gAy A: A LGBT+ Podcast About Sobriety

Sober Travel ft. Dave

August 11, 2022 Steve Bennet-Martin Season 1 Episode 96
gAy A: A LGBT+ Podcast About Sobriety
Sober Travel ft. Dave
Show Notes Transcript

Steve welcomes back Dave to talk about vacations and travel in sobriety.

Follow Dave on Instagram @gymdave85 and follow us while you are at it @gAyApodcast.
 
Thank you for listening. Please rate and review if you have found this information helpful.

Also, join our Patreon family for the post-show where we get more into traveling in relationships vs single and the fun we have at www.patreon.com/gayapodcast

If you are interested in sharing your story, getting involved with the show, or just saying hi, please e-mail me at gayapodcast@gmail.com

Or Follow Us wherever you are listening so you can get new episodes when they come out every Monday and Thursday. Until that time, stay sober, friends!

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Steve:

Hi everyone. And welcome to gAy A. A podcast about sobriety for the LGBT+ community and our allies. I'm your host, Steve Bennett, Martin. I am an alcoholic and I am grateful for my new work life balance. As of this recording, I am 431 day sober, and today we're welcoming or taking advantage of this beautiful summer weather to talk vacations with returning guest and friend of the pod. Dave, welcome back, Dave. Hello? Hello. It's good

Dave:

to be back.

Steve:

Yes. And I know that we just off mic, we're talking about what's new, but what's new in your world with sobriety and being gay and all of that. You have a lot of fun stuff. It seems.

Dave:

I do. So I started back in April, a group called sober gay Sunday here in Boston. And we have been doing really amazing outings. We did ax throwing. We did a beach day. We've done actually a bunch of beach days cuz I'll kind of just like throw out emails, letting the guys know I'm going to the beach and we all have a really fun meetup. And then we also did bowling. and this Sunday we're going rock climbing. So it's been really, really fun. It's really picking up. We've kind of unofficially, but we'll be officially partnering with one of the gay sports leagues here in Boston. So it's gonna be kind of a a, a, an incredible. Partnerships wild. So that's that? Yeah. That's going better and better and better. Every time we hang all those guys hang out. And then I have been inducted into the Mr. Gay world pageant, which is coming up in November. I did a small pageant here in Boston for pride, and then one of the judges decided to put me in as Mr. Gay world, Massachusetts 2022. So I'm in the middle. Planning outfits and getting photos and getting ready for the Nat, the nationals in Fort Lauderdale. So that's wild. Cause that's not something I ever thought I would do. And here I am kind of like rolling with the big boys and I'm like, it's crazy. So yeah, it's been really, really good actually. So good thing. Things have been good. Really, really good. The gifts of sobriety. It's great. Yeah. It's Ooh, it's wild.

Steve:

now out of all the topics that you could have chosen to come back to talk about, why did you choose vacations in travel?

Dave:

I chose vacations in travel because I feel like it's one of those big, scary moments in sobriety where you kind of are facing down. The, the urge to drink the triggering, you know, a lot of people you know, pre sobriety, Go on vacation to get wasted and to do crazy things and end up you know, spending the following week of their vacation, needing a vacation from their vacation because they've had such a wild time and I'm no different when I was drinking and using drugs. It was go, go, go, go, go with as much as we could get in our, our bodies and then come home and be a wreck for a week or more. And I have really expanded my sobriety circle through the traveling I've done post sobriety. I think that's something I have a pretty, I'm not one of those people who is like, you have to travel. Like I understand not everyone has the access to to travel and to do those things, but even the smallest little kind of like staycations or even just kind of, you know, exploring your own city can be kind of considered a little vacation and it's again, You're facing down the Demonn of addiction when you're entering those spaces. So I thought I would kind of chime in.

Steve:

Yeah. And I, I know you touched on it a little bit, but you know, what was it like on vacations before you were sober? Like in terms of the drinking and the drug use, how did that affect your ability to experience them?

