Friday, February 16th, 2018
Today, we explain how travelling can strengthen your recovery. When you are new to your recovery, travelling is highly rewarding, but it may be challenging. In fact, because travelling is challenging, it serves to both test and strengthens your recovery. This is similar to the process where a muscle is strengthened due to weight training.
Whilst alcoholism and drug addiction weaken your worldview, travelling has the polar opposite effect because travelling is perhaps the most powerful way to strengthen your worldview.
If you attended a rehab centre, the therapist will attempt to broaden your view of yourself and the wider world. Thus, travelling really continues this work and allows you to take your recovery to the next level.
When you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you are essentially being selfish. You probably thought you and your needs were the centres of the universe. When you go travelling, you begin to realise that you are essentially just a tiny dot on a huge planet populated by living creatures whose needs are just as important as your own.
Below, we outline some important reasons that justify travelling in order to strengthen your recovery. We also offer tips to ensure your trip abroad does not overly challenge your recovery.
Before you even step on foreign soil, there are a number of precautions you can take to help you avoid addiction triggers. We recommend you contact the hotel you will be staying at and instruct them to physically remove the mini-bar from your room.
You should also research areas that are known for having a drinking culture. You can then avoid areas that have a build up of nightclubs, bars and pubs. You should definitely avoid these locations during the night.
Whilst travelling abroad is likely to spike your temptation to drink or take drugs, you need to take precautions to ensure this temptation is kept to a minimum. Being in recovery is about managing and coping with temptation. It’s not about burying yourself in bed and not living your life to the fullest.
When you travel, you get time to think. You probably won’t be working. Instead, you might be chilling out on the beach, walking in mountains or just spending the time to read a good book in the countryside. When you travel, you typically gain time to undergo reflection and self-discovery.
Self-discovery will bring clarity in order of where you presently sit within the world. You will be given time to think about where you have been, where you currently are and where you are going. You may conclude that you don’t like where you are going. You will then be able to plan out a path that will move you towards happiness.
One way to bottle your thoughts is to keep a travel journey. You can refer back to this journal to ensure you are taking action on the insights you discovered when travelling. We urge you to note down realisations that apply to your well-being in general, and not just your recovery. Remember, your recovery is strengthened by your overall wellbeing, no matter what form this takes.
Travelling abroad kills off many addiction triggers existing in your hometown
Whilst travelling abroad may expose you to new addiction triggers, it also serves to remove you from addiction triggers that exist in your hometown. You will be removed from people and places that expose you to temptation.
One negative emotion that may arise during your travels is isolation. This is particularly true if you travel alone. To combat isolation, take a smartphone, laptop computer or tablet with you so you may take advantage of cheap communication methods such as Snapchat, Facebook and Skype. These apps will allow you to stay in touch with your friends and family members so you do not feel alone and isolated whilst you travel.