When someone is seeking treatment for addiction recovery, there are a variety of options to consider. Travel might be just that solution to kick dependency habits that keep you from living the life you desire.
When thinking of planning a vacation, the first thing that comes to mind is often the idea of letting loose from the hassles of everyday life, parties, fun and hanging out with locals. Socializing in much of the world involves alcohol in these instances. Navigating a sober life that’s still filled with excitement and adventure is absolutely possible, but you need to do some planning ahead. Here are some tips on planning a vacation for those in addiction recovery.
Planning Strategically Before the Trip — What If I Get Tempted?
A common worry for a sober traveler, particularly those who have recently left treatment, is the probability that he or she can avoid temptations. After all, we live in a world where drinking has become a pastime activity. However, this doesn’t mean you have to give up enjoyment just because you are abstaining from alcohol or drugs; it just means that careful planning must take place.
Most importantly, always remember that you are not alone. According to a study conducted by The Washington Post, at least 30% of Americans don’t drink and half of the world opts for an alcohol-freelife as well. Remind yourself of this, and don’t feel pressured to engage. Many places touted as party capitals are still filled with individuals who are abstinent, and you can all have a great time without the substances.
Truthfully, there is no foolproof way to avoid alcohol because it is all around us. You canscout out some places and activities ahead of time that will limit your exposure to temptation, however. Use Google Mapsand sites like TripAdvisorto scope out the area from afar, and plan your daily adventures in places that you won’t be surrounded by bars, clubs, and potentially seedy parts of town. Use the opportunity to try something new and exciting that will take your mind off of what you aren’tdoing, and keep yourself busy throughout the trip.
Planning the Trip — What Are My Options?
There are a variety of inexpensive resortsand group retreatscatered to the sober individual. This idea takes the stress away from having to avoid places on your own and will open the door for meeting new sober friends.
Shop around for a trip that you’ll really appreciate, but don’t be afraid to branch out of your usual comfort zone. If you’ve grown up on the coast your entire life, try a mountain vacation instead of the beach. If you’re country grown-and-bred, grab a sober ally and check out a major city like Seattle, Denver, or Los Angeles. The great part about city traveling is that there’s so much to do, drugs and alcohol can be forgotten as you’ll be surrounded by activity based alternatives and can easily pick a new location if you wind up somewhere that temptation is arises.
Planning for the Worst — What Should I Avoid?
If you travel with others, avoid people and situations that will tempt you. Seek out alternate routes that won’t cajole you into your old life and those that aren’t filled with bars, lounges, and other places where drugs and alcohol are consumed. Even if a city is known for this type of activity, there are always alternative options available.
A strong support system is also highly-recommended to keep you on track. Though studies show that friendships can help you live longer, it’s the quality of a friend that counts. You may even replace risky activities with healthier ones, such as joining a fitness center, volunteering or helping those with their own addictions. Try to avoid old friends who push your old life onto you. Instead, seek out new ones who will lead you in the right direction.
Leading a sober life offers a world of possibilities. If you are a recovering addict with a longing to travel, don’t put off life. Take the necessary steps in order to ensure that you continue on the sober path in your newfound adventures.