Enjoying Vacation Without Drinking

Years ago, I went on my honeymoon to an amazing all-inclusive resort. That meant the price of our trip included an all-you-cant eat buffet at every meal and an open bar. When I found out that alcohol was included in the price, I remember thinking, “Yes- bingo! Sign me up!” I was going to have the trip of a lifetime!

Unfortunately, this vacation was not so memorable.

The entire trip was filled with drinking every night to the point that the next morning I could not recall all of the “fun” things that we had done the night before. Instead of waking up with fond memories, I woke up every day with a hangover, regret and shame as a blackout drinker. Even the thought of getting up early to go on an excursion or play a sport was out of the question…I was too sick!

As I think of this right now, I am overcome with pure disgust! I think about all of the time and money I wasted and how I didn’t get to enjoy any part of the trip – the moments, the scenery, and the activities – because I was too busy planning how much “fun” I was going to have getting drunk.

Vacation is an opportunity to get away from our daily routine and have hours upon hours of pure freedom. However, years ago, I associated freedom with drinking. When I drank, I felt like I was free from everything and – most importantly – I was free from my thoughts and I could escape.

But, I have the disease of alcoholism! I have to deal with life and life’s issues without a drink because the booze and drugs can’t help. Having to deal with life without these substances is not a bad thing! It is just something that I had to get used to and I had to learn how to use other tools to handle my feelings.

Today, vacation is truly a vacation! Many of the vacations that I take today are to beautiful places that have golf courses. While on the course, you just get to be out in nature with old or new friends and try to get a small white ball into a cup. The game isn’t about winning or losing for me; it is about really enjoy quality time without interruption. That’s what I really love about golf – and the fact that most courses don’t allow cell phones really helps!

The gift of vacationing is the ability to just sit and take in the scenery without distractions. It is a time to spend with friends and family doing what you love. Whatever your desired activity of choice is while on vacation – golfing, swimming, hiking, boating, cards, board games - just revel in it and live in the moment. Because, remember, you can’t buy time!

Try to enjoy your next vacation without drinking… I promise you will not be disappointed!