For those of you actually know me, you know that I’m not a social pariah. If anything, I’m a chatterbox who will either get you talking endlessly or take that role for myself. I think that’s why I thrived so well during this volunteer program where I had to talk to people for 12+ hours per day.
Grown up socializing is synonymous with drinking in a lot of countries…the U.S. included. Everything from holidays, celebrations, and even work happy hours involve alcohol. I think this is why people are often shocked to find out that I don’t drink. The reaction ranges from: “that’s really awesome” to “you’ve never had a drink, ever?”
Religion plays a role in my decision not to drink, but my reasons for staying sober extend far beyond religion. In fact, I’d say that I’ve met more Muslims who do drink than Muslims who don’t.
It’s actually surprisingly easy not to drink when I’m at home in Los Angeles, but what about while I’m out on the road? I studied abroad in Ireland, the land of Guinness. And I spent a month in Spain, where wine is basically a religion. Still a piece of cake.
Check out my reasons for staying sober, plus tips on being sober on the road!
I can’t want what I’ve never had.
Some people act like I’m some sort of saint for not drinking. Like it’s impossible to get through life events sober. I’ve actually never had a desire to try alcohol. The smell grosses me out, and the idea of having to drink something over and over again until I get used to it isn’t exactly a selling point.
I remember everything.
Well, actually I don’t because my memory sucks. But you know what I mean. What’s the point in having a fun night if you can’t remember what made it so fun? Plus I get to tell my friends all the shenanigans they got up to, which is a huge plus on my reasons for staying sober. Love you guys!
I save money.
Alcohol is seriously expensive. In Los Angeles, mixed drinks hover around $12. The equivalent of two drinks will get me a nice meal. Food over drinks any day.
I save on calories.
I mean, I’m not going to pretend I’m the healthiest eater in the world. I do run a food and travel blog after all, so clearly like I to eat. But simple economics says I can skip two beers and eat a small order of fries instead. Not that French fries are fantastic for your health or anything, but at least it’s better than eating the fries and drinking the beer, right? Yes, fries are one of my reasons for staying sober.
It’s super fun.
Some people think being the sober one amongst the drunkies sucks, but I disagree. See the previous point.
Tips for being sober on the road:
You can still go out with everyone.
Just because I’m not drinking, doesn’t mean I won’t go to the bar or to the club. Dancing is fun in every most cities and so is hanging out with new people and dancing the night away.
Just because you aren’t drinking alcohol doesn’t mean you can’t have a soda / water / juice. Plus, this way you can avoid having people thinking that you’re judging them. I swear I’m not!
It’s more annoying to have to constantly turn down drinks, and, in some cultures, it’s actually considered offensive. Usually if you tell someone you don’t drink, he / she is pretty respectful and offers to get you something non-alcoholic instead.
Don’t be a judgmental prick.
Just because you aren’t drinking, doesn’t mean you get to lecture or judge someone who is. Just like you want people to respect your decision not to drink, you should respect their choices too. Nobody wants to feel judged.
“Sober Sally” is here to stay but don’t worry…I’ll be the first one there to entertain you with my fabulous dance moves.
What do you think? Do you agree with my reasons for staying sober, or do you think it’s a crucial part of socializing? Let me know in the comments below.