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Discover the World, One Veggie at a Time with Carolyn Scott-Hamilton

Updated: Mar 21




In the latest episode of the Plant Based On Fire podcast, we were thrilled to welcome Carolyn Scott-Hamilton, also known as the Healthy Voyager. A pioneer in the world of vegan travel, holistic nutrition, and plant-based cooking, Carolyn has made significant strides in making healthy, sustainable living accessible and enjoyable to people across the globe.

Carolyn's journey into veganism began in 1998, making her a seasoned veteran in a movement that has only recently gained mainstream attention. Her decision to embrace a vegan lifestyle led her down a path of discovery, education, and ultimately, innovation. Realizing the lack of resources for people with dietary restrictions while traveling, Carolyn took it upon herself to fill this void. She combined her passions for health, cooking, and travel to create the Healthy Voyager brand, including a web series that showcases how to thrive on a plant-based diet anywhere in the world.

The Healthy Voyager has evolved into a comprehensive platform offering travel tips, vegan recipes, and holistic living advice. Carolyn's persistence and creativity have paid off, with her show now being featured on mainstream travel channel Go Traveler. She personalizes her travel adventures, calling to mind predecessors like Rick Steves and Anthony Bourdain.


Carolyn's entrepreneurial spirit shines through her multifaceted career. She didn't just stop at a web series; she expanded her brand to include cookbooks featuring vegan recipes from around the globe, consulting services for restaurants and hotels, and even veganizing entire cruise ships. Her work exemplifies the power of turning personal passion into a thriving business that serves a greater good.


For those looking to make their mark in the plant-based business world, Carolyn's advice is invaluable: be genuine, know your audience, and never be afraid to pivot. Her journey underscores the importance of staying true to oneself while being open to growth and change.


Carolyn's story is a testament to the impact one person can have on promoting a healthier, more sustainable world. She continues to inspire with her upcoming projects and partnerships, proving that the journey to a plant-based future is not only possible but also filled with adventure and discovery.


For more insights into Carolyn's world and to explore the Healthy Voyager brand, visit healthyvoyager.com and follow her on social media @HealthyVoyager. Whether you're a seasoned vegan or just curious about incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet, Carolyn Scott-Hamilton is a beacon of inspiration, guiding us all to live well, one veggie at a time.


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>Podcast Episode’s Transcript


Please understand that a transcription service provided the transcript below. It undoubtedly contains errors that invariably take place in voice transcriptions.


Bryan (00:01.174)

Hello everybody and welcome to Plant Based On Fire where we talk about the plant based businesses and their inspiring stories to thrive in our industry. I'm your host Bryan and joining us today is Carolyn Scott Hamilton, AKA the Healthy Voyager, a respected figure in the world of healthy lifestyle and travel as well as a holistic nutritionist and plant based vegan chef. And I'm so excited to have you on the show Carolyn, welcome.


Carolyn Scott (00:29.03)

Yeah, thanks for having me.


Bryan (00:31.346)

It is so great to have you here. I have checked out your website and seen a few other things you're doing all over the place. So I'm excited to speak with you, but let's start like back at the beginning for some of the people that may not know who you are and stuff. Like how has your personal journey brought you into veganism and business and that kind of stuff.


Carolyn Scott (00:51.105)

Yeah, so I actually went vegan back in 1998, so going on this year will be 26 years. I know it's like grandma vegan. It was when people complain now that it's hard, I'm like, oh no, not hard. It was hard for me.


Bryan (00:58.766)

Congrats.


Bryan (01:10.413)

Yes, I'm 13 or 14 years in and I know it was hard when I started.


Carolyn Scott (01:14.285)

Yeah, yeah, it's gotten so easy. But yeah, so I went vegan just for my own personal choice for health reasons. It just seemed like a healthier choice for me. And because it was so early in the space, I didn't know any other vegans. In fact, I don't think I even called myself vegan. I think I had to just like list everything I wasn't eating when I go out to eat or tell somebody. So I was definitely the odd man out. But because of that, I was like, you know what?


