People who struggle with addiction often avoid addressing their drinking or drug use because they assume that a sober lifestyle will be unfulfilling. As a person in recovery, you are well aware that sobriety is not a death sentence, and sober fun is possible. Most people experience monotony and look for new ways to escape the daily grind. Travel can be an exciting and rewarding way to do just that, but for some, breaking away from an established routine or being in a new environment can present triggers to sobriety. Here are some tips for embracing your inner explorer without relapsing.
Base your trip around an activity you enjoy.
As you progress in your recovery and expand your support network, you learn how to replace destructive habits with fun, healthy alternatives. If you’ve always dreamed about becoming a world traveler but aren’t sure where to begin, consider the following sober activities to help you get started:
- Visit a spa. Many people love going to new locales to give themselves a respite from their busy schedules. If you’re in search of some much-needed rest and relaxation, what better place to visit than a spa? Whether you’d like a massage or a pedicure, spas are great outlets for practicing self-care – often without leaving the comfort of your hotel. Pampering yourself fosters peace of mind and boosts your confidence as well.
- Try a wellness retreat. During treatment, you may have participated in therapeutic activities – including yoga, qigong, and meditation – in addition to your clinical sessions. These wellness practices relieve tension, foster mental clarity, and promote overall well-being. From Costa Rica to Thailand to New York, you can plan a getaway trip that gives you the space to practice yoga, meditation, and other low-key activities – all while surrounded by like-minded people.
- Go on an adventure. If you prefer to release tension by undertaking more exciting pursuits, an adventure-filled trip might be a better fit for you. Healthy risk-taking pushes you to overcome self-limiting beliefs, which strengthens your recovery. By trying new activities, you may even discover a new passion. Plan a trip around white-water rafting expeditions, nature treks, or scuba diving to get your adrenaline pumping naturally. In addition to increasing your level of physical activity: these excursions also immerse you in nature, which provides an uplifting, substance-free escape from the hustle and bustle of your daily routine.
- Explore local cultures. Travel is the ideal time to immerse yourself in cultural traditions outside of your own. You’ll be less tempted to drink when you spend your time away from home engaging your senses by visiting museums, art galleries, theaters, and local eateries. These types of trips can be eye-opening because they can push you to expand your horizons and experience the unique art, food, and history of other regions.
Refer back to strategies learned in treatment.
Recovery is a lifelong journey that doesn’t take a vacation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t. Of course, sobriety should always be your number one priority. When you travel, you are likely to encounter tourists eager to party – and drink. Think back to coping techniques you acquired during treatment and see your recovery as an opportunity to master them.
Bring your support network with you on the go.
Because connections are crucial in recovery, remember to stay in contact with your sponsor, your loved ones, and other members of your support network if you decide to go on a solo trip. Alternatively, see if a trusted friend or peer is interested in traveling with you, or join a tour group geared toward members of the recovery community.
When done thoughtfully, travel can enhance your recovery. It can make you more well-rounded, connect you with people from different backgrounds, and help you unwind from everyday sources of stress. Whether you hop on a domestic flight or venture to another part of the globe: you can rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit by experiencing new places and cultures.