Friday, February 16th, 2018
In this post, we outline 6 reasons why to travel for people living their lives in recovery.
Recovery itself is a journey in a figurative sense. You thus need to fill the recovery journey with real-life travels that server to enrich your outlook and your recovery simultaneously.
Early recovery is perhaps the most testing time you will ever experience. Travelling during this period takes you away from your everyday environment and helps to develop new habits in ways that aren’t influenced by older habits that were often destructive.
Also, it’s important that we define ‘travel’ from the outset. Often, when you hear the word ‘travel’, visions of sitting on a beach in Seychelles may arise. Whilst this may entail travel, this isn’t really what we mean when we say travel.
Our definition of ‘travel’ includes any trip where you are removed from your everyday environment. This could mean driving to work using a different route or going to a local beauty spot that’s an hour’s drive away from your home. This definition of travel means travel is accessible to 99% of people who are able to jump on a bus or a train.
Travelling is about experiencing new people, new places and new cultures. If you can afford to travel abroad, we strongly recommend you do so. However, travelling within your own country is perfectly fine, and definitely worthwhile. After all, not many of us can reasonably travel abroad too often, so if you don’t travel within your own country, you will severely limit the number of opportunities when you can travel.
I have now been in recovery for nine years, and I must admit that my motorhome (or RV) has played a massive part in my recovery. 90% of trips I make in my motorhome are made within the United Kingdom where I live, although I have been known to travel in continental Europe once or twice a year.
I believe my motorhome has brought life to my recovery. If it wasn’t for my motorhome, I may have become bored with my recovery. This boredom may have resulted in relapse. So, in a way, my motorhome has contributed towards saving my life and certainly my relationship with my spouse.
Whilst attending AA meetings has helped my recovery, meetings are essentially academic or abstract experiences. Travel, on the other hand, is much more memorable and concrete. For maximum benefit, attend AA meetings but please make sure you are enriching your recovery with exercises that are more alive, such as travelling and taking part in sporting activities.
Without further ado, here are the five top reasons for travelling for people who are living their lives in recovery:
When you leave rehab, your recovery will be on solid grounds. Motivation to stop drinking alcohol or taking drugs will be high. However, this motivation may begin to wain if you do not actively work on your recovery.
Travelling is perhaps the most significant and memorable way to work on your recovery. Travelling will help to renew your motivation to work on your recovery and to cure your boredom that may otherwise threaten your recovery.
Many people addicted to alcohol have an extremely narrow world-view that’s often devoid of rich cultural experiences. If you suffered from alcoholism, it may be a challenge to realise that there’s a world outside of your hometown.
When you undergo addiction treatment, therapists will help you to realise that there’s more to life than alcohol. You will begin to understand that there are activities that may not bring instantaneous gratification, but are nevertheless much more rewarding than alcohol in the long run.
Travelling will provide further evidence that there are many pleasures in this world that do not involve alcohol. Travelling will also serve to build on the good work started by a therapist at rehab clinics.
Travelling is perhaps the only activity that compels you to broaden your horizons. Travelling also offers you time so you may analyse your life whilst you also form new and empowering habits that serve to empower your recovery.
When you travel, you can’t help but learn about different cultures and ways of life. When you travel, you will observe how people live their lives differently to your own. This cultural knowledge will serve to enrich your life perspective. You will observe how other people discover happiness, even if they are not able to access the same luxuries that are considered commodities in your home country.
When you travel, you will experience new tastes, new sites, new landscapes, new languages and new people. All this exposure to new stimuli serves to enrichen and broaden your perspective. This will motivate your recovery and push your cultural awareness to the limit. This process will generally make you a more positive and interesting person.
Whenever you visit a new country, you will probably purchase an item that will serve as a souvenir of your travels. Your passport will also be stamped by immigration officials upon arrival. These items serve to empower your recovery by reminding you of your travels.
As we’ve mentioned several times in this blog, travelling will broaden your perspective on life. This broadened perspective will benefit you even once you’ve returned home. Your broadened perspective will help to improve the decisions you make and ensure you are more confident so you are able to tackle activities that you were before unable to do so due to psychological limitations.
When you enter life in recovery, clearly your current perspective on life will require improvement. Merely stopping your addiction isn’t enough. For many years, you’ve probably done very little to broaden your perspective. In fact, your alcoholism served to weaken your worldview.
Thus, if you don’t actively work on improving your perspective on life, you are much more likely to relapse. Since travelling is perhaps the easiest way to grow and improve your perspective, we feel this fact means travelling is a compulsory activity for anyone living in recovery.
Your perfective on the world is a major piece of your overall identity. Thus, if you wish to change your identity for the better, you need to expose yourself to new environments that stretch and enrichen your perspective.
If you are unsure if travel is right for your recovery, we strongly urge you to give it a try. Sometimes, it’s difficult to build up the confidence to travel. If this is the case, why not plan a trip with a fellow member of your local AA group.