Tools for Travel

I am preparing to go on a trip to Portugal in a few days. I am quite excited. I have never been to this country. I only know one word in the language (obrigada). I have been having fun planning everything and keeping myself from too many plans. I like to keep my travels flexible. I have friends joining me for some of it but I also am looking forward to alone time. And I look forward to doing all of this sober!

I have been on a few roadtrips and mini-vacations since quitting alcohol. But this will be my first foreign trip. I love exploring other cultures but I do get anxious about the unknown. I like to learn new words but I get stressed by the language barriers. I hope I can handle the nervousness without turning to a bottle. I used to love trying local beers and I have a collection of beer labels from around the world. I am going to miss that.

But I am not going to miss all the time and money I wasted drinking. Keeping memories of the drunk mistakes I made on other travels will, hopefully, keep me from taking that first sip. I have missed sights or did not fully enjoy wonderful places because I was hungover. I have spent so much money drinking alone or with new friends in bars across the planet. I even paid $25 to drink one Singapore Sling in the Raffles Hotel in Singapore! What a waste for a drink! I squander so much of my life around the culture of alcohol.

I know in Porto there is going to be a lot of temptation to drink port. I remember drinking wine in Australia that was a port but called LHS, which stood for “left hand side.” I always tell that story when I used to drinm port. Will the Portuguese people understand that I can not drink any alcohol? Maybe I need to say it is my religious beliefs that keep me from drinking? Maybe no one will care?

I think I am more excited to travel sober than I am worried about relapsing. Not passing out drunk in strange places is always good motivation!

Mistake 188- I was visiting a friend in Thailand. She was living there for a year and I was traveling the country. We went to stay at a guesthouse in the jungle for a few days. It was very beautiful there. We woke up hearing Gibbons calling and saw many beautiful species of birds.

We had some plans of hikes and a lake tour. Since she was living there, she needed to do some work on her computer. While she worked, I drank. I started drinking Chang beers at noon everyday. I drank beer late into the night while she drank fresh fruit smoothies and tea. One of the days was rainy so I drank more than usual. The next day was the lake tour. I was very hungover that day. I looked forward to grabbing another beer as soon as possible to fix my headache. I lovingly called it my “Changover. ”

We charged all our meals and drinks to our room. When we were checking out, the manager pulled me aside. My friend knew him so we got discounts on the room and meals. But he said he recalculated the bill many times because he couldn’t believe how much I spent on beer. “Did you really drink THAT much?”

I would have to find my notes of my travel expenses to remember exactly how much I spent. But it was wasted money and time.

5 thoughts on “Tools for Travel

  1. Have fun!! I’ve always wanted to go to Portugal.
    You could say that you are allergic if you are pushed to drink 🙂 I’m sure you’ll handle it well. Safe travels!

  2. This is my first time commenting on your blog; however, I have been following/receiving your blogs for a while. As I am not yet sober, I love your spirit. I have read many other sober blogs but relate to yours the most. EXCEPT I only wish I was as worldly as you! Omgosh the experiences and places you have been! Wow! You are such an inspiration and motivator for me to get out there and live! Now that you are doing it sober…even more so! Thanks for blogging. You truly do inspire me to do more with my life. Xo

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. It really helps me when I hear I have helped someone in someway. Makes me glad I do blog. I was reading a blog I wrote back in my first few weeks of sobriety hoping to travel more. Without going out drinking and partying the past 6 months, I was able to pay off a couple thousand dollars in credit card balances. Never realized how much I spent drinking. I have my low times but overall I feel so much positivity in sobriety.

      • That’s definitely an awesome benefit! I’m sure you have probably written this but can you tell me what it was exactly what made you decide to stop. I’m an every other day binger and the every not day is when I think I’m going to stop. I feel great for a day and just know “this is the day” but then fail the next…Grrrr Thanks for replying! 🙂 Keep up the great life!

      • 7 years after my last DUI, I was turned down for a job because I had 2. I was told to go to a 3 year program but in that program I still would not be guaranteed the job. It was a slap in my face to the reality that my drinking has done to my life. I tried several drinking breaks the past few years but they always ended with me getting shitfaced and making more mistakes. I had thoughts of making a list of my mistakes 2 years ago. I just never wanted to face how bad my problem was and worried that going sober would make me boring. I didn’t know how I could ever do it. Reading books and blogs about other people that went sober has been my saviour.

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