I wanna know how to do this properly and healthfully. So I ended up going to school for holistic nutrition and naturopathic medicine. And I went to culinary school as well, because even though I was a good cook, I was kind of at a loss because there weren't many options or places offering information. There weren't this many recipes online. So I really just kind of wanted to learn from my own personal self. I had no interest in.


Bryan (02:02.848)

Mm-hmm.


Carolyn Scott (02:10.053)

going to work at a restaurant or open up a private practice. But I ended up falling into PR after all of that. And because I was traveling so much, I started kind of listing things that I would do or places that I would go and give people tips because it wasn't just for vegans. It was also vegetarians or gluten-free or diabetics, anyone who had an issue traveling because of their diet. And in 05, I thought, you know what? There are no shows.


travel shows that showcase even just for the regular average viewer where to go dine. Because at the time it was either eating bugs in the Amazon or eating 30 pound burger competition shows. And I was like, there's no middle ground and there's even less information for people with dietary restrictions. So I started pitching the show around and it was way too early in the space. I had huge networks say, wow, that's great, but we don't do healthy.


Bryan (02:52.907)

Yeah.


Carolyn Scott (03:07.429)

That's the point. I was like, you know what? I have a production background and I'm a publicist, so I know how to build a brand. I'm going to do it myself. Someday you're going to come knocking at my door. So in 06, I launched the show on my own, the travel show. There was no other social media. YouTube was in its infancy. And I really just thought, you know, I shoot a few episodes while I had to travel, you know, visiting family or whatever, just to get to get some under my belt. And then I launched.


Bryan (03:09.496)

Yeah.


Bryan (03:26.094)

Mm-hmm.


Carolyn Scott (03:36.317)

the blog to go with it because I couldn't obviously shoot a ton of travel shows on my own budget. So I wanted to kind of keep the brand growing. So on the blog, I would add recipes and healthy lifestyle tips to kind of fill in the blanks when I couldn't travel. And it's just snowballed from there. It's a full healthy and green lifestyle brand. The show has got 120 episodes now, the travel show.


Bryan (03:51.469)

Yeah.


Carolyn Scott (04:02.829)

It's now running on a mainstream travel channel called Go Traveler. So along with Rick Steves and Anthony Bourdain and all sorts of other famous travel people and the only vegan show travel show on the mainstream network. So that's pretty cool. Um, yeah. So since then it's just kind of grown its own, become its own monster that I need to keep feeding.


Bryan (04:02.9)

Mm-hmm.


Bryan (04:07.982)

That's awesome.


Bryan (04:28.782)

That's right. That's awesome. Well, that's so great on all those successes. We just had a vegan travel agent on the show a couple of weeks back. So, yeah, there's more and more of these vegan places popping up worldwide and like you're helping, you know, twist everybody's eyes towards how important it is to cater to these unique specialty diets that I hope become more mainstream as we go. So, so you've, you've had.


Carolyn Scott (04:53.19)

Yeah.


Bryan (04:55.55)

like many different transitions. And I think that's what a lot of people are kind of afraid of in their careers. Like, no, I went to school for this. I need to do this kind of a thing. Like you, you transitioned from holistic nutritionist to chef to media personality, and now you're just like the consultant, like any, any advice or stories for, for that, those career transitions and stuff.


Carolyn Scott (05:18.461)

Yeah, I think you A, have to do what you love. I find that now with the internet, there's a lot of people thinking they have to do something because that's popular, or they have to emulate this person because they're popular and it needs to be the same style. All in all, you need to do what's right for you and what makes you happy. And you kind of have to have your own voice and your own...


twist on things. And if you're looking to do something, people who do have their own personality, their own voice, that's what people gravitate towards, not necessarily the content. So even though now the internet feels oversaturated with now there's like a million vegan chefs or a million vegan cookbooks or recipes or YouTube, all that, now it's just the Wild West. So it's really hard to sift through the noise. And it kind of feels like everything's been done already.


Bryan (06:13.409)

Yeah.


