When I stopped drinking for the first time I thought I would accidentally choose to capitalize on everything I loved. I thought my social life was dwindling, my ability to have fun would be ruined, I would always have an intense case of FOMO, and everything would be extremely boring from that point on – even myself.
I was the one Quintessenzparty girl from the moment I drank in mid-20s in high school. At that time, alcohol was no longer my solos of choice and was almost always accompanied by cocaine or some other outer material.
My life consisted of VIPs at the hot spots, free drinks from the bartenders and drug dealers who go on pace dial and an all-access pass for the after-parties.
Life was a big rush of adrenaline fueled by alcoholic all-nighters. I was known as the last woman – and was quite proud of it. There was no gathering, no wedding, no destination, or an environment that did not bother with binge drinking and powder in the nose.
Up to a day, when this lifestyle overtook me and plagued me with shame and total exhaustion. What used to be fun became a nightmarish Groundhog Day. I could not go out without drinking, could not drink without drugs and could not survive the day without a feeling of fear under every inch of my skin.
After trying to fight the whisper that was now After a scream for more than a year, I came to the conclusion that alcohol is the main reason for my misery. Another happy hour turned into a bend, and finally I reached my personal breakpoint, causing me to do something I had never done before.
I dropped to my knees in prayer. I was not even sure I did it right, but all I knew was that after all my failed attempts to moderate or quit, I needed help. Something in that moment triggered a change in me, and from that day on I have never drunk or used cocaine again.
This fateful day was over ten years ago. As you can imagine, life, as I knew it, has changed drastically. It had to be And finally, things that I never thought possible suddenly became not only possible, but also much more enjoyable.
Among all the changes that occurred when I went alcohol-free, one of the most notable ones was learning in Las Vegas, one of the world's most notorious party destinations. One of the common questions that I get from my clients and people watching my adventures around the globe on Instagram is: How do I go on sobering and still have fun?
The short answer: It's huge, but it's also one of the most valued parts of this path.
When people ask me if I want to live in Vegas or travel as a person who does not drink I always tell them: what you are looking for is what you seek is what you find become.
If you are looking for a party, you will surely find it. If you are looking for wellness and conscious experiences, you will find that too. It's just a matter of changing your attentions and getting better prepared, especially if you're taking your first few alcohol-free trips.
Maybe you are new sober and worried about your first trip without taking alcohol. Or maybe you've been sober for some time, but it's a big journey ahead – a bachelor party in Vegas or a wedding in Mexico – that makes you anxious when you think about doing it without alcohol. Or maybe you just try to reduce your alcohol intake and you do not want to fall back into your old habits as soon as you get off the plane.
Whatever your situation may be, you can become a person who travels without alcohol and still has the time of your life. During my ten years in which I lived soberly – and while traveling – I learned the following:
1. Determine your intention before you even get your boarding pass.
Sometimes the hardest part of traveling is anticipating how it will be. That's why you want to set your alcohol intentions well before you leave. If you want to ensure that this trip or holiday does not drink you should begin this commitment as early as possible in the planning process.
Start Before the Trip Imagine how you would like to travel and see how you enjoy your destination instead of worrying about not drinking or going wrong. Concentrate on what you want and hope that it happens – not what you are worried about – to create the experience you really want.
If you catch yourself experiencing FOMO, it always seems to happen before we even get to where we're going, or if you're starting to romanticize on the terraces in Italy or Paris or wherever you're traveling, Try to focus on your original intention again. If it helps, remember that FOMO is much easier to handle than a tomcat from hell.
. 2 Be prepared for a triggering airport experience.
Next, come to the possible obstacles to a sober holiday. The airport (insert JAWS music for full effect). For most people, the airport is full of triggers on the security lines that push all of your buttons, the bars that line the terminals, the miniature alcohol tips on the plane that you swear you actually called your name out loud ,
The first thing that comes first is not sitting at the bar at the airport, even when you are alone. Get a table and immediately order water or a seltzer. Tell the hostess or waiter that you do not want to have a drinks menu so you will not be tempted during one of the most vulnerable parts of the journey.
When you are aboard the plane, give yourself a silent applause because you & # 39; halfway there. Immediately insert the music into your headphones to help with restlessness before starting, and close your eyes to breathe. Get ready for any number of games, books, podcasts, movies, or anything else that will keep you busy for the duration of the flight.
I always travel with a water bottle and my own snacks, so I can drink something does not have to order anything if I do not want. This also prevents dehydration and hunger, which can trigger both cravings and the desire for a drink in the body.
. 3 Plan morning activities that challenge what you are doing the night before.
If you've already booked a fun activity in the morning (and better still get paid), it's much easier to call this early night. Hikes and early start excursions are a great way to help you and your fellow travelers stay on track.
