Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Recovery Goes on Vacation

Well, of course recovery never really goes on vacation but recovering people do. Going to meetings while vacationing is one of the smartest things we can do. It’s not just that we stay sober longer and better but vacations get better the longer we are sober.

One plus of vacation recovery is that we learn to stress less about the “stuff” of travel. One of the best pieces of vacation advice I ever received from a sponsor is that “The trip begins when you are packed.” I used to be so miserable all through the process of getting to the place where I was going to be vacationing that the car ride and the airport and the taxi rides were awful—for me and everyone around me. I wanted to get to the vacation place cause then the vacation would begin. When I shifted my attitude—and it wasn’t easy at first—to say to myself, “This too is part of the vacation adventure”, then sure enough it was…and then I could look for the good parts of the delayed plane and the weird taxi driver and the odd meal.

But the other reason that vacations get better with longer recovery is that I discovered that those of us in 12 step programs have an amazing resource that other travelers do not: we have contacts in every city and town in the world.

There is something so fun and so smart about asking a 12 step group for suggestions about where to eat, what to do, the best way to drive to the next city etc. I’ve been tipped off to bargain shopping, fabulous inexpensive restaurants, and we don’t need a guidebook to tell us where the locals eat or shop—we have local “family” that we can ask. This is where AA and AAA meet up and it is such a bonus to travelers.

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