Getting out on the open road can be both exhilarating and frightening. The same can be said for the road to recovery. It is paved with good intentions, but sometimes you mess up and fall short, or just plain fall down. Road trips promise adventure around the corner, but the excitement is not the only reason you should consider going. A road trip in sobriety can be very healing if you are open to the unknown. Find some ways to use that time to your advantage in sorting out some things you are struggling with in recovery.
Road trips are all about car time. Lots of free time opens up for your mind to wonder. This means pondering all the ways you want to navigate life differently and use its resources wisely. When you are in the car, you will have lots of time on the open road to think about things, wonder, and discover new ideas. Podcasts are a great way to both enhance your learning and feel inspired by life in sobriety. You may also go old school and pick up CDs from the library or the store to listen to while driving that encourage your journey.
When looking for places to visit, it is better to look at culture than food or other things. Avoid hot spots of activity during spring break or times of excessive tourism, which draws people in for drinking and other things that might be triggering. Watch for places where you might go to drink more than to enjoy the place and look into sober holiday destinations to support your journey.
Take a Sober Buddy
Don’t travel alone when you can travel with a sober pal. When you pick a companion, be sure it is someone you know is solid in their sobriety and not wavering in their commitment to staying that way. Think about whether you want to travel alone because being alone too long can be daunting (or triggering) and bring up feelings of isolation.
Stay the Course
If you struggle on the road, find a program near you. It is worth the meetings to keep sobriety on course. If you cannot find a meeting, join an online group or listen to podcasts. Don’t let yourself slip because you are away from scheduled activities. Stay connected to your sponsor and don’t let anything distract you.
Don’t be afraid of having a successful time away from life while taking to the open road. There is plenty to think about and strive towards recovery. You are not always going to like the places you visit, but you might surprise yourself with somewhere you love. Keep track of what you like and don’t like, then figure it out from there. Don’t let anything stop you from going out and having fun on your road trip.
It is hard to keep a road trip sober if you haven’t done it before. It is easier when you know whom to ask and how to ask the right questions about what to be aware of going forward. If you want to travel, check in with people before you head out. Don’t travel without thinking it through ahead of time to keep yourself safe. If you want help on the journey of recovery, call us: 512-750-6750.