We may have long periods of chaos in our life, often created by our struggle with substance abuse. The commotion of addiction can make it hard to get far from our original stomping grounds and see other parts of the world. Now that we are in recovery, it may be the perfect time for some exploration, and it could even aid in staying sober.
The Effect of Travel on Sobriety
Travel can help us in sobriety in many ways, including the following:
There are many causes of stress in daily life. They can range from unresolved issues in relationships to a long commute. Regardless of the cause of stress, it is important to find methods to decrease the amount of stress we endure, especially in recovery.
Stress is a well-known risk factor for substance abuse and addiction. While we have done the work of treatment, it is important in recovery to be aware of our stress levels and find ways to integrate recuperation from stress into our lives.
During travel, we leave our daily routine, explore, and relax, which can help us to disconnect from daily stressors. Research has even shown that travel is an effective method to help us recover from stress. While there can be stressors while traveling that are important to keep in mind, a vacation or trip where we feel comfortable with the itinerary is a great way to get away and unwind.
Going to new places where everything is novel is a wonderful way to see the world from a different perspective. In the day-to-day grind, staying sober can sometimes drag us down, but when exploring a new beach or cave, sobriety can be transformed into a blessing. We can appreciate that sobriety is part of the reason we can travel and see new places, how far we have come in our lives, and how much more there is to explore.
Observing or participating in a different culture can also get our creative juices flowing. When we travel, we see other ways to handle situations and are often more open to learning. A similar phenomenon occurs in experiential therapy, where clients are led in an activity in a new environment, learning new ways to address emotions and problem solve by a counselor.
While traveling lacks the same structure as therapy, it does put us in a different environment. This can help solve problems in our lives back home based on something we see or feel while traveling or a skill we learned while away.
Strengthens Social Connections
Whether traveling alone or with others, travel can be a great way to connect with others. If we travel alone, we may get into interesting conversations with fellow travelers or locals, learning about their lives and sharing ours.
On the other hand, if we travel with friends or family, we have to work through the logistics of travel together. This can strengthen the bond of relationships and help us feel more connected both while traveling and once we have returned.
Regardless of who we connect with, community and human connection are highly important in staying sober. Sometimes in our routine, we get lost in the necessary communication, like what we need from the store or how much the electric bill was this month.
Travel can help us have the space to truly share, strengthening old bonds or creating new relationships. These relationships, in turn, can help us stay sober by providing support when we need it.
If there is a place we’ve always wanted to see or a city we’ve always wanted to explore, traveling can be a way to live that dream. Now that we are sober, we can organize and take care of ourselves, opening up opportunities that we may have dreamed about but didn’t think were possible.
Traveling is an activity where we can let our inner child out and investigate new places, try new foods, and meet new people. We can enjoy ourselves and our lives in sobriety in a way we never had the opportunity to before.
Taking Care of Ourselves While Traveling
While travel can help us in our sobriety, it is important to take steps to ensure that it does not increase stress or cause other issues. Choosing destinations and a way to travel that we will both enjoy but also not cause stress is important to be able to enjoy travel without compromising our sobriety.
If we don’t feel ready to travel, that’s okay. Setting goals and being intentionally positive are methods to help us if our goal is to travel someday. Speaking with our therapists and support networks can also help to see if and when travel would be helpful in our recovery.
As you continue to live in recovery, new options become available to you after the chaos of addiction settles. It is essential to find ways to maintain your sobriety, and travel is one way that can be fun and helpful. Whether it is an adventure trip, a relaxing vacation, or a combination, there are many reasons travel can help you stay sober. Through travel, you can learn more about yourself, connect with others, and relieve stress. These are all critical factors in maintaining sobriety; you do not want to lose your focus after the effort of transforming your life in treatment. At 449 Recovery, we help individuals find a new way of life in recovery from mental health disorders and addiction. We are prepared to help you maintain sobriety and discover the joys of a sober life. Call us today to learn more at (949) 435-7449.