Whether you are traveling for the holidays, summer vacation, spring break, or simply planning an impromptu trip – there is nothing better than hopping in the car for a road trip. Road trips cultivate adventure and spark our natural desire for spontaneity. While a road trip can be super exhilarating, the unknown can naturally create a bit of anxiety. However, there are a ton of preparations you can make to ensure your sober road trip is fun and exciting. Here are a few ways to plan an exciting road trip in recovery.
Capitalize on Your Time in the Car
Road trips involve a lot of mindless time in the car. If you’re anything like me, this is the most rewarding part of roadtrippin’. A combination of loud emotion-provoking music and my favorite podcasts are my favorite soundtracks to a long drive. Adding in lots of snacks and good company, and I’m set. Getting in the car for a drive can easily be super healing – especially en route to a destination. Here are a few recovery-based podcasts you should subscribe to for your trip:
- Recovery Unscripted – “Recovery Unscripted brings you firsthand stories and exclusive insights from the front lines of addiction treatment, mental health care, and the opioid crisis. Powered by Foundations Recovery Network and hosted by David Condos, this podcast’s mission is to share valuable wisdom and powerful stories.”
- Recovery Elevator – Paul Churchill has a fellow recovering alcoholic who shares his experiences in recovery in hopes of reminding other alcoholics and addicts that they are not along on the journey.
- From The Grave Podcast – This podcast is impartially one of my all-time favorites. One of my longest friends in sobriety, Scott Russell, invites several different guests on his podcasts to share their raw experiences in recovery and navigating through spiritual growth. If you’re looking for a few laughs and some conviction – check out this podcast on your road trip.
If you’re looking for a more melodic soundtrack for your road trip, here are a few artists who have expressed their struggles and triumphs through their music:
- Macklemore is known for being completely transparent and an advocate for addiction recovery and mental health. Check out his song “Starting Over.”
- Eminem recently celebrated 12 years sober. His album Recovery focuses on his struggle to overcome his prescription medication addiction.
- Anthony Kiedis of (my personal favorite) Red Hot Chili Peppers writes about his life in active addiction in his autobiography Scar Tissue and continues to be an advocate of addiction recovery.
- NF is a powerful lyricist, and his music is always so relatable and relevant to my recovery journey. Start by checking out his song “If you want love” – I promise you won’t regret it.
Choose Your Destination Wisely
5 tips to plan an exciting road trip-1200For example, you should avoid Spring Break hot spots or gambling epicenters like Las Vegas and Miami. 5 tips to plan an exciting road trip-1200 There is nothing more refreshing than heading outdoors to experience life – sober. Add in the element of connecting with people in a different culture to connect deeper with the world around you.
Plan Ahead to Protect Your Sobriety but Leave Room to Be Spontaneous
It is essential that you plan ahead for your road trip. However, part of the fun of a road trip is the spontaneity. If you’re booking nightly lodging in advance, underestimate your daily mileage to allow for off-road produce stands, site seeing, or unscheduled stops at roadside attractions. The goal of a great road trip is to experience the freedom and beauty of life fully. Alcoholics like us crave freedom, and sobriety gives us the ability to experience events like road trips.
Bring Along a Sober Friend to Travel With You
Addiction is said to be the disease of isolation. While it may be exhilarating to potentially road trip alone, I promise you won’t regret bringing a sober friend along. The fellowship we experience in recovery is second to none. No one understands your wants and needs like another alcoholic or addict. When you plan ahead for a road trip, you should definitely bring along a sober friend who understands and respects the importance of your recovery and need for adventure.
Find Random 12-Step Meetings to Attend Along the Way
One of my favorite things about traveling to different places is checking out local AA meetings. If you’re new to recovery, you’ll soon learn that each 12-step meeting has a different format. When you travel to different destinations, you’ll get the full experience of recovery from many different points of view. For example, last January, I spent time with my dad in Colorado when he had open-heart surgery, and I wound up at a biker AA meeting – and it was by far one of my favorite meetings I’ve attended in my sobriety. I still have a contact in my phone that reach out from time to time to check in on me. Furthermore, catching a 12-step meeting on your road trip will definitely keep you grounded.
Wherever You Go, Be All There
One of the most beautiful gifts of sobriety for me is the ability to be present. When I was in active addiction, I was never present. I was always medicated or obsessing over my next fix. I never truly got to experience the beauty of the world around me. When you begin your road trip, make the conscious decision to be present. Soak up everything from the silly moments in the car, the fresh air, random gas station stops, to the food you eat. Find gratitude in every moment of your trip. Be bold and meet some locals. Wake up with the sunrise and meditate. Spend time reflecting on everything you are grateful for before you head to bed. Wherever you are, be all there.