[countdown date=2012/04/30] There is [dhmtimer] left in the 90 day Alcohol Free Challenge!! [after]The 90 day Alcohol-Free Challenge was Successfully completed on April 30th, 2012![/countdown]

While on the road - January 30th, 2012 to be precise – I decided to go 3 solid months of being alcohol free, without drinking so much as a drop. This includes samplings of a local spirit, liqueur infused desserts.. not even cracking the bottle of homemade apple ice wine I have been carrying around with me since I left Canada, nearly 6 months ago.

Alcohol Free

Background to this personal challenge

Those that have met me on the road, or in the ‘real world’ would tell you that I’m a ‘sociable dude’. They may recount some stories of a fun party we went to, or a great night out on the town/beach/jungle where we got into some funny shenanigans together. They may add to this story by telling you that this happened while intoxicated.

For the most part, they’d probably be telling the truth (though I’m not quite sure who you’ve been speaking with just yet). I’ve been known to enjoy having the odd drink or three… or even twelve from time to time, given the circumstances surrounding our soiree. The act of drinking as a medium for social interactions, though not a pillar of the relationships, has definitely been a favourable pastime amongst my friends and myself.

When on the road and meeting like minded people, an all-too-common activity I’ve noticed is to go have some celebratory beverages for your new-found friendships. It seems to be one of the most common and socially acceptable mediums of bonding around the globe.

 

In addition to this, for nearly 6 years, I had been working in a travel company which all but out-right encouraged alcohol consumption, with it’s regular open-bar staff parties, and it’s “beer-o’clock” Fridays, this social activity wasn’t even being restricted to the concept of not mixing business with pleasure – the main floor of the office building was a bar, for crying out loud. Drinking became part of the social lifestyle and interactions with my colleagues both in and out of the work environment.

 

Sounds like a pretty good party, doesn’t it? For some, this would be an ideal work:life situation. A dream in fact… So why the challenge?

Though I can’t take credit for the idea of this project, as I was inspired by travel blogger Anthony Middleton who has his own personal 6 month challenge in the works, my reasons to go alcohol free are entirely my own.

The Reasons for my Decision to go Alcohol Free

Reason Numero Uno – the cost.

If you consider that the average traveller will go out a minimum of 3 nights a week, in addition to the sea-side daytime beers from a hammock, or the post long-chicken-bus-ride “can’t-believe-I-just-survived-that” shot of tequila, or any of the other drinks you might manage to sneak in there – I’d say upward of half a travellers expenses (after transport and accommodation) can easily be allocated to this activity. In my case this was definitely true. I’m going to save a fortune. With that math, I will potentially double my savings allowing me to travel for twice as long. I could also use them to splurge on a few luxuries I may have reconsidered otherwise.

Reason B –  the health.

With nights of heavy drinking, comes the inevitable hangovers. This brings with it a diminished ambition to accomplish much in the following days, leading to more sloth like behaviours.  With my new found energy levels and ambition, I plan on tackling another personal challenge – a custom-designed traveller format of the P90X video series.

Reason Third-From-The-Top – an experiment on one’s self.

I believe this journey will bring with it much introspective analysis as to how one interacts with others, when booze is out of the equation for you, even if it’s not for everyone else. Will the interactions be the same? Will the bonds be as strong? How will other people respond to your decision to be alcohol free? What then happens to your own feelings and thoughts on night’s out at the pub? What social drinks do you miss the most, and at what times do you notice it?

The Results

Stay tuned for updates as I venture into this self examination of living a life on the road, alcohol free.

[countdown date=2012/04/30] There is [dhmtimer] left in the 90 day Alcohol Free Challenge!! [after]The 90 day Alcohol-Free Challenge was Successfully completed on April 30th, 2012![/countdown]