They say traveling can be a great way to de-stress. You get to take some time off from your job, life at home, even your friends and loved ones. You get the chance to experience things that are out of reach back home. There is also a possibility that you can choose to travel solo and gain an unlimited amount of independence. But what if you are still recovering from drug or alcohol addiction?
Drug and alcohol addiction can impact all aspects of your life. This is why getting the necessary help in treating your addiction becomes a must. But even after you complete the treatment program, there is still a huge chance of going into relapse.
This is one of the greatest fears of people trying to recover from drug or alcohol addiction. Once they get out of intensive rehab, they fear that going back to their normal lives. What more if you are to travel and one wrong move can potentially put you back at square one?
Why Many Sober People Find It Hard to Travel
People have varying addiction triggers. When triggered, these can eventually lead to alcohol or substance abuse. For some people, situations involved in traveling itself make traveling stressful.
The following are a few challenges people face when trying to stay sober when traveling
Going Out of Their Established Routine
People trying to maintain sobriety are afraid of traveling because that usually means going out of their daily routine. We need to remember that establishing a healthy routine is a must-do when trying to overcome a bad habit, especially an addiction. Since your whole routine can change while on a trip, some people find it disturbing not to be able to accomplish tasks on their everyday to-do list.
There is also the fact that people recovering from an addiction would worry about being away from their trusted counselors. Recovering patients already consider their counselors as their go-to person whenever they feel like surrendering to relapse. Since recovery often involves residential or outpatient rehab, they fear that even missing one session when traveling already can already do much damage.
Going Out of Your Comfort Zone
We also need to realize the fact that traveling can be uncomfortable. Traveling puts you at a greater risk of not knowing what can happen next. You might constantly worry about the things that can go wrong or find it hard to cope being with unfamiliar people in an unfamiliar space.
Remember that sometimes, discomfort can also be a trigger. Putting yourself in unique situations and in an environment you are not familiar with can challenge your ability to control your urges. Meeting new people, seeing new places, and finding your way around new cities can be quite uncomfortable and frustrating.
Temptations Could Be Everywhere
Let’s say you managed to maintain sobriety for a few months now. You understand how important it is to avoid putting your situation away from people and places that put you in a tricky situation. But when traveling, it can be tricky to maintain control when temptations are simply everywhere.
You might not be able to pick your travel buddy. You might end up meeting people who will try to test your limits. There are also cases where you might end up staying in a city that seems to be the perfect reminder of your past.
Secrets to Keeping Sobriety When Traveling
Be sure to visualize your intention before you even plan the trip. Ask yourself why you are traveling in the first place, how you plan on avoiding your triggers, and ways you can remove yourself in case a tempting situation comes your way. Put your focus on the things you can control rather than stress yourself about the things you have no control over.
Create a realistic routine that you can keep despite you being on the go. Incorporate some routines you’ve been sticking to for the past few months. This way, your day will still have structure even if you are far away from home.
Don’t forget to keep your support system close. As much as possible, choose a responsible travel buddy that will is willing to assist you in case you need help. If no one is available to accompany you, shy away from bad company and keep your support system on speed dial.
Also, think of the trip as an opportunity to relax and engage in self-care. This is not to say you can let go and keep your guard down. If you have extra funds to spare, spend this on treating and pampering yourself.