I remember one of my first sober international trips was to Amsterdam and I knew I needed things scheduled for my morning so I would not be tempted to explore the nightlife. So in the apartment I rented, I did some research in some yoga studios and picked out a few courses for me. The best part was when I sat down on my mat and the teacher started to speak Dutch, which, as you can imagine, is an interesting adventure, considering that I do not know a single word in that language.
Remember, you & # 39; You'll probably spend a good sum of money on each trip you make, so you owe it to yourself to make sure you get the experience you want. While it is a privilege for anyone to spend most of their holiday budget on drinks and spend hours in a hotel room hangover, this is certainly not the only way to spend a vacation. The more you prove that, the less you worry about how you can spend your travel time without alcohol.
. 4 Stay connected to your support system.
Just because you (hopefully) turned on your absence device does not mean you have to stop all communication at home – especially if you rely on people to help you stay on track. This can be a friend or loved one, or a sponsor or therapist. When you are outside of your normal routine and getting to know new elements while traveling, it is always a good idea to have some reliable consultants to turn to.
Stay connected to your support group and use when you're on the move, even if you only check in with your digital trunk. Another way to stay connected is to go to a meeting in the city you're in. You can also make alliances with other sober people you know in the city you are in. Sober Eyes Coffee Dates are great ways to have conversations that are usually deeper than small talk, and can help you connect with people you may only know from the internet. One of my favorite things to do in new places is reaching people in my social media circles and bringing online relationships to life.
After all, you should not feel guilty about having to go to certain accommodation or make certain changes to the itinerary. If you are traveling with someone, have a conversation before traveling to get to the same page about your thinking. In this way you obviously want to plan some non-alcoholic activities. It is important to give your friends and family healthy boundaries, and you should not feel burdened with them.
. 5 Plan a mix of structure and spontaneity.
It's great to have some plans, especially if you need a structure that holds you accountable, but it's also helpful to be flexible so things can flow. In this way you open yourself up for more spontaneity. What's the real reason to leave your normal routine, right? In addition, this way of thinking could protect you from disappointment when something comes up that you either can not or do not want to attend while you are sober.
Be prepared to do some things and get rid of the things you want to do when the people you travel with have different ideas about how to spend their time. It's okay and indeed necessary to do something yourself sometimes.
I used to go to parties about culture and alcohol when I traveled. I never thought the day would come when my trips would not revolve around the DJ who was playing or make sure I visit the best nightclubs or bars in every city I visited. That is, until I stopped drinking and my priorities were postponed.
When you change what you're looking for, the things you seek change. It's funny how your priorities change when you catch a buzz that's not on your to-do list. Travel is increasingly focused on absorbing the smells, food, character and ambiance of our surroundings when our minds are less clouded.
. 6 See your journey as an opportunity to relax, recharge and self-care .
Consider this as an antidote to the feeling "I need a vacation from vacation". So often our holidays are about celebrations, which makes us feel exhausted rather than refreshed. Sober travel is a chance to redefine your vacation destinations, and instead of using it as an excuse for the wilderness, you can use your time to recharge and pamper yourself.
Always remember to enjoy your hangover on vacation with a quick gratitude exercise and meditation when you wake up to keep yourself in the right mood. You can also find out where you are in advance to see if they have a gym or a place to work out to get the day off to a good start.
One of my favorite pastimes I'm traveling now is spending money spa days instead of popping bottles. The saved money can be used for a massage or facial. If you change your attitude from celebrating to pampering, you're more likely to visit the spa than meet the club. Spa-ing is a staple of sober vacations that can completely change the focus of your trip.
Another funny idea is to give yourself a gift with the money you save if you do not buy alcohol. I always find a piece of jewelry or a garment made in the region, which I take home as a souvenir and take home – one that I actually remember.
. 7 Inquire in advance about the local scene and culture so you can create a list of your most important activities.
It was news when I realized that there were attractions outside the pool bar. The reality is that you have much more time to sip margaritas by the pool and not steal your day. So, spend your time with the culture and sights that your destination has to offer
Look for shows, museums, national monuments, or art exhibitions you'd like to see that are unique and Help you to enjoy your visit. Also look for dinner reservations for places with a unique atmosphere that is pleasing to the eye – and ideally a cool cocktail menu. It's overwhelming to me how many drunken places I visited without even thinking that I could find a solution to the excitement that local culture and art had to offer.
Remember to always give the perspective of a new place with clear eyes. Treat yourself to a great time and know that you do not need alcohol for it. If you choose to be a sober traveler, you also make the decision not to let alcohol (or any resulting shame or remorse) be removed from your memories. You do not often get a repeat of such experiences, so why do not you show yourself as your best and most authentic self?