My name is Madeleine, and I'm a vegetarian who doesn't like eggs and can't eat dairy. If any bit of dairy gets into my system, my body freaks out, causing stomach pains, headaches, bloating, and a plethora of other awful symptoms. As a result, I lead a plant-based lifestyle, eating sleeves of Oreos and bunches of kale by the dozen.

When I went to France with my mother, I was terrified of how I would survive. Almost every dish in French cuisine has butter, cheese, and meat. For me, it was impossible to escape all of my no-no foods. Looking back, I realize that the main reason I suffered an upset stomach was because I wanted to try new foods and explore another culture.

1. Know that being vegan can exclude you from a culinary adventure

No where else in the world does croissants like France. I can't think of any other country that excels in pastries and fine food. So, as you pass through customs, keep in mind that eating out may be very difficult. French chefs don't like customizing dishes on the menu to appease every single appetite.

Yes, there are a few vegan restaurants in France, and it is possible to create a little vegan meal by just eating side dishes (make sure they aren't cooked in butter or animal stock!), but it limits a lot of food options for eating out.

2. Do your research

Since not every restaurant is guaranteed to have a vegan option, look up vegan restaurants. Look and see if there is a grocery store near where you're staying. Heck, if you're desperate, pack some packaged food in your carry on. Some joints that serve vegan cuisine are Gentle Gourmet (go for the appetizers and dessert) and the cafe at Shakespeare and Company (which isn't exactly French cuisine, but they have some great veggie options)

3. When in doubt, ask

I had an awesome experience at a restaurant where I asked a waiter about vegetarian items on the menu, and he told me that the chef could whip up a veggie plate for me. I was overjoyed to get a plate of french fries, roasted asparagus, and salad. Just telling your waiter the phrase, "Je suis végétalien" (I am vegan), and they'll help you out in the best way they can.

Now, as you venture into France, remember to have fun, try your best at speaking French, and let loose! You're in France, after all, one of the most beautiful cities in the world.