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Grapevine : June 2011
M y alcoholism never takes a vacation, even when I do. The Big Book states that we are not “cured of alcohol- ism.” That doesn’t mean, of course, that we don’t take vacations! It simply means, as I see it, that I take aa with me. Some- where along the path of my recovery, I’ve been blessed with sponsors, family and friends who remind me that it’s okay to enjoy life. In fact, on page 132 of the same book, the authors wrote we “absolutely insist on enjoying life.” I love to travel, for vacation and work, and have been lucky enough to travel outside the U.S. approximately 50 times in sobriety, as well as several of the prettiest places domestically. I’ve attended aa meetings in the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Ber- muda and the Caymans, as well as in eight or nine states, including hawaii, California and Florida. I’ve attended meetings on the beach as the sun came up, and I’ve shiv- ered in old castles and musty churches when it was freezing outside. I’ve enjoyed every single “travel meeting” I’ve ever attended. Finding aa meetings in 2011 is a little bit easier than when I first got so- ber in 1990, and I had to make actual telephone calls to the intergroup office in Philadelphia or new York City. now, with the Internet, it is very easy to find an aa meet- I spent a year in Australia, tak- ing short trips to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Tasmania, and attend- ed AA meetings in each place I vis- ited. If I couldn’t get to a meeting, I would open the phone book and call the nearest AA office, if nothing else than to reach out and make some kind of AA contact. On my way home to the U.S., I stopped off in new Zea- land, and attended a few meetings there, too. Soon after my trip Down Under, when I was comfortably back in my routine at home, I was introduced to someone about my age, who worked in the same industry. She became my AA buddy and we attended the same meetings together. Sometimes, we’d have a meeting in the car before the meeting, then talk about the meet- ing on our way home. We didn’t al- ways talk AA, but AA was our com- mon bond. Together, we explored new meetings in surrounding towns. Sometimes, we’d find a keeper. Oth- er times, a new meeting might not quite be what we were looking for. Hal w.’s tips for travel meetings 18 June 2011 GRAPE_16-19.indd 18 4/21/11 4:06 PM