Carolyn Scott (06:16.093)

there's always some way to find your niche or your voice. And if you find that it's not working, then you need to kind of look within and see where you can pivot because it's not necessarily all lost, right? I think after the pandemic, a lot of people have learned to pivot or that they've had to, or they realize, oh, I kind of hate my job, or whatever it is, and they want something else. So don't be afraid to start a new path


Bryan (06:37.462)

Yeah.


Carolyn Scott (06:46.319)

to do something you really love and just keep at it.


Bryan (06:48.458)

Yeah. I love it. Yeah, that is great. I mean, you've had to face some of the challenges along the way here. I'm just curious how the healthy Voyager brand has grown over the years and some of the challenges you faced while you were establishing the brand and how you overcame them. So talk to us about a couple of those things.


Carolyn Scott (07:11.501)

Yeah, since I started the brand and the show before social media even existed, it was definitely much more difficult to get the word out. So I was able to get and gain an organic following from the blog and the email list. But as social media started to roll out, I was always an early adopter. And I kind of put myself in every on every platform.


Bryan (07:17.922)

Mm-hmm.


Carolyn Scott (07:39.097)

Um, but it has been trial and error. And even now it's difficult, you know, cause the algorithms are always changing and you know, there's so many more people on the platforms now. So it is a constant battle to stay relevant or to keep things moving or say, Oh my gosh, I hate this. I don't even want to do this anymore. I'd rather do this, you know? So.


it's been a constant uphill battle and being like, okay, I think I got this. And then something changes, you know? So I think that's just the name of the game right now, because it's so, even though it's been, you know, almost 20 years, it's still in its new kind of adolescent, I think, era. So like, you know, we went through some growing pains and now it's just kind of like in this like middle ground and it's got to figure itself out kind of like the


Bryan (08:08.321)

Yeah.


Bryan (08:21.483)

Yeah, yeah.


Carolyn Scott (08:30.829)

and then everything kind of figured itself out. So I think we're in that space now with social. But even outside of social, because of that, I'm fortunate that I have a bunch of other fingers in different pies that are offline that still build the brand. So I do the consulting for restaurants and hotels and theme parks, and I veganized the whole town, cruise ships. So I'm doing a lot of that.


Bryan (08:59.414)

Those sound like some books that have to come out.


Carolyn Scott (09:01.897)

Yeah. So it's been fun that I can still use all the skills that I had or the knowledge that I had to work offline while, you know, that's still kind of cooking over here. But yeah.


Bryan (09:14.41)

Yeah, that is also, I guess, you know, as you know, this is a newer podcast. I think we're on episode it's around 40 or something like that. So we're, we're establishing ourselves still a little bit, uh, on that front with we have a network of podcasts, but like, what, what do you think is the, the secret with how you engage and grow your audience across all these platforms? Obviously YouTube's the big one, but there's Spotify, all of them. What, what secrets do you have for people that are trying to grow their audiences?


Carolyn Scott (09:25.063)

Yeah.


Carolyn Scott (09:38.077)

Yeah.


Carolyn Scott (09:43.489)

I think be real. I think the people that are the most successful, and there are exceptions to that rule, but are the ones that are very genuine and have something important to say and come across in a very positive way that are interesting. It's a...


it's a funny world out there because again, I see a lot of people trying to copy other people and I'm like, well, that's not gonna work because you're not that person, you're you. So I think again, people gravitate towards the people that are the most genuine. And of course people also gravitate toward the most controversial like weirdos. So it's one or the other, either be like totally out of your mind or be real. I think anyone that's just kind of middle ground needs to find their voice


Bryan (10:26.711)

Hehehehe


Carolyn Scott (10:38.961)

figure out a different path on the platform. So yeah.


Bryan (10:42.642)

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I, and I say it's almost being a little bit vulnerable at times to like say, Hey, I need some help. And we're looking to grow this and all that stuff. So and so you you've got you've done it all. So I just want to have you in my corner as a guide on all these journeys. You have a cookbook as well. What was your inspiration to write the cookbook? And what was that kind of process like?


