The Beginning

The idea for Sober Outside travel adventures
came on a balmy summer evening on the Flores Sea off Indonesia.

I was fortunate to be spending 10 days on a liveaboard, aka a boat scuba divers sleep and eat aboard in between exploring a bunch of underwater dive sites. The crew and the other travelers were lovely—and yet, as a sober traveler, I felt a bit empty and awkward. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing.

Every night just after we’d finish our last dive, the staff would crack open cold beers and pass them around.

They quickly caught on that I never took one.

Instead, they’d bring me coconut water, which was thoughtful. On most of those nights, a handful of guests would slam more than a few drinks back, reaching that point where their eyes became glassy. Vacant. When this happens, I never know what to do with myself. I started feeling anxious and out of place.

During those nights, I was missing the company of other sober folks like me —people who understand me and my struggles as soon as I divulge that I don’t drink.

I longed for people who don’t need wine and beer to relax, enjoy a meal and have fun. People who, like me, can’t have just one beer because one is too many and a hundred is never enough. My people are also the ones who actively choose a healthy, substance-free lifestyle because they have a desire to stay present, to stay awake to all the wonder of life.

With sober people, I’m never the odd duck out.

Nor am I asked why I’m not drinking. With my sober friends, we share a bond, a connection, which goes deeper than most I had with my drinking friends back in the day.

Among my sober tribe, I can be vulnerable about my feelings and fears—which, yes, happen even on vacation!

It’s so refreshing to be able to talk about what’s true for me as it comes up, and talking about that uncomfortable stuff with my people takes the power out—as opposed to holding it all in around people who can’t relate, which I have a tendency to do around non-sober people.

The Goal

Sober Outside is about community

For me, being surrounded by my sober tribe means everything. I never would have been able to get sober and stay sober if it hadn’t been for the support of a group of loving women who believed in me and wanted the best for me.

And so it is at Sober Outside.

Our mission is to create, build and grow that same safe, supportive community for women and men when traveling.

When you feel connected to a loving community, not only are you free to live your best life, you also feel empowered to try new things. Those new things could include scuba diving, kayaking, backpacking or any number of exciting pursuits—all of which can show you that you’re capable of far more than you ever imagined.

Add to that the experience of traveling to
a new destination.

I believe that travel is such a wonderful way to connect with your authentic self, find what you’re passionate about, get inspired by the beauty on the planet and—here it comes full circle—bond with friends and build community.