Dave:

So for sure, I mean, you, you know, step off the plane, step off the boat, step off the train, step off the whatever. And it's like, let's. You know, let's get fucking wasted, let's get drunk. Where's the nearest bar. Where's the nearest, you know, let's crack a bottle in the hotel room, in the Airbnb and wherever you're staying. For me, it, wasactually just talking to one of my friends this weekend about it. It would be rum and Cokes at 9:00 AM mm-hmm and get started that way. And, you know, Just drink all day and go to the beach and drink and then go to dinner and drink and then go to the clubs and drink. And there was always, especially in the gay community, I feel like vacation and drinking are very like, you know, latched to each other. Yeah. Once I started to move into the drug world, it was a little more, it was similar in the sense, like I would drink, but then I would also do drugs to go out dancing and then I would do drugs to have sex after that. And vacation was like a big. Vendor really is what it was.

Steve:

Yeah. And it's interesting cuz I can imagine that would be similar to my experience, but I know a lot of my times I was like a serial monogamist with a guy who wasn't a big drinker. And one thing that I've noticed at least getting sober on vacations is just how much time beforehand I spent not only drinking, but also like thinking about drinking and playing. Like when can I have the next drink? Like when is it too early? Can I ask for a mimosa breakfast? Like, will he be okay with that because we're on vacation or will he judge me? you know? Yeah. Just even though I didn't spend a lot of my active time on vacation drinking, it was always about like, my mind was always obsessed with that. Like when is that next drink gonna happen? How can I get

Dave:

that? Oh, for sure. Yeah. I've definitely been on vacations in the past with significant others that were not as as heavily into their alcoholism as I was. Yeah. And so for sure, it was showing up to parties on vacation, you know, already black out and mm-hmm a lot of relationships took some serious hits on vacation with little old me when I was using so that's for damn sure.

Steve:

Yeah. And how is it different now when you go on vacations sober.

Dave:

Well now it's it's, first of all, I save a lot of money but now it's, it's incredible, cuz you can really experience the places you're in. You can really experience the people you're with and you can really, I mean, vacation in my eyes is about kind of taking a step back from your normal life to kind of chill out and refresh and then return to life better than you left. Now that I don't drink. I absolutely do that. I absolutely come back with a glow. I absolutely come back with a feeling of I've made new friends or I've made, you know, had really great experiences. And so with, with, with no drinking and no drugs, vacations, what it's supposed to be. Yeah.

Steve:

Yeah. And I agree. I know that I I've only gone on a couple vacations since getting sober. One of them was like a sobriety vacation, but it's there is certainly something. Being able to be present and enjoying the time normally by like four or five days of vacation, I'm like burnt out just from like everything that I was putting my body through when I was drinking or smoking. Absolutely like that. Now that I can go on vacation for a full five days and be like, I'm still good to go. And like, you know, I'm not ready to leave yet. Or you go home and you're ready to, you know, go back to work. Instead of having that, like you said, like vacation from your vacation you needed.

Dave:

Yeah. When I hung out with one of my sober gay Sunday guys, this past. Who's 50 days in, so he's new and he just went on his first little boy's trip with his friend group sober and he's sober and they're all not. And so he was able to really see the behavior that him and his friends just do normally on vacation from this, with this new lens of sobriety. And he was just, as you just said, he's like, So ready to keep going. And all my friends were exhausted and hungover and they're like, no, we're leaving. Like we have to be done with this little weekend trip. And he said, I could have gone on forever and they could not. So it's, it's so funny. You said that, cuz he literally said the exact same thing was the drunks need to get home and sleep it off. And a sober guys could go on all forever. Oh yeah,

Steve:

for sure. And what are some of your favorite places to vacation?

