It all started when…
I woke up hungover as hell one morning while on vacation. OK, that’s actually not exactly how it went down, but it’s a better story if I had a dramatic epiphany complete with a moody and inspiring soundtrack.
Alas, the reality is I quit drinking on an unremarkable Monday. It was November of 2016. While returning from the wine shop, exhausted with life, I paused at a traffic light and wondered, “Is this ever going to end?” And by “this” I mean drinking wine most nights, making excuses, and being too stuck to change. On the surface, my life was relatively together, but inside I was tormented by my unrealized potential. Also, my genetic predisposition for alcoholism terrified me—especially considering the quantities of wine I felt like were “enough.”
Of course, if you’ve been in that situation, you’ll know that I still drank that bottle wine that Monday night (and if I recall correctly, a slug of my husband’s whiskey for good measure). But to my astonishment, the next day when I decided to quit drinking (again), I never went back.
Shortly after (probably not unrelated), I began writing. I started a travel blog and began contributing regularly to travel websites. As I suspected, without a crippling wine habit holding me back, things began to happen. It wasn’t long before I turned my writing into a full-blown career. Isn’t life weird?
Along the way, I realized that there aren’t many resources for travelers that don’t drink. For whatever reason you decide to abstain, whether you’re pregnant, sober, or trying to lose weight, why should that stop you from living out your travel fantasies?
Unfortunately, so much of the tourism and travel industry is marketed towards a drinking majority. I also noticed that if you’re new to a life post-alcohol, you might find travel to be intimidating, triggering, and stressful. That’s normal!
But, I’m here to tell you that travel sans alcohol is not only possible but preferable.
Say whaaat?? I know. I’d have screamed “Heresy!” at that statement a few years ago, before stumbling home to pass out in my clothes. Trust me, I understand your skepticism. But like anything new, it’ll take a few tries to get it right.
I’m not really “sober” in the sense that I’m in traditional recovery from alcohol. I don’t attend meetings or do any stepping. I didn’t hit a scandalous bottom or get a DUI. But I used to drink way more than was good for me. And now I don’t. I debated putting a different word in my tagline. Adventures in Conscious Travel, perhaps? But then I thought, Fuck it.
Why be coy, ya know? For some people, alcohol is a terrible idea. I skated on thin ice and managed to not fall through. I’ve watched people’s lives destroyed by alcoholism, and I still have to live in a world where Yoga & Wine night is a thing. Why not contribute to the growing conversation about alcohol? I mean, is it absolutely necessary for its presence to seep into every aspect of our lives?
Also, I felt those who would need this resource the most would search the almighty Google for “how to travel sober” not “how to travel when you want to cut back on alcohol, because you don’t really like it anymore, but aren’t exactly an alcoholic living under a bridge.”
This website allows me to create content I would have devoured when I was first figuring out travel minus my ever-present wine crutch. I had questions like:
- Where to find the best mocktails in Las Vegas?
- What can I order with my meal in France instead of wine?
- How do I order a non-alcoholic beer in Sweden?
- What is there to do in New Orleans besides get wasted?
You don’t have to have a problem with alcohol to want to travel without boozing. Maybe you’re pregnant, your religion promotes abstinence, you’re trying to be healthier, or are in fact, an alcoholic living under a bridge. All are welcome here.
This isn’t really a blog about recovery. It’s about maximizing fun while traveling in a world where alcohol is fucking everywhere. I won’t preach to you about how to quit drinking. There are lots of blogs out there already you can refer to (in fact, check out the Resources post, my friend!).