Sustainable Living: Interview with Dragonfly Vegetarian Cafe

We were so happy to have found the Dragonfly Vegetarian Cafe in Ocala on our travel through Florida. We loved their vegan and vegetarian food which is so fresh and vibrant, healthy and delicious.

Everything is made daily from scratch by chef Lizzy. The menu has a great selection from juices and smoothies, salads, buddha bowls, tacos, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, and desserts. There are lentil meatballs, chickpea and nut burgers, olive tapenade spreads, jackfruit “pulled pork” and delicious desserts from chocolate chia seed pudding to CBD ice cream.

Besides their wonderful food, we also loved to hear about their sustainable practices. We had the honor to interview the owner Aaron Dunton who talked about the cafe and incorporating eco-friendly practices into the restaurant business, from composting kitchen scraps and using sustainable dish ware and utensils to the cafe’s plans on reducing garbage and improving their recycling practice.

Sadly, Marion County where the cafe is located at, does not have a recycling program in place. Hopefully, this will change in the near future.
However, the school district is planning to implement school gardens and and distribute those locally grown veggies to surrounding restaurants including the Dragonfly Vegetarian Cafe.

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Winter RV Living in Florida as Digital Nomads

After traveling in our van for the last seven month on our trip from Florida to California and back, it was time to settle in our travel trailer for a couple of months and enjoy RV-living for a bit. We love the snowbird life and were happy to return to Florida for a warm Winter and Spring experience.

Our homebase is an RV park in Central Florida where we keep our travel trailer on a lot that we rent for the year.

It was great to enjoy RV life and a bit more space and luxury in our trailer with the option to use more appliances in the RV kitchen compared to what we have in our van. We loved spending some time with our neighbors, cooking out and enjoying our yard where we planted an herb garden and some trees and brushes.

We did a few smaller road trips with our van and visited Sarasota, Fort Myers, St Petersburg, Clearwater, Daytona, Ormond Beach and Cocoa Beach, all while working as digital nomads. Florida is a great place for the digital nomad lifestyle and van life in general and we found plenty of stealth camping spots throughout the different regions. On our birthdays, we had an awesome time visiting the Butterfly and Natural History Museum in Gainesville and the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

Besides working remotely from our laptops, Eliane also worked a three month contracting job as a travel nurse in a hospital in Orlando while Damian who is a Search Engine Optimization Specialist was working on different projects for his own business.

We also had the honor to interview Millwood Flower Farm and Dragonfly Vegetarian Cafe for our video series on Sustainable Living, check out those videos as well!

And besides cooking up a storm in our RV kitchen, we enjoyed some delicious meals at various vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurants all over Florida. Here’s a list of our favorite ones:
The Raggae Shack Cafe, Gainesville
Dragonfly Vegetarian Cafe, Ocala
Dixie Dharma, Orlando
The Sanctum Cafe, Orlando
Dandelion Communitea Cafe, Orlando
Paisley Vegan Kitchen, Cocoa Beach
The Green Room Cafe, Cocoa Beach
Lila, Sarasota

Thanks for reading and watching and stay tuned as we will make our way along the East Coast all the way from Florida to Maine and back during the next seven months!

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Full Time as Digital Nomads Living Van Life and Working

We are Eliane and Damian, two outdoor enthusiasts who became digital nomads, live and travel full time in a self-converted cargo van and sometimes we stay in our travel trailer, in a tent, in Airbnbs or Hotel rooms. We travel full time while working remotely and on location. We are striving to live eco-friendly as possible and love to share our experience, journey and knowledge with you.

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Van Life Cross Country California to Florida

Our vanlife road trip from California to Florida led us through some very diverse and amazing landscapes. We loved hiking the Imperial Sand Dunes near Yuma Arizona, camping out in the Sonoran Desert and hiking in beautiful Saguaro National Park near Tucson Arizona and at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.

We camped in our van on BLM land (public land), in various public parking lots in California and New Orleans and stayed on an organic fruit orchard in Austin, Texas through Harvest Hosts.

Harvest Hosts is a program that allows for free overnight camping at participating farms, breweries, wineries, distilleries, museums and golf clubs for a small annual membership fee. For more info visit the Harvest Hosts website: http://harvesthosts.refr.cc/wandergreen

While at Austin Orchards, we had the honor to interview Jason Sawyer the manager of the orchard who talked to us about sustainable and eco-friendly farming and how he makes Spicy Peach BBQ Sauce and Jams: https://youtu.be/pZghUa6B5-s

During our road trip we enjoyed some delicious vegan food in Los Angeles and San Diego California, Tucson Arizona, Austin Texas and New Orleans Louisiana. These were our favorite vegan-friendly restaurants during the trip:

The Butcher’s Daughter, Los Angeles
Cafe Gratitude, Los Angeles
Jyoti-Bihanga, San Diego
World Curry, San Diego:
Govindas Natural Foods Buffet, Tucson
Tumerico, Tucson
The Beer Plant, Austin
Counter Culture, Austin
Bouldin Creek Cafe, Austin
Veggie Heaven, Austin
Sweet Soulfood, New Orleans

This video completes our 7 month long roadtrip from Florida through Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana and back to Florida. We were happy to spend a couple of month during winter and spring of 2019 in the Sunshine State and switch from van life to living in our travel trailer for a bit. Stay tuned for more adventures!

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