How to embrace vacation without alcohol
Updated: Jul 17, 2022
It has been almost a week now that we left Massachusetts. We have been traveling and on the go, and I haven't had a moment to sit down and reflect! We are in Israel for the Maccabi games - where my husband is playing hockey for two weeks. We have been in Tel Aviv this week and are headed to Jerusalem tomorrow. It has been an incredible experience thus far - full of exhausting days, lots of walking and a few eye opening challenges. Ultimately, I am grateful that I am sober for it all.
We took a ten hour flight overnight with all three kids and arrived the next morning at 9am Israeli time last Sunday. In the past, alcohol would have been flowing throughout the day of the flight and into the evening, and I would have passed out on the plane and woken up drunk/very hungover in Tel Aviv. It would have made for a very difficult transition and a terribly cranky mommy for several days. Instead, we were able to stay awake the first day we arrived and enjoyed some sunshine and pool time.
We have been experiencing the city of Tel Aviv and all the culture, food and history. The heat is next level, but we are embracing the excursions and enjoying ourselves. Authentic Israeli street markets, exploring the Masada, swimming in the Dead Sea. I am able to be in the moment with my children, enjoying the activities we have planned and not think about alcohol. Booze is completely irrelevant to my day. Getting my hands on my next drink is a thing of the past, and I am grateful for it.
Last night, we went to the opening ceremonies in the middle of Jerusalem. We took a shuttle, then the train into the city and then another shuttle. When we got to the stadium for the ceremony, the crowds were tremendous and overwhelming. Also the food options for the kids were underwhelming and the lines were long. In the past, the entire experience would have made me anxious and I likely would have been drunk throughout most of it, but I was present and clearheaded for the duration of the evening. Even when my eleven year old decided to wander off on his own, I remained calm.
Being in a foreign country - I thought I would be overwhelmed and stressed out. I didn't know if it would feel much like a vacation, even being sober. But being free from alcohol has has allowed me to truly relax and feel enjoyment on a trip that I thought would only be chaotic and anxiety inducing. We are having fun, making hilarious memories and eating the most ridiculously amazing food imaginable. Also, in the past, I was always too consumed by the idea of getting my next drink that I never tried gelato before. The gelato here is some of the best in the world, so that is one more reason to be grateful for my sobriety - more room for dessert.