with a number of challenges throughout”.  Easy projects are not quests, Guillebeau states, they are “just holidays from real life”.

We tend to judge risk based on outcome – but the outcome isn’t always up to us.
– The Happiness of Pursuit

When I read this book I realized that this tour was most definitely a quest and I should treat it as such. Make it measurable, follow its progress, keep sticking to it even when it seems it is not going anywhere. It is all part of the quest. And most importantly, stop making excuses. Just go and eat those burgers already.

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