There was a time when alcohol-free anything seemed completely unimaginable to me. I was brought up in Ireland, a culture where drinking was the norm. Casually mentioning that you didn’t drink would be enough to warrant suspicion or at best social rejection! People might assume you were religious and generally a massive party pooper. After realizing that alcohol or rather my drinking habits weren’t conducive the life I wanted to lead, I decided that I’d had enough, and I gave it up. That was 2016 and I was living in Seoul, South Korea at the time. I slowly started to venture out in to the world of alcohol-free activities and travel. I remember my first trip as a sober person. It was an organized trip to a beautiful island called Ulleungdo, with around 30 other foreigners. I was nervous. This was unchartered territory, but I thought, let’s just give this a go, one day at a time. The benefits of alcohol-free travel soon became evident. I was clear-headed, not tired and sluggish. I woke up early every day feeling refreshed. I met amazing people on that trip with whom I am still in contact today. I felt blissfully invigorated! I could get used to this, I thought. Since then I’ve travelled far and wide and I can safely say that there is no other way I would rather travel. Lucid travel is one of the most enriching and rewarding experiences that one could possibly have.
During my travels, it was clear that a lot of activities, especially evening activities were centered around bars and drinking. I thought, wouldn’t it be great if there were more travel-related activities for non-drinkers or people who weren’t big on drinking. It wasn’t until the end of my trip, that a good friend who I met when traveling through Ronda suggested that I create travel experiences for non-drinkers. At the time I agreed that this was a great idea, but I wasn’t quite sure how I would go about it. Either way, the seed had been planted. As I went about planning the next chapter of my life, the idea of creating alcohol-free travel experiences kept arising, until one day I couldn’t ignore it anymore. It was undeniably clear that my intuition was telling me that this is the path I should follow. Sometimes I feel like life is just one big lesson teaching us to tune in to our inner guidance system. Fast forward to 2019 and We Love Lucid alcohol-free trips has become a reality!
There are several things that I am trying to achieve by creating these experiences. Perhaps the most obvious one is connecting like-minded people who want a holiday minus the booze. In the past I’ve heard people (usually drinkers) questioning why we feel the need to isolate ourselves from the drinking community by creating separate holidays. The fact is that people like to relate to others. We like to meet people who share some similar experience of life. Although non-drinkers are on the rise, we are still in the minority. Most of us spend 90% of our time around people who do drink. Isn’t it therefore understandable why we would want to meet people from our own tribe? Doing so creates a sense of comfort and belonging, one of our most instinctive drives as a human being. That being said, there are myriad reasons why people don’t drink these days. Our trips are designed with a broad section of the non-drinking community in mind. Whether you decided to quit drinking, have never been much of a drinker or would even just like a break from it, the focus is on creating positive experiences and making meaningful connections.
Spending time outdoors, trying new things played a huge part in my life after giving up alcohol. It was something healthy and fulfilling that I could really focus on. Whether I was getting up early to go kayaking or taking off up the coast with my bike and a tent, I knew this was the start of a whole new way of life for me. I’d had a taste of real adventure, lucid adventure. It was moments like these that inspired me to make outdoor activities one of the focal points of our trips. Spending time surrounded by nature and breathing in the fresh air not only makes you feel fantastic but it’s also a chance to learn about the environment. Our guide Miguel takes a holistic approach to hiking, sharing his knowledge about the different plant and animal species that we encounter along the way.
The fact is that trying out new and exciting activities together in a small group really bonds people. There’s also the added bonus of a confidence boost that you get by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. This could be anything from learning a bit of Spanish or a new outdoor activity such as canyoning of kayaking. It could even be the beginnings of a new hobby! All these experiences can help increase your quality of life. You leave feeling refreshed, invigorated and ready for the world. One of the great things about having these trips in Ronda is that you get a close encounter with the local culture. Local Rondenos are extremely friendly and accommodating. This enables you get an insight in to their way of life. Having this sort of close connection with the people and culture allows us to gain some perspective in life. We start to realize that we are all fundamentally the same, with the same desires and that we’re all in this together. It gives rise to tolerance and compassion, traits that are evident in many well-seasoned travelers.
The possibilities for Alcohol-free travel adventures are endless. The We Love Lucid journey has its roots in Spain but in the not too distant future, our trips will go worldwide. We are listening to our clients’ suggestions about new travel destinations and are researching new and exhilarating places to add to our list. We Love Lucid is not only about creating alcohol-free travel experiences but also about changing the collective perception about life without alcohol. The truth is that alcohol-free living motivates you to be the best version of yourself. Life becomes rich, vibrant and ultimately more rewarding. The more people start to realize this, the sooner people will start to live the lives they always wanted for themselves. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all felt a little more fulfilled?
By Lauren Burnison Lauren is a traveler, polyglot and owner of We Love Lucid. Although brought up in Ireland, Lauren has spent time living all around the world. After giving up the extreme party lifestyle in 2016, Lauren was inspired to create her own travel company, organizing alcohol-free adventure and culture trips. Her mission is to connect people in pursuit of unforgettable travel experiences minus the booze. Now, she lives in the beautiful mountains of southern Spain where she spends her time kayaking, horse-riding and experimenting in the kitchen.