Dave:

I'm a hu I love Provincetown in Massachusetts. Mm-hmm I'm first of all, it's really easy to get to, which is fantastic. And it is the gay Mecca of my world. Anyway, mm-hmm I think it's the best place in the world, but it's, it's one of those places where you can be so unapologetically yourself. You can be so. Just free. And, and it's, it's one of those places where at certain times it's like the whole world's been switched. It's like 20% straight people and 80% gay as this, if the world was like flipped and it's incredible. I absolutely love it there. I also love Puerto a Mexico, which is very similar. I really love queer spaces. I really love going into queer places because you know, we're around straight people. At least I am I'm around straight people all the time. and, you know, to have a vacation spot where you can just completely let your hair down and completely be who you are, I think is fantastic.

Steve:

Yeah. I'm beginning to experience that myself. And it's funny, cuz like I never really did those types of big social events. Like when I was like drinking, I was always a stay at home drinker. So like going out and being part of the sober gay community has just been really awesome being like, wow, I can dance like without drinking or without being drunk. Like if I want to in the right circum.

Dave:

it's a great feeling. It really, really is. And, and, and you remember everything. Yeah. That's a great thing about it. You like, you go out and you dance and you have a wonderful time, and then you can recall every single minute of every single day you were there and not have to like come home and piece it together. Like, oh, did I see this person? Or did I, you know, did I throw up in this corner? Like, eh, like it's so, so much better to be of sane mind and sober when you're on.

Steve:

Yeah. And with so many different vacations under your belt, what, what have been some of your, like more stressful vacations on your sobriety and why?

Dave:

So luckily for me over the past two years, I've been sober. Any vacations I've taken have not been stressful because I fall into, I think I mentioned this before, one of the episodes I was on, but. Fall into these groups of sober guys. I'm so open on my social media and I'm so like the sober guy online that whenever I kind of roll into a new town, I, I meet people that are like, oh, I know you from Facebook. I know you from Instagram. Like you're the sober guy or whatever. And so then I just like find these little pockets of sober people. And so it, every vacation I've been on since I've been sober, Like improved my strength, the strengths to my, my, my sobriety. I haven't really run into any stressful situations. One of my first vacations out I was like a month in and one of my friends I was staying with was still using. And that was hard because obviously drugs were in the next. And I was very young in my sobriety and it also kind of like made me see that that friend didn't have my best interest in, in his heart, in when he was using or, and it also made me kind of realized what I looked like using cuz I was watching it. Strolled through the apartment every morning. And I was hearing it, you know, at night. And I was just kind of seeing this person kind of think that I didn't know what was going on. Mm-hmm and I'm like, was I like this? And the answer is, yes, it's exactly what I was like. Like you can't hustle a hustler when you see it, you know it. And so that was one of the first vacations I went on as a sober person. And that was stressful in that. It was a big slap in the face to see what my life had been not a month before. But since then, it has just been continuous, continuously being surrounded by incredible people that are all sober and all of like mine, or just being really supportive. So.

Steve:

Yeah, and that's awesome. And I definitely relate to your experience with that because like, with seeing, like looking in the mirror of yourself, like I was five days sober when I went to a wedding up in New York. So like I flew, traveled wedding with my friends and I was so worried about like drinking again, but, you know, as stressful as it was being there in that situation, like the most stressful part was like that it was like looking in the mirror. I'm like, oh my God, this is what I look like when I drink, this is what I sound like when I drink, this is what I, you know, And it just was not something that I was like, I mean, seeing it early in my sobriety, like helped me kind of rededicate myself and be like, yeah, I'm not gonna do this, but it definitely

Dave:

was. Yeah. It was really very affirming. It's a very affirming situation. Watching people kind of like behave the way you did for sure.

Steve:

Yeah. And what are some of the places that you'd like to travel to that you haven't yet?

