How to Make the Most of Your Sober Vacation
Beloved poet Mary Oliver is famous for posing an insightful question in her poem “The Summer Day”: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Contemplating your answer to this question dovetails nicely into ideas for a sober vacation. You made the courageous choice to live without substances and alcohol: what do you plan to do now?
Everyone Needs Leisure Time
An article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) gets right to the point: vacation “results in improved productivity, lower stress, and better overall mental health.” Even if you can’t travel far for one reason or another, arranging time off still allows you a chance to focus on the people and activities that matter most to you. Additionally, planning time away gives you a boost because you have something positive to look forward to.
Vacation is also beneficial for creating happy memories. HBR notes that “recalling happy memories can head off stress, anxiety, and depression—something that is much needed in our busy lives and even more so in current times.” And perhaps an additional essential point if you’re in recovery: if you didn’t like life before, you’re in the position to design one more meaningful and rewarding now. Plan your vacation to reflect your new direction.
Ideas for a Sober Vacation
Similar to how you might strategize for staying sober during the holidays, focus on vacations that highlight something different, build upon solid relationships, and help you explore your interests. Money might not be an object, but most people have to be mindful of their budget when planning vacation. This really doesn’t restrict your options—if anything, it allows you to be more creative and seek out unique opportunities. But if you want to go big, do it!
Sober-Oriented Group Events
As you might have heard through your support networks, there are numerous travel trips featuring people interested in all types of adventures and locations. Look into these companies to expand your horizons:
- Recovery Elevator
- Sober Celebrations
- Sober Outside
- Sober Vacations International
- Travel Sober
- We Love Lucid
Explore East Coast Style
If you live in New Jersey or the surrounding areas, you will never—ever!—run out of amazing locations to tour! From history to culture, sports and nature, urban or rural, this stretch of the U.S. overflows with day trips, weekend getaways, and special-interest options. But how to choose? A few other intrepid travelers have mapped out some ideas for you to consider on your sober vacation:
- The Broke Backpacker: Epic East Coast Road Guide
- Our Escape Clause: 7 Epic East Coast Road Trips
- Lonely Planet: Must See Attractions in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania
Be a Tourist in Your City
Wherever you live, it’s easy to get into the habit of taking the same routes to get gas, groceries, and go out to eat. Shake up that routine by simply visiting different neighborhoods for a few days. Pack a lunch, if budget is a consideration, or factor into your wandering other restaurants you’ve always wanted to try. Try some side streets and look at architecture. Visit all the parks in your metro for long walks. Visit every weird and wonderful free event, museum, and other funky places just to say you did. If your town is too small, travel within a certain radius from it! A staycation without responsibilities can provide just the refreshing break you need.
Fill Your Soul With Nature
To stick to your sober goals, you only need to venture outdoors. Being in nature is so vital to our overall well-being, especially while in recovery. It reduces pain, promotes a calmer disposition, and helps us refocus. So a vacation with a nature theme is bound to be soothing! Consider these as launch points:
- The New Jersey Park Service has a comprehensive guide to state parks, forests, and recreation areas—all with free admission in 2022!
- The Traveling Cure offers a list of natural wonders to enjoy in the Tri-State area, including different New Jersey beach towns, the Adirondack and Catskills mountains, and everything in between.
- Curious about finding the best outdoor activity in every state? Trip Savvy made a list!
Immerse Yourself in a Hobby
There’s no better time than vacation to focus on your unique interests. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try [fill in the blank]—so plan your sober vacation around only that. Whether you can be extravagant or have to maintain a budget, there’s a workshop, convention, or other event that specializes in bringing together people just like you who share this same passion. Then, you’ll relieve those happy vacation memories every time you work on your project at home.
The Tools You Need to Thrive at Seabrook
Many people feel somewhat at a loss in recovery because they were so consumed by elements of their “old” life, they haven’t had a chance to imagine their new one.
At Seabrook, we don’t want you to simply think of our facility as a detox center, although that’s an important component. Think of what can be learned during individualized treatment as a portal to a completely different way of living, full of new and important discoveries, no matter how near or far you are from home. Review more articles on our blog to see just how wonderful your journeys in life can be.