Benefit from the sober life with eco adventures in Costa Rica


After zip lining, we energy walked to our rooms to rapidly grow to be our swimsuits and climbing boots for a waterfall hike. We solely had ten minutes to prepare, as a result of we have been already booked for lunch and a day of river tubing, then a visit to close by scorching springs. The whole lot was elective, however I used to be touring with a bunch of fellow recovering alcoholics who didn’t wish to miss a second of the enjoyable and sweetness Costa Rica needed to supply.

It was like we have been making up for misplaced time. Oh wait, we have been. All of us agreed that each one these blacked-out hours in our previous couldn’t examine to listening to howler monkeys bellow within the bushes, watching sea turtles lay their eggs on a seashore at daybreak or feeling the chilly shut over our heads after leaping from the highest of a waterfall. It was a complete week of moments the place we collectively felt: “I can’t consider we’re right here! In Costa Rica! Sober!”

Associated: Pod-shaped Coco Villa immerses visitors in nature and luxurious

View of waterfall from the top

Select Life Sober Adventures

Our small group of six sober vacationers had all signed up for per week in Costa Rica with the Los Angeles-based tour firm Select Life Sober Adventures. Proprietor Cole Bressler, skilled information Marco Fallas, and driver Jimmy Aguilar crammed our days with actions and made positive we all the time obtained the place we have been going.

Why sober journey? Although Bressler is barely in his twenties, he’d tried to surrender numerous substances many instances earlier than it caught. He discovered that the trick was forging a robust neighborhood of sober individuals. However when he was utilizing, he by no means gave a lot thought to his future.

“There wasn’t a lot of a life,” he advised me. “It was simply present.” However as soon as he lastly obtained sober — the trick, he discovered, was forging a robust neighborhood — “I had all this chance in entrance of me to do something.” Bressler had grown up serving to his dad and mom out with their tour firm. It felt pure for him to mix sobriety with journey and begin a enterprise of his personal.

Select Life continues to be small. Proper now, the corporate has three locations: Costa Rica, Peru and Kenya. Subsequent, Bressler will most likely add a home journey, probably to a nationwide park.

View of hotel in Costa Rica

Costa Rica adventures

We explored the northwest a part of Costa Rica, flying into Liberia after which spending three nights within the mountains by Rincon de la Vieja volcano and three nights on the Pacific Ocean at Playa Carrillo. It was an excellent mixture of jungle and seashore actions. Our days within the jungle at Hacienda Guachipelin have been action-packed.

The onsite zip line course was essentially the most lovely and thrilling I’ve ever skilled. We zip-lined over a waterfall and thru a slim canyon. At one level, we jumped off a platform on a Tarzan swing, bouncing round over a chasm. At one other, our guides lowered us all the way down to a platform by ropes, then we climbed again up a slippery rock wall. All surrounded by lush ferns, flowers and the sound of speeding water.

Tubing on the Rio Negro was additionally improbable, albeit a bit scary. We roared by means of white water rapids. A few of us flew out of our tubes, all of us drank important quantities of river water, and as we bounced between boulders, we realized that helmets actually have been obligatory.

On the seashore, we stayed on the elegant Resort Naambu, which featured thatched roofs and unbelievable sunsets. We arise paddle boarded and sea kayaked, snorkeled and wandered the little surf city of Samara.

For sober traveler David Smith of Dallas, the journey expanded his horizons. “I’m not a lot of a hiker, so I positively didn’t plan on climbing by means of a rainforest whereas it was raining,” he stated. We laughed as we remembered an absolute deluge that soaked by means of so-called waterproof jackets as we searched the forest for monkeys and tapirs. As an alternative, the water washed up extra frogs and snakes.

Nor had Smith given volcanoes a lot thought. And he’d by no means paddle boarded. “I’m doing issues I by no means thought I might do,” he advised me. “I’m having extra enjoyable as a sober traveler than I ever thought was potential. It’s actually opened my eyes to the chances and the potential for having enjoyable and having fun with life with out having to have a drink.”

Travelers doing yoga on a hotel deck

Restoration, ecology and consciousness

Now we have loads of distractions in our fashionable lives, together with electronic mail, gossip, fascinated about what we’re going to eat or put on, social media and each app on our telephones. However substances like alcohol and different medicine are among the largest. For those who’ve ever blacked out and even simply obtained fuzzy on the small print, you recognize what I’m speaking about.

Sobriety brings many issues into sharp focus. The connections between ourselves and the world round us are clearer, equivalent to {our relationships} with different individuals, animals, vegetation and the planet. For those who’ve fought dependancy and gained (no less than for now; it by no means pays to be cavalier) and end up fortunate sufficient to be vacationing in Costa Rica, it’s fairly straightforward to be grateful.

Our days began with yoga lessons taught exterior by our personal yoga trainer, Ashley Shires of Colorado. Each morning she’d give us a theme to consider throughout the day, one thing like neighborhood or mindfulness. Within the evenings, we sat in a circle and took turns reflecting on the day’s theme. It sounds prefer it may very well be hokey, however all of us laughed a lot and felt a lot of bonding and help. It was lots completely different than your common group journey with strangers.

The week was filled with unforgettable moments. Collectively, we fell silent ready for a glimpse of spider monkeys within the forest. We obtained down on the bottom, watching leafcutter ants dwarfed by the chunks of leaf they carried. We laughed until it damage when a venomous coral snake headed for us and all of us ran to clamber again onto the bus. It was good to be alive. It was wonderful to be sober.

Photos by Teresa Bergen and courtesy of Select Life Sober Adventures


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