It’s been four days since we arrived home safely in New Zealand. I’ve taken time to reflect on our vacation and put together some observations. I thought these might be useful if you’re planning a vacation and are dreading the prospect of being alcoholfree like I was… especially if you are going with heavy drinkers and/or to a location that you typically associate with drinking.
My Sober Vegas Vacation included both of these variables – eights day sin Sin City where gambling and drinking are what this city is famous for. But actually, I found out that there is SO MUCH MORE to Vegas that these two things… and I feel like I had a much more rewarding, authentic and memorable time due to not partaking in either.
Lessons I learned:
- Before you go, planning really helps. A while back, I wrote a blog about my preparation and packing. I wanted to set myself up for success… here is the link about how I did this 🌇 My Sober Vegas Vacation! 🌇
- People will pressure you to drink. But don’t worry about it – it’s their issue, not yours. Just because they don’t know how to function on vacation without getting rip roaring drunk, see it for what it is… and stay strong to your truth. I wonder if these people take exception to non drinkers as they themselves know they don’t have the ability to function sans alcohol? Not sure. Here is an article I wrote to help get through the awkward and uncomfortable times when peer pressure kicks in My Sober Vegas Vacation Kicks Off! How to Think Past the Drink. ✈️
- The first day or so is the hardest. Once your travelling buddies realise that you are committed to having a great vacation without alcohol, the pressure and questions will stop. I found that they initially think its ‘just a phase’. But if you show them that you are serious, I’d like to think real friends will respect your decision and leave you alone. That said, don’t think your decision will change their decision to drink… you’ll still be subjected to their drunken slurs. But don’t worry, there are options when you get faced with this situation!
- Early to bed – escaping drunken mayhem is bliss. After about 10am, the quality of conversations with drunk people is generally lost. So, rather than continuing to be subjected to the drunkness, I exited. I let them carry on drinking, spending money at bars and facing hangovers each morning. It was so peaceful after a long day on our feet to head back to the room for a relaxing spa, cup of tea and read my book for a bit before going to sleep.
- Early to rise – while the other sleep their hangovers off and lose half a day. Getting up at 6am to practice yoga or journal drove my partner nuts. He isn’t a big drinker but wasn’t keen on early mornings. So, I’d get my workout gear ready the night before then head down to the gym for an early morning workout while everyone else kept sleeping. If you are ever in Las Vegas and love yoga, I highly recommend a morning class at the Mandarin Oriental. Their floor to ceiling studio enables you to overlook The Strip as the sun comes up – and it’s open to visitors, too. Mary Jane is a highly experienced, welcoming and focussed yogi, you can find her details Here
- Vacations are expensive, so let’s remember it. I knew if I gave in to any of the daily offers to drink alcohol, one would never be enough. And moderation is just not an option for me… it’s just easier to say no. Then there’s nothing to contemplate, stress or worry about. Vacations are so expensive, I wanted to remember the sights, sounds, food, people and experience. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on alcohol, I bought some beautiful yoga outfits, some jewellery and small things for around the home.
- This vacation was FULLY PAID FOR using the money I saved on alcohol this year. True story! Since I quit on 01/01/17, I have been tracking the time and weekly average alcohol spend in an app called nomo. This vacation – return airfares from New Zealand, accomodation, food and my spending money, was all paid for through not drinking this year. Crazy!!! Have you considered a vacation using the money you no longer spend on drinking? I am now saving my drinking money for my next trip… stay tuned. I have calculated by the end of the year, I will have saved enough money to pay for a week long yoga retreat in Bali. Fun times!
- Have someone who can support you when things get tough. Whether it be phoning a friend, texting someone or reaching out to a sober network, your sober tribe will inspire you to be successful on your sober vacation. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your kindness, compassion, encouragement and support throughout this vacation. All of you, coupled with the wonderful support of my partner, were the key to getting through. I sincerely thank you for your help.
Anyway, that’s all from me for now. If a sober vacation sounds daunting, don’t let this overcome you. Your mind and your commitment to being alcoholfree is much stronger than you think. If I can go to Las Vegas for eight days and have a magic time without alcohol, I now believe I can go anywhere in the world and do the same.
Take care, carry on and thanks again for your support xoxo