By Diane Cameron
Do you take your recovery on the road? There are many ways to do it: Pack the literature. Make sure you have your sponsor’s number in your phone. Check the changing time zones and confirm that you can call her or plan to send texts back and forth.
And of course—go to meetings in new places. Going to twelve-step meetings in new places is one of the joys of recovery—and it’s a travel pleasure that non-recovery folks just don’t get the benefit of. It’s been my experience over and over that AA trumps Triple A (the American Auto Association) for travel info every time.
Please ahead—Google “AA in _____(your vacation destination here)”. And you will get a meeting list and contact phone numbers. Big cities, beach resorts, international trips and in teeny tiny villages too. And always on cruise ships. Typically in rural areas you’ll get a personal contact and probably a ride to meetings if you’d like that.
Going to a meeting on vacation keeps your recovery fully charged, of course, and it keeps
you balanced against bad food, late planes, time zone tiredness, and maybe even the temptation of one or more addictive substances. Maybe a fancy beachside cocktail with flirty umbrella doesn’t tempt you but you are about to be undone by the chocolate in Belgium. Any good 12-step contact is going to be your sounding board and helpmate.
And speaking of Belgium, Paris, or Munich…it is a ball to go to a meeting in another country or language. You will be so welcome and welcomed. And if you raise your hand and say that you are visiting you’ll have a chance to ask for info on ticket lines, recipes, which ferry to take, and where the locals shop for those fabulous scarves. Twelve-step meetings are a treasure trove of tourism info…you might even get invited to dinner or a performance or a sale. I’ve done all that and more in other countries. We are a great big family—even on vacation.
And if you happen to be traveling with actual relatives (husband, teenaged kids, mother-in-law, sister-in-law!) saying “I have to go to a meeting” gives you a guaranteed free pass and a chance to improve your mood and shift your perspective. You, and they, will be glad when you get back to the hotel.