In four weeks, we’ll be on a plane bound for Las Vegas, Nevada. Six friends, seven nights, casinos, the Strip and limitless alcohol. From the airport lounges (with free alcohol) to the plane (with free alcohol) to the limo (with free alcohol) that’s taking us to our accomodation when we touch down, the entire trip will be awash with free alcohol.
But not me!
I made a commitment that I’ve affectionately named My Sober Vegas Vacation. To go there, to have a great time sans alcohol, and I’m going to stick to it!
But you can’t go to Vegas and not drink, you’ll be soooo boring!
Ever had this kind of comment from drinkers? That attending an event and not drinking equates to boring?!? I believe it’s because they have their mind in the same place I did before I quit drinking on 01/01/17. That is, the mainstream delusional belief whereby alcohol is needed to relax/have fun/socialise/fit in. But in reality, alcohol dulls the senses, causes some people to become rude/loud/repeating/etc and it poisons our bodies. Come on, a pounding hangover… is that ‘fun’? Can you ‘socialise’ as your authentic self after a drinking session? Or with a killer hangover? No. Alcohol scientifically does not enable the body to relax… it does quite the opposite.
Fortunately my partner is very supportive, he seldom drinks. He’s one of those rare breeds that can ‘have a drink’. Yes – literally one beer with mates – then go back to whatever he was doing quite happpily. So he is my rock and knows that I might need to call on him for support while others are getting plastered. The others also know I’m not drinking. I respect it’s their decision to drink and I’m hopeful that they respect my decision not to.
It starts with the packing.
Thanks to super sober blogger Sober In Vegas I’ve been provided with some fantastic ideas to ensure I’m set up for sober success. Things like:
- Downloaded podcasts. If you’re interested, my favs are Recovery Elevator, Being Careful: Self Care & the Persuit of Mindfulness, Thriving After Addiction: Using Yoga & Meditation to Recover, Hay House Summit and The 6am Miracle with Jeff Sanders
- Earplugs, eyemask and noise cancelling earphones. Particularly handy for the long plane rides (14 hour direct flight Auckland – LAX).
- Yoga gear and mat. For those early morning yoga and meditation practices!
- This Naked Mind. Let’s be honest, if a moment of weakness happens, I need to reach for Annie’s book ASAP and re-read the Liminal Points! This book has changed my life – read my review here.
- Blankie. I have this lovely blanket that’s light weight and was my grandmothers. It’s great for wrapping oneself up and reading. Very snuggly. Especially for the plane. ✈️
- Graditide journal. To ensure I retain my morning/evening ritual. Three things I’m thankful for. This practice has totally changed my outlook on the world! But that’s a blog for another day.
- Own coffee cup. There’s something so comforting about your own cups rather than the tiny hotel ones.
Packing a clear line of sight.
My line of sight is knowing that not getting wasted on vacation will enable me to have a much better time than if I go back to the old ways. The advantages as I see it:
- Pride in knowing I have stuck to my guns. By the time we return home I will almost be five months without a drink – that would be an amazing milestone to hit!
- Early mornings. Waking up each morning fresh, confident at ready to hit the yoga mat / morning meditation routine. I love early mornings with a passion. You know, before the world wakes up. Between 5:30am and 7:00am, the tranquility and ‘me time’ to gear up for the day is the most powerful life change I have made this year.
- The cost. Despite the copious amounts of free alcohol I’ll come across during this vacation, alcohol comes at a huge cost. I will be financially, emotionally, socially and physically worse off after spending days and nights drinking my vacation away than if I go and not drink. I see NO BENEFITS WHATSOEVER in picking up that glass… only benefits in not picking it up.
Anyway, that’s where the Sober Vegas Vacation is at the moment. I am very interested in your advice and experience – how do you prepare for vacations when you know you’ll be surrounded with alcohol? The opportunities for us to be successful in these situations will make us stronger and stronger.
Thank you to my amazing (sober) friend who prompted, encouraged and reminded me to bring a positive perspective to this vacation – you know who you are. You’re absolutely right, this is and amazing vacation opportunity, I am embracing it with both arms! 😊
Love and sober hugs
From New Zealand xoxo 🦋💙🌴🌏
PS the following pic was taken in Las Vegas just over two years ago. Alsboltuely love the sights, sounds, and vibrancy of Vegas. 🌇