• Fun Activities for Sober Tourists

    Fun Activities for Sober Tourists

    After dedicating most of their time pursuing ongoing “highs,” it’s not uncommon for many people in early recovery to think that a fun life is no longer an option. This fear keeps them cycling through treatment programs and relapsing into addiction over and over again.

    If you’re wondering what people in recovery do for adventure, companionship and entertainment without dabbling in high-risk situations, there’s number activities for you to consider.

    Sober Options for a Good Time

    1. Beginning in California, where recovery is a popular option for many folks, travel agencies began to spring up in the 1990s to accommodate those in recovery who wanted drug and alcohol free options for travel and adventure.
    2. There are many travel companies and agencies listed on the internet if you Google “sober travel.”
    3. Another idea is to check out events within the recovery community within which you are most comfortable. Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery support groups frequently sponsor specific events, such as conventions, parties, dances, picnics, family days at theme parks and others that cater to the groups they serve. Check out events within the recovery support community that you attend. If no opportunities exist, help the group create them.
    4. Various resorts have begun to hold sober events to support the growth of recovery around the world. Look into travel opportunities in places like ski resorts, beach communities, theme parks, campgrounds and hotels at destination locations, and others.
    5. Sober cruises have been around since the early 1970s. These offer opportunities for travel without the high incidence of alcohol consumption seen on most cruise ships, thereby eliminating the temptation of other cruises. Most cruise lines offer variations (usually at a cheaper rate without the alcohol and bar setups) for groups who want to promote recovery in a setting on the sea. Many companies have packages for the same cruises that traditionally exist. Both existing cruises are available, as well as options and packaging for the highly organized and creative groups.
    6. Destination Individuals also offer tourist trade a new way to visit a special city, event, or hotspot. If you are traveling, for either business or pleasure to a specific locale, chances are good that you can contact an individual or group in that location for sober fun. Say you are planning a small vacation to Los Angeles, New York, or another place. There are many options for events, day trips, and other ways to enjoy the locale in safety. Opportunities are limitless for excursions to Disneyland or other theme parks; baseball, football, basketball or soccer games; beaches; plays, movies or other events; and many, many other fun ways to spend time on vacation without the risk of alcohol or drugs.
    7. Look for hotels and other types of accommodations that now exist to serve recovering individuals. Having your favorite hotel remove the alcohol from your room is one way to have sober accommodations. Some hotels now serve recovering people exclusively, since the cost of providing service without bar and bar wait staff decreases overhead.
    8. Also available are cabins and resorts which offer therapeutic services that do not mix well with alcohol, such as yoga and health resorts or spas offering treatments.

    Opportunities for people to meet and interact with others of like mind are limitless. Find these groups or schedule your own while planning a trip to anywhere in the world. Again, if you don’t find a group doing the types of activities you are interested in, see if you can put something like that together. It is relatively simple and can be easily arranged with a like-minded group.

    Want a sober trip down the Nile, to the top of the Eiffel Tower, or the Seattle Space Needle? Perhaps you want a houseboat vacation on Lake Tahoe? All of these activities and many others are available to recovering people today. So go ahead and join a group, book a tour or create your own sober event. The possibilities are unlimited.

    Kelly McClanahan has an MSW in clinical social work and a CATC IV in addictions counseling. She teaches meditation and mindfulness, specializing in addiction and trauma. She also leads workshops and seminars on treatment of addictive disorders and stress reduction.


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