Reasons for Staying Sober

There are many benefits to being sober, especially while traveling. Check out why I do it plus tips on being sober on the road! |

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!


The Why:

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!

There are many reasons for staying sober, especially while traveling. Check out why I do it plus tips on being sober on the road! |
I even remember this. Don’t ask.

I save money.

Alcohol is seriously expensive. In Los Angeles, mixed drinks hover around $15. 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 I like to eat (especially while traveling). 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.

There are many reasons for staying sober, especially while traveling. Check out why I do it plus tips on being sober on the road! |


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.

There are many reasons for staying sober, especially while traveling. Check out why I do it plus tips on being sober on the road! |
My dance moves haven’t evolved much.

Drink something.

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!

Be honest.

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.

There are many reasons for staying sober, especially while traveling. Check out why I do it plus tips on being sober on the road! |
My interpretive dance looks like judgment. It isn’t. Taken during study abroad in Ireland.

“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.

There are many reasons for staying sober, especially while traveling. Check out why I do it plus tips on being sober on the road! |
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17 thoughts on “Reasons for Staying Sober

    • Sally E says:

      Totally understand! I honestly think it’s just as easy to have fun without drinking, but no judgements to those who do 🙂

  1. Andrea Gerak says:

    Glad to meet you in the club, Sally! I almost never drink, and managed to do so for quite a few years… 🙂 Yet, most of the times I have more fun than people who drink. So what would be the point?

    • Sally from Passport & Plates says:

      Likewise, Andrea! I agree with you. I don’t think one should or shouldn’t drink but I definitely want to quell the misconception that not drinking means not having fun! 🙂

  2. Tania Mukherjee says:

    I am not a huge fan of drinking either and just like you hate the smell. But I do gulp some liquid now and then when I am with friends, however I know loads of people who don’t drink and think themselves to be saints! They are very annoying and keeps on passing judgement on people who drink and thinks anybody with a glass of alcohol is a drunkard!

    • Sally E says:

      Oh gosh, those people are the WORST. I don’t really find not drinking to be difficult but I hate people who pass judgements on those who do…everyone is entitled to his/her personal decision! Sorry you have to deal with people like that! Sounds like they need to be reminded that just like you don’t judge them for not drinking, they shouldn’t judge you for drinking 🙂

  3. NomadLifestyleBlog says:

    Great tips! I also agree being sober on the road saves money thus keeping you on the road longer 🙂

  4. Chantell Collins says:

    I love this! Good for you :). I once did sober for October and have to say that I noticed a lot more things and remembered more than my friends did the next day. It made for some good laughs :).

  5. GirlAstray says:

    Sally, I love your blog more and more! In my country, drinking is a social requirement and many people consider our (home made) fruit distillates a medicine. While I enjoy having a few drinks, I actually stopped drinking so much as I did back home when I started to travel more and found out I feel great without alcohol too! Now I am in Turkey and really happy to have liters and liters of tea instead of beers I´d be having back in Slovakia…it also makes the occasional drink more fun for me. Money saving goes without saying!

    • Sally E says:

      Thank youuu <3
      I'm glad to hear you're embracing the soberish lifestyle of the Turkish! And their tea is SO GOOD. I never felt the urge to drink because I enjoy being able to remember everything and not worrying about hangovers etc the next I have no qualms about dancing the night away sober haha. Definitely something I think people should try out occasionally and see what they think :).

  6. Danielle Wolter says:

    Great post! I used to drink, but quit many years ago. I save money, remember things, and feel better in general, ESPECIALLY when I travel. There is nothing worse than being super hungover on your vacation. I don’t miss it and don’t feel like I am missing out on anything. I will say it is occasionally frustrating to explain to people that I don”t drink. Not everyone is respectful of your decisions.

    • Sally from Passport & Plates says:

      Thank you! And yes, it seems to make such a radical difference for people when they decide to stop drinking (even if it’s just temporary). I couldn’t imagine having to travel while hungover…what a nightmare!
      And that sucks to hear that people aren’t respectful! I’d have to say that 95% of the time people are respectful and the other 5% they’re either mystified or trying to convince me to drink. That can definitely be frustrating.

  7. TopKnot60 says:

    Paying $12 for a mixed drink in Los Angeles? I rarely drink and don’t head to bars very often but was moderately shocked to see how much a mixed drink cost. So yeah, trading two mixed drinks for a $25 meal isn’t a very hard decision.

    Good story.

    • Sally E says:

      HAHA right?! I’m always astounded by how much my friends end up spending when they drink. Definitely not a hard decision in my book but there are definitely plenty of people dropping some serious cash on drinking!

  8. Stefan (BerkeleySqB) says:

    Great read. Good on you and well done. I think one day I want to get there too.. ? I liked the “don’t be a judgemental prick part” and the “well I don’t have a great memory”

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