Friday, February 16th, 2018
In this post, we discuss how to find 12 step meetings abroad. Hundreds of thousands of people rely on weekly 12-step meetings in order to improve and enrich their recovery. If you are travelling to a new destination, you may feel uncomfortable with the fact that you are missing out on 12-step meetings.
By the time you have completed this post, you will no longer worry about missing out on 12-step meetings when you are abroad. Why? Because 95% of countries have an AA or NA presence. This is testimony to the fact that the 12-step process works no matter which culture, language or country it is manifested within.
Whilst going abroad is an essential way to work on your recovery, going abroad should not be about giving you an excuse to have a holiday away from your recovery. Also, going abroad may serve to weaken your recovery, particularly if you associated a holiday with drinking or taking drugs.
I particularly remember the story of a client who went on an ‘all-you-drink’ Nile cruise in Egypt, and this resulted in his relapse. Unfortunately, we don’t know of any 12-step meetings taking place on the Nile, and we wouldn’t recommend you embark on a holiday of this nature, particularly if you are new to recovery.
If you are new to recovery, you may even put off going abroad because you will miss your 12-step meetings. You may worry that you will expose yourself to addiction triggers you may have forgotten about, and you may worry that the excitement of being abroad will mean you forget about your recovery. You may also worry that you will disrupt your routine by attending 12-step meetings, so when you return home, you may not pick up where you left off.
Thankfully, 12-step meetings take place in literally every corner of the world.
We recommend you begin your search on Google. Simply type in “AA Meeting in” + “Location name”. For instance, if you search “AA Meeting in Tokyo”, you will discover AA’s official Japanese website found here.
Locating AA meetings in the country you are travelling to is probably only a Google search away!
Many countries host a country-specific official AA website. AA’s main website lists these websites here.
Many of these websites are offered in English. If you locate an AA website that’s not in English, view the website using the Google Chrome browser. Then right-click on the webpage and click “translate into English”:
On AA’s central website, you can also ‘select a country’:
You may wish to call the meeting organisers ahead of time to ensure the meeting is available in English.
If you are travelling to a country that’s not too far away, it may be worth asking members of your home AA meeting if they’ve attended meetings in the country you are travelling to. You can never beat first-hand experience, so please do ask members of your current group for their invaluable advice.