Newly sober and in recovery.... what to do when on vacation?

Travel Forums General Talk Newly sober and in recovery.... what to do when on vacation?

1. Posted by Meadows (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Hello,

My name is Megan and I am a recovering alcoholic and addict. I am a college student from Oregon here writing for an assignment for class, but also this is something I am very much hoping to gain some insight, information, and knowledge on. It is my perception that most people when on vacation like to drink to unwind and cut loose. Being that I am in recovery I am needing to find other activities that do not involve drinking alcohol that also maybe other people wont be drinking at to do for fun. Another part of my circumstance is that I am a felon in the United States and I believe my felonies will prohibit me from traveling outside the U.S. or US territories. If anyone is more knowledgeable on that I would LOVE to hear anything about being a felon (A Class A felon) and traveling outside the U.S.

Also, if I cannot leave the United States, which is fine at this time considering everything I have no immediate plans to travel, but knowing I will never see any other part of the world is really quite sad. So if anyone knows of anywhere worth visiting in the U.S. I would love to hear about that too!

Thanks in advance.

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Apr-2020, 19:09 GMT by Meadows ]

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1993 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Hi Megan

Personally I don't see any link between travelling and alcohol. I think that's more to do with lying on a beach doing nothing, which in my book isn't the same thing as travelling.

Your record may not stop you from travelling internationally. The USA seems more restrictive about this for people going in, I'm not sure all other countries are so severe. There are some hugely knowledgeable people on here who would advise but you need to list the convictions you've got. An idea of how old they are too.

3. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1269 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

As Andy says, I see no link between travel and alcohol or illegal drugs. It's perfectly possible to enjoy even a lazing-on-the-beach-doing-nothing-much holiday whilst only having soft drinks and there is unlikely to be any more temptation when on holiday than in your everyday life.

As far as I'm aware there are no restrictions on any US citizen visiting the UK and/or the Republic of Ireland for up to 6 months and any of the 26 Schengen countries (e.g. France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland) for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. No visa or e-visa is required.

The same applies to any country which does not require US citizens to have a visa or e-visa.

However, if the conditions of your release prevent you leaving the US or you were involved in the type of crime which would be of serious concern to other countries (e.g. major drug-trafficking) your passport could be 'flagged' by the US authorities. That means an electronic marker is put on your passport details so you are very likely to be stopped and questioned when you enter any other country. A marker doesn't automatically mean you won't be allowed to enter but the chances are much higher than for people whose passports aren't flagged..

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Apr-2020, 20:48 GMT by leics2 ]

4. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 442 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

A U.S. citizen with only a lesser (than a Class A felony) misdemeanor offence, such as a misdemeanor DUI, will very likely be inadmissible to Canada for a casual visit.

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Apr-2020, 22:30 GMT by road to roam ]

5. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1447 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

There are many beautiful places in the USA where drugs and alcohol are not immediately available and certainly not obvious. Check out the National Park system. Look at your own State Park system. If you don't like camping, most of these have lovely lodges. There is scenery and hiking and often many other activities, many ranger directed.

I checked your Profile Page here and you didn't tell us where you are living so it's hard to make an easy recommendation. Are you east coast, west coast or somewhere in the middle? That will give us an idea where to start with suggestions.

The state parks might be more economical. Some of the more famous National Parks are hard to book and have very expensive lodges so although the scenery is fabulous, the price might be more than you want to pay. Look for a state park nearby and you will have much the same scenery for much less cost.

The kind of sightseeing you enjoy makes a difference too. We love museums of nearly anything although I must admit favoring chocolate museums when I can find them. If you visit museums all day, have a nice lunch and reasonably light dinner, you should sleep well and not need any sort of stimulant . . . or sleep aid, depending on your needs/problems. If you can't afford museums, churches often have wonderful art inside them and they are nearly always free. Walk as much as possible. It's not only good for you; you'll see a lot . . . and you will sleep well at night.

6. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2450 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

" I am a recovering alcoholic and addict..."

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"I am a felon in the United States and I believe my felonies will prohibit me from traveling outside the U.S."

For international travel you may NOT be able to get a passport because of your felonies and whatever restrictions that apply to your particular crime and punishment. Apply for a passport and find out. (Some US post office do photos and take the applications.)

Quick Google type checks with a laptop came up with several links you might want to look over when you do your own research. Samples below:
https://getawaytips.azcentral.com/international-travel-restrictions-for-convicted-felons-12347745.html
https://www.uspassporthelpguide.com/countries-a-convicted-felon-can-visit/

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As far as being an alcoholic and traveling - all up to you! No one will force you to drink alcohol. Many non-drinkers travel all over the world. If you have no willpower to resist the temptation to drink then stick to places closer to home. This way if you are thrown in the slammer you will have local courts to deal with vs international justice systems. (Use the court system you are already familiar with.)

Fill out your profile. This way it is easier to decide if you are asking a genuine question or just working on some sort of thesis or paper and you are just looking for data.

Up to you.

7. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1269 posts) 5w 1 Star this if you like it!

>This way it is easier to decide if you are asking a genuine question or just working on some sort of thesis or paper and you are just looking for data.

The OP has messaged me and I can assure you that this is a genuine question.

[ Edit: Edited on 20-Apr-2020, 12:01 GMT by leics2 ]

8. Posted by BrightlyBob (Budding Member 40 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Generally I’d say more active vacations are easier to avoid alcohol, sunning yourself on a beach chair is strongly associated with alcoholic refreshments, although non-alcoholic choices these days go well beyond just coke or Pepsi! However I can’t really think of a much worse vacation destination for a recovering alcoholic than Vegas, the place is built on casinos, smokes and alcohol!

Visiting Europe and going around the historic sights, properties and castles, is a great option, enjoy the vast range of food and fill up your camera roll!. And don’t forget those countries where alcohol is restricted, such as Morocco, Egypt and the UAE - whilst alcohol is easily available in the clubs and international hotels it’s not so easily available elsewhere, meaning far less temptation.

Finally, a hiking holiday through the Adirondacks or the many similar areas and parks in the States. Beautiful scenery, and great fresh air - and no passport requirements!

9. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2450 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

" Another part of my circumstance is that I am a felon in the United States and I believe my felonies will prohibit me from traveling outside the U.S."

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First you have to determine if you can actually leave the US.

"I am a college student from Oregon here writing for an assignment for class.."

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You will need to plan some sort of budget out just to see what you can afford. if still in school your choices might be limited to summer breaks and maybe spring break.