Going on vacation can be an important test for sober people. While they might’ve comfortably adapted to avoiding drugs and alcohol at home, the change of scenery can be a very different story. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that what happens on vacation doesn’t actually count. If you want to travel, you need to have an honest conversation with yourself about whether you can stay sober.
Are you with sober people?
It’s so much easier to stay sober if your travel companions are also sober. With no one to suggest using drugs or alcohol, everyone can be held accountable. Becoming sober often means cutting ties with people whose acquaintance you made through substances. Sober travel companions can make for a much more manageable experience. It doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be conflicts, but there is one major conflict you can avoid.
Will your companions respect your sobriety?
Depending on who you’re traveling with, you might be the only sober person there. This can still be a good experience, provided your companions are respectful of your sobriety. They shouldn’t be tempting you or use drugs and/or alcohol around you, especially if you insist they don’t. Your need to stay healthy is much more important than their need to use these substances.
Are you going to a sober-friendly environment?
There are plenty of vacation spots that are ideal for drinking but not much else. If you’re traveling to one of these places, you might be tempted. Even if you know that you wouldn’t be tempted to be surrounded by alcohol, it can still be frustrating to feel like you’ve wasted your vacation time in an environment that’s not conducive to your needs.
Are you in a good headspace?
You can use a vacation to recharge, but don’t expect it to solve your problems. If things have been difficult for you recently, a vacation is only going to make a surface-level difference. Your sobriety might be threatened because you think that you can deal with your problems when you get home. However, the problems you face at home aren’t going to go away because you go on vacation. Plus, if you encounter trouble on vacation, it’s going to come home with you.
Can you hold yourself accountable?
Sobriety is not based on who you associate with, where you go, or what’s going on in your life. Those are all important factors, but it all comes down to how will you are to be responsible. The beginning stages of sobriety tend to involve being honest about how a lack of accountability led to these problems. After you acknowledge this, you’ll be ready to move on, but you’ll still have plenty of learning and growing to do. Going on vacation too soon can have consequences. Should you believe that you can’t hold yourself accountable on vacation quite yet, wait until you can.
Do you have coping skills?
Sobriety is a daily battle. For newly-sober people, it can be an hourly battle. Developing coping skills for when you’re feeling tempted is so important. Before going on vacation, you should have several in your arsenal that you can use at any time to power through.
If you’re not ready to travel sober, then you shouldn’t travel. However, if you believe that you can make it through the vacation and that you’ll be with people who will support your sobriety, then you should book the trip. Progress in sobriety is made gradually, and this can be a tremendous milestone for you.