Carolyn Scott (11:08.813)

Yeah, I have a few cookbooks actually. The first one came out in 2011, I wrote it in 2010, and that was through a publisher. And that cookbook is the original Healthy Voyagers Global Kitchen. So it's recipes from around the world. Every chapter is a different country or region. So it's travel mixed with traditional cooking, veganized. And then I put out the 10 year anniversary of that book.


Bryan (11:15.414)

Mm-hmm.


Bryan (11:32.558)

I love it.


Carolyn Scott (11:37.525)

in 2021. I updated it because so much has changed in the last decade. So I updated it. I added 25 new recipes. So it's fatter. There's more to it. It's more updated. And that one's available online, the Healthy Voyagers Global Kitchen 10-year anniversary. I've had a few smaller holiday cookbooks. I'm working on some more smaller bite-sized cookbooks that are going to come out soon. Yeah.


Bryan (12:07.886)

That's very, very cool. I like to tell, like, I feel like so many Americans haven't even left the United States. So get out there and travel people. But I find when I've traveled myself, like it's much easier to find a vegan food outside of America at times. You know, so it's so refreshing. I'd say maybe Paris and France was challenging to a degree, but for the most part, I've been very successful in my travels internationally.


Carolyn Scott (12:17.084)

Yeah.


Carolyn Scott (12:24.601)

I agree.


Bryan (12:37.99)

on the vegan diet.


Carolyn Scott (12:38.041)

Yeah, I totally agree. I find that there's kind of way better food outside of the US than here. We're still stuck in the vegan junk food. There are definitely places that have amazing food, but yeah, it's eye-opening.


Bryan (12:45.085)

Yes.


Bryan (12:50.839)

Mm-hmm.


Bryan (12:54.25)

Yes, I am. I'm in Charlotte and I love to just sneak up to Asheville just because they have a vegan Mecca up there for sure. So, uh, I totally know what you're talking about. So, uh, what advice do you have for entrepreneurs that are just getting started in this plant base and healthy lifestyle industry? Like they, they have the concept, they have the idea. What's the tips that you would impart on them as they embark on their journey?


Carolyn Scott (12:58.962)

Yeah.


Carolyn Scott (13:19.805)

Definitely do your research, market research, especially if you're putting out a product or anything like that, or even online. You wanna know who your audience is gonna be, who your buyer is gonna be. So you can't just throw something out there and just let it float. So you have to know who your audience is and then that way you can cater more easily to them and what they're looking for.


Bryan (13:39.423)

Mm-hmm.


Carolyn Scott (13:48.269)

And yeah, again, be yourself, be positive. I think the vegan world has changed quite a bit over the years. You know, back when I went vegan, you know, the early stages, people would hear vegan, they'd be like, oh my God, you know, like the knee jerk reaction was like, oh my God, one of you, I'm like, no, like I'm healthy and whatever, do what you're gonna do, I'm not gonna preach. So I think that's changed a lot.


Bryan (14:05.304)

Yeah.


Bryan (14:12.222)

Yeah.


Carolyn Scott (14:16.165)

I think now it's become very much a part of the zeitgeist. It's kind of like, oh, what do you want tonight? Chinese, pizza, vegan, you know? So it's kind of an option now. I think a lot more people are coming around to adding plant-based meals, leaning more towards plant-based. So again, I think the more positive the message, you know, more bees with honey. So, you know, positive and know your market.


Bryan (14:39.822)

That's right. That's right.


Bryan (14:45.427)

What does the future look like? What are the upcoming projects? Is there anything that you're particularly excited about?


Carolyn Scott (14:52.645)

Yeah. So yeah, the show's on Go Traveler, which is, it's kind of like a Netflix for travel shows, but it's free. So you can download the Go Traveler app and watch the healthy Voyager there. There'll be a new season in a few months. Let's see, more cookbooks, more travel books. Also, there's a big thing happening that I can't say right now, but stay tuned. It's launching. Yeah, it's launching this summer.