Dave:

I'd really like to go to Australia. I think that's one of those continents that I feel like is, so I'm also like a big animal person, like in the FA like wild animals, not like pets I could give or take dogs or cats, but and I've, I think that the wildlife there is fascinating. So Australia is definitely someplace I'd really like to go. Africa would be really cool animals clearly. And. Yeah, I think those are two, those are two big ones. Like that'd be really cool vacations to go and just really see the country and really country and, and experience some something, cuz even I I've traveled to the UK, I was dating someone a couple years ago. That was from the UK. And even though they speak the same language or they're not that far away, the cultural differences are fascinating to me. So I think it'd be kind of. Cool.

Steve:

And what is some advice you would give to someone listening who is nervous about vacationing

Dave:

sober? Don't be afraid to walk out of any situation that you feel like is triggering for you. Mm-hmm I literally sat down with one of my buddies this past week. I was just telling you who's so who's new. And he actually went to Provincetown for the first time, last weekend, completely sober. And he actually was texting me throughout the weekend to check in and stuff. And it's completely okay to just walk away. If you feel like people are getting too drunk, if you feel like you wanna drink, be in a situation where you have an, an easy exit strategy, find like sometimes people get stuck in going out with their, like going on vacation with big groups of friends and feeling obligated. They have to stay with that group the entire time. And you have to be able to set your own boundaries and be able to protect yourself in any sort of triggering situation. And be honest with the people you're with. Stay strong in, in, in the fact that you are gonna continue being sober. Cuz if you sit there and you're like, ah, well I just, I'm just kind of not drinking right now. Then your friends are gonna be a little more apt to put a little pressure on you to join them. Whereas if you are. I'm sober. Stand your ground and, and leave when you need to. I think the people that care about you really respect that. So I think that's the best advice I give is like, be honest and, and get out if you have to Yeah.

Steve:

And that that's definitely great. And I would also say like when possible, and you mentioned earlier as well, like making a sober friend or meeting a sober friend, or just having someone else there. You're not alone then. And it's easier for like two people to say we're not drinking than it is for one person to keep saying

Dave:

it. Oh yeah. When I was on vacation that first one of the other vacations I was on with the friend that was still using, I had literally two friends at the, either end of the street. I was staying who were both sober, were like, if you ever need to get out for any reason, our doors are always open. Like just give a knock, having a, a sober kind of buddy to jump on and run away with. Very very

Steve:

helpful. Yeah. And besides your upcoming trip to Fort Lauderdale for your competition, do you have any other yeah, travel plans in the near future? You're looking

Dave:

forward to, I do. I go to Provincetown for carnival every year and carnival is this amazing tradition. And it's a theme week in P-town. If you, if anybody knows anything about P-town, some of the big weeks are 4th of July. And then bear week and then carnival and carnival started back 40 years ago. This group of guys during the aids epidemic were losing so many of their friends that they decided to all go to P town for a week and celebrate their lives and celebrate the people that had passed. And, and then the next year more people came and then the extra more people came and more people came in, it just became. Tradition. And every year there's a theme and on Thursday of the week is a big costume parade. Mm-hmm so I am an artist and a costume maker, so it's kind of one of my big weeks. So we're doing that. Me and my roommate are doing that in the end of August. So that's really, really fun. That's been really. Excellent.

Steve:

Well, I look forward to seeing all of your upcoming trips on social media. Absolutely. Yes. And if someone was listening and isn't already following you, how would they find you? So you can

Dave:

follow me at Jim Dave, 85, G Y M D a V E 85 at on Instagram. You can also follow sober gay Sunday on Instagram, which is just at sober gay Sunday. And that's the best spot to kind of follow my sober journey. I think.

Steve:

Excellent. Sounds good. Well, thank you for, for coming back and stick around for. Post show. I'd like to thank everyone for listening. Join our family today. You can head over to the post show on our Patriot page to hear more about Dave's ES escapades while he's on vacation and if you're interested in sharing your story, getting involved with this show, or just saying, hi, I'm an email away@gaapodcastatgmail.com or at GAA podcast on Instagram. Be sure to follow us wherever you're listening so you can get new episodes when they come out every. until next time, stay sober friends.