If you’ve been following along on my journey up to this point, you know how nervous I was about staying strong with no liquid courage when I started traveling again.
Turns out, I had nothing to worry about!
It’s been surprisingly easy to travel without drinking, even when celebrating my best friend’s birthday in London and Paris.
My friends are incredibly supportive, and never once pressured me, guilt-tripped me, or called me “boring” for not drinking with them.
Just because I wasn’t partaking in the boozefest, doesn’t mean I was a party pooper.
I still went out, I danced, I laughed, I chauffeured, and I never once complained.
In Iceland, I stayed out until the wee hours of the morning, dancing the night away with my friends, and drove us safely home in the snow at 5am.
In London, I went bar hopping, disappeared into a sea of balls at Ballie Ballerson, and indulged in late night munchies right along with my friends.
In both cases, I had just as much fun as I would have if I were drinking, without feeling like crap the next morning!
Although I will say that my diet definitely was not on point during those two weeks. And I was seriously sleep deprived.
But the deprivation was much more manageable without the accompanying hangover.
Normally, I would crack open a cold one while I settle into my new digs, and possibly hit the town to check out the local bar scene and night life when I first arrive somewhere new.
This time I settled in with a hot cup of chamomile tea, caught up on much-needed sleep, stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies from the farmer’s market, and mapped out my running routes.
During the past 3 weeks here in Croatia, I’ve mostly just been focusing on working, immersing myself in the culture, and getting back into my routine of exercising and cooking healthy meals.
It took a couple of days, but I’m officially back into my routine.
I naturally wake up between 6am and 6:30am every day (even on weekends), just in time to catch an amazing sunrise with coffee in hand.
I spend the first hour or two of the morning writing, reflecting, “meditating” (of sorts), and planning my day.
This “me” time gears me up to be super productive and motivated for the rest of the day.
I don’t really like to use the term “meditating” much because I know how “woo-woo” it sounds, and people automatically picture me sitting cross-legged on the ground going “ommmmm”. But I’m not that cliché, guys.
For me, meditation just means sitting in my window sill, watching the sunrise, admiring the beauty of the town and the marina below, soaking in all of the beauty, and feeling grateful to be there in that particular moment. And not thinking about anything else.
Because that’s what meditation actually is. Focusing your full attention on ONE thing and pushing all outside distractions and thoughts out of your mind for the time being, to be fully present and aware of what’s happening in this particular moment.
Your legs don’t have to be crossed, your eyes don’t have to be closed, you don’t have to pinch your index finger to your thumb, you don’t have to hum or chant, and you don’t have to have an “out of body” experience.
That’s why I wrote my previous post about using meal times to meditate. It’s the same concept, focusing your full attention on eating rather than multitasking.
Anything you do can be a form of meditation if you give it your full attention, awareness, and focus.
Anyway, I digress.
Back to my update.
One thing I’ve noticed about my physical changes since I stopped drinking alcohol, is how quickly I am able to bounce back after falling off the wagon of eating healthy and exercising regularly.
When I go on a streak of eating really well, exercising every day, and consistently making healthy choices, I get in the best shape of my life.
Then life happens, I get busy, I travel with friends for two weeks, and all of that hard work goes out the window.
But as soon as I make the decision to get back ON the wagon and back into my routine of eating clean and exercising, my body bounces back to feeling healthy and vibrant again within a few days.
My hangovers were getting progressively worse with age – I swear every year older I got after 21 added an extra day of recovery time onto my hangovers.
Like I said in my very first No Alcohol Challenge post, a night of drinking would leave me feeling sluggish and depleted of energy for a week. Which of course, sucked away all motivation and productivity right along with it.
With my newfound sobriety however, I can wake up on any given day, decide I’m going to be super healthy, and have the energy and motivation to just start making healthy choices right then and there.
When I was suffering from regular hangovers, my body literally felt incapable of getting up and going for a run, or taking the time and energy to cook a healthy meal.
Now, even on my laziest days when I don’t feel like exercising or cooking, I know it’s just in my mind and my body is fully capable of doing it, so I’ll just trick my mind and start moving.
The mental clarity I have these days is truly phenomenal.
I have a crystal clear picture in my mind of everything I want, and everything I need to do to get it. Which makes it a hell of a lot easier to turn into reality.
I’m super productive, super focused, and super enthusiastic about my work and everything I’m creating. I can say with 100% certainty I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t quit drinking, simply because of the motivation and productivity that hangovers were stealing from me.
And when I say “where I am today”, I mean it in every sense of the phrase. I wouldn’t be running my own online business while traveling the world, I wouldn’t be the incredibly happy and grateful person I am today, and I sure as hell would not be this focused and motivated.
I know that there are a lot of factors at play that contribute to all that stuff, but I truly believe (now more than ever) that having a totally clear mind is the number one reason for it all.
I feel the happiest and most “whole” that I’ve ever felt in my life. I have more self-love and self-respect than I ever thought I could possess. And I constantly blow my own damn mind.
I don’t mean any of that in a narcissistic way, I’m just simply amazed at how far I’ve come and how much more I’m capable of than I ever realized.
I’m excited to see where month 5 will take me!
P.S. For those interested in following along on my travels – I share daily photos on my personal/travel Instagram account @hellooo_itsbre <– click to follow me 🙂
P.P.S. If you haven’t read my other posts on my No Alcohol Challenge and aren’t familiar with it, I’m doing it as a one-year health experiment – it’s not addiction-related in any way. Just thought I should clarify that.