Bryan (15:18.38)

Tune back in, yeah.


Carolyn Scott (15:22.225)

Um, so stay tuned to all of my stuff because you'll know, but it's, it's a big announcement. Um, also partnering with this really fantastic retreat, um, property in Mexico, uh, and I'll be doing all the nutrition and culinary for that, uh, retreat property. So anyone looking to do retreats, I'll be handling all the, all the food and nutrition stuff and


still continuing to work with other companies and consulting, doing recipe consulting for restaurants and hotels and cruise ships and all that stuff. So yeah, just chugging along.


Bryan (15:45.998)

Very cool.


Bryan (15:57.366)

You've got your hands full. That's for sure. How do you think influencers like yourself, like you've done a little bit of everything and we need to change that public perception, continue to change it. Like I do agree with you, it's evolved and changed. Like it's much more acceptable to have the vegan option on the menu, but still like we had a couple of videos go a little bit more viral this week, but the amount of, I don't know.


Carolyn Scott (16:00.12)

Yeah.


Bryan (16:26.222)

climate change deniers and hunters or whatever that commented and just created this type discussion, this healthy discussion, but very, very animated discussion. Like how can we change that public perception about plant-based living?


Carolyn Scott (16:43.493)

Yeah, it's a funny world because everyone feels very protective of their view and their opinion. But I believe in healthy debate and healthy discussion and not being close-minded, allowing people to, you know, say their piece because everyone has a grain of truth or a grain of knowledge that we may not think about.


from our perspective. So I think it's really important and I do think it's important to do it in the most positive way, because then that way there's not again, the knee-jerk reaction of like, ah, you're a vegan and you're this and that. And it's like, we're not all the same, you know? Just like every meat eater is not all the same or whatever it may be, everyone's very complex. No one's, you know, cookie cutter. So blanket statements and blanket.


Bryan (17:25.791)

Yeah.


Bryan (17:30.136)

Yep.


Bryan (17:37.294)

That's right.


Carolyn Scott (17:42.189)

opinions about any group of people, you know, I think is incorrect. So I think it's important to have healthy debates and be positive and just allow people to believe what they're going to believe because a lot of the times, most people are going to just dig their heels in and still believe what they believe. So it's like, you can only change the minds of people who want to change their minds. And again, it almost never happens from a negative way or negative manner.


Bryan (17:45.454)

Mm-hmm.


Bryan (17:58.805)

That's true.


Bryan (18:10.67)

That's right. That's right. Well, I'm curious, you know, we have we have the travel. What was the travel thing you get the travel app we have to download on our TVs and stuff. Go traveler. So everybody check out go traveler. But what can we do as a community to help you and what are the best ways to get in touch with you?


Carolyn Scott (18:21.793)

Oh, go traveler. Mm-hmm. Yep.


Carolyn Scott (18:32.997)

Yeah, everything is on healthyvoyager.com. So there you'll see my weekly, you know, travel articles, vegan recipes, healthy living. There you can see the travel show as well, all the old episodes, my old cooking show that I did for a while, my old podcast. There you can also find links to buy the cookbook and contact me for any services, be it nutrition or recipe consulting or anything like that.


Bryan (18:37.215)

Okay.


Carolyn Scott (19:03.298)

So yeah, that's the hub. And then on all platforms, I'm Healthy Voyager. So Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, I'm Healthy Voyager, also LinkedIn, I think. And on YouTube, it's Healthy Voyager TV.


Bryan (19:20.758)

Yes, that's awesome. So check it all out. Healthy Voyager. Thank you so much, Carolyn, for being here and hanging out with us on the show. I hope you get to come back over the summer sometime and do the big reveal with us and tell us more about what you've got going on. So that is all the time we have for this episode of Plant Based on Fire. Thank you again, Carolyn, for being here and joining us, sharing your insights and experiences with our community. So until next time, everybody, keep that fire burning.


Carolyn Scott (19:27.461)

Well, thanks.


Carolyn Scott (19:32.861)

Yes.


Yes.


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