Return to Home Page

March 13, 2006

Travel and the recovering alcoholic

My latest Ask Rolf column at World Hum features a question from Brian of New York, who writes:

I’ve enjoyed your writings for some time now and want to set out on my own travels, but I have a “limitation”: I’m a recovering alcoholic with 13 years clean and I was wondering if you could give me any advice concerning dealing with social situations where booze and drugs are part of the culture. I wouldn’t travel with the aim of insulting people, but I also don’t want to go on an intercontinental bender. Any tips?

Since travel is by nature a social endeavor — and since alcohol is a social lubricant in every part of the world — Brian asks a very valid question. However, I told him that it shouldn’t be too hard to have socially rich travels while still staying “dry”:

In some places, such as North America, most of your hosts will understand and respect your desire to avoid alcohol. In other places, such as Muslim and Hindu lands, avoiding alcohol is a religious virtue, and tea or coffee is the primary social drink. For this reason South Asia or the Middle East might make great destinations for you (not only to avoid awkward drinking situations, but because these places are culturally rich and famously hospitable).

There are some parts of the world, however—and I’m thinking of East Asia and Eastern Europe in particular—where drinking is such an ingrained part of the culture that it might be difficult to continually turn down alcohol.

For the full answer to Brian’s question — including strategies for avoiding booze in drinking cultures — click over to World Hum here.

Posted by | Comments (3) 
Category: Vagabonding Advice


3 Responses to “Travel and the recovering alcoholic”

  1. Brian Says:

    Rolf,

    As the Brian who asked the question, I thank you for the advice and did some research. I’m planning a trip to Northern India and possibly Dubai. Thanks again!

  2. Rolf Says:

    Excellent, Brian! I spent four months in northern India some years ago, and it was fascinating. Do let me know how it goes…

  3. Keshav Gurung Says:

    How about Bhutan? Alcohol IS ingrained into the culture like you mention for some countries in East Asia but there are quite a few of us fighting it. So, Make sure your Rebirth from a drunken alcoholic to a recovering one has some gain. Travel to the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan with Bhutan Rebirth Tours & Treks. Thanks to the Bhutan Government’s policy of making holidays high quality rather than quantity they enforce a tariff of US$ 250 per tourist per day. If you are willing to exchange that for a holiday of a lifetime, which for a change you’ll remember ;-), then log onto BhutanRebirth.com and we promise you heaven on earth!
    BhutanRebirth.com & contact@bhutanrebirth.com.bt

Leave a Reply

Main

Bio

Books

Stories

Essays

Video

Interviews

Events

Writers

Marco

Paris

Vagabonding.net

Contact


Vagabonding Audio Book at Audible.com

Marco Polo Didnt Go There
Rolf's new book!


Vagabonding
   Vagabonding

RECENT COMMENTS

medodeal India: Be wise health wise www.medodeal.com your healthcare destination

Roger: First of all, I want to commend you for going to Cuba. I wouldn’t mind...

Christian: This is all too true, especially for the shoe string traveler. The type of...

Mike Mentz: Love this, Rolf. Thoughtful and well-written. Really enjoyed it. Cheers,...

Mortal Kombat X Cheats Android: Stay tuned for more information involving Mortal Kombat...

Paul Morgan: No disrespect , but you are a tourist.

Ivan Mendis: Any disease when comes to a country government should give proper help and...

Charles McCool: Amazing life experience.

Bob: Hi Cheryl. would love to talk but no contanct info. chandubob@hotmail.co.uk

Cheryl: Well…f there’s anyone out there would like to talk about old...

SPONSORED BY :



CATEGORIES

TRAVEL LINKS

ARCHIVES

RECENT ENTRIES

There is no conflict between tourism and traveling
Review on Tortuga Air Carry On Backpack
Dancing at the Blood Festival
Vagabonding Case Study: Troy Whitmarsh
Breeze through U.S. airport lines with TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry
Seeing Thailand in Black and White
The art of body language is an essential travel skill
How to choose and use packing cubes
Vagabonding Field Report: Getting Ready to Sail the Seas on the Oliver Hazard Perry
Balancing desire and ethics when traveling


Subscribe to this blog's feed
Follow @rolfpotts