Does alcohol enhance a holiday?

As this year has progressed, there have been expected milestones. Certain markers of progress. Challenges to measure the success of the beer free year by.

An all inclusive holiday in Crete is definitely one of those markers.

At the start of the year I would never have thought that I could go on holiday alcohol free.

The normal regime would be a pint or 3 at the airport, a bottle of champagne on the plane, an extremely dry mouth on the shuttle service to the hotel and then ‘bags down’ and straight to the bar.

Continue drinking until the death, burn in the sun (only on one body part) make an absolute fool of myself ‘fuck it, I’m on holiday’, wake up the next morning dryer than ghandis flipflop and reach for the beer, instead of some water, go to breakfast, avoid certain people, find the ‘breakfast wine’. Start all over again.

Cos that’s what you do when your on holiday. Isn’t it?

The sad thing is, I genuinely thought that that is what everyone else was doing.. 

And maybe they did to a lesser extreme due to the holiday resort selection. The thing about drinking is that you are like a homing missile, you seek out the hotels with the highest likelihood of people getting hammered. And you will find it.

But this holiday has taught me another valuable lesson.

You can actually go on holiday, relax and have a good time without alcohol.

Yes I said it. And yes it’s true.

Firstly, the selection changes. We have come away to a ‘Tui sensatori’ resort. It didn’t mean anything to me when originally booking it. I just wanted somewhere relaxing. But it turns out That this complex is absolutely stunning.

The name Sensatori is derived from the two terms ‘sense’, i.e. To indulge all the human five senses. And ‘Satori’, i.e. A Japanese term meaning enlightenment. The hotels are designed to raise the human spirit of all its guests.

Surprisingly enough, I haven’t seen one drunk person on the whole holiday. It’s all inclusive, so alcohol is available, and a few people are drinking. But they are in the minority, and they are drinking in moderation.

Would I have picked this hotel if I was still a drinker?

Im pretty sure the answer is a resounding NO!

But also, I’m very aware of those that are drinking, because they stand out a mile. It’s a complete flip on what I thought it was like previously.

The mind sees what it wants to see. The drunken mind is even more tunnel vision. Like a blurry tunnel, with no end in sight.

So, what do you do on a holiday without drinking!? Well:

– You get to the airport at a decent time.

– You get on the plane without fuss.

– The plane journey is actually relaxing. And only one toilet break!

– You remain hydrated on the shuttle transfer.

– You get tanned gradually, and don’t burn.

– Mosquitos tend to avoid you.

– You actually rest and relax your body and mind.

– You still connect with people.

– You still have fun.

– You still laugh.

– You manage to read your book!

– You appreciate the local food.

– You don’t smash anything, fight, spew up, or get in any sort of trouble with the hotel security.

– You notice that not everyone is drinking!

– You notice that the guy drinking beer that kicks a ball at a mothers head in the shallow pool looks like a complete dick.

– It just feels better.

Now, even though I’ve just come up with that list, don’t get me wrong. I’m actually not saying there’s anything wrong with having a drink on holiday. In controlled moderation. I’m saying that the way I used to drink in holiday does not have a place in life for me anymore. And rather than feeling deprived, I’m actually feeling relieved to be free and to have experienced a holiday like this.

I’ve had massive urges to drink. At the airport, in the hotel, by the pool, at the beach front cafe bars…. but they are like that fairground pop up game, ‘whack it’, or whatever it’s called. When the urge pops up, just whack it back down and move on.

So, overall it’s been an amazing holiday and an amazing experience. I’ve really connected with my 5 month old baby and spent some quality time with him and Ruth. I’ve relaxed, I mean really relaxed. Completely switched off. I’ve ate some amazing food and A LOT of it! I’ve exercised, meditated, swam, read, walked, talked, laughed, connected, got some sun, explored and just had a great time.

I genuinely don’t think I’d would have had such a good time if I was still drinking.

Its another marker of how this year is turning out to be better than expected.

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