Episode 475 – I See You Ceiba


Today we have Shari. She is 60 and lives in Santa Barbara, CA. She took his last drink on December 31st, 2022.


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[02:56] Thoughts from Paul:


Paul shares with us how the idea of Sober Travel first came to him. After a trip of a lifetime that went sideways for him, he knew the only way that he could do alcohol-free travel in the future was with alcohol-free travelers.


On the most recent sober trip to Costa Rica, Paul and other members of the cohort traveled to see a Ceiba tree that is at least 350-400 years old. He shares with us the history of the Ceiba tree and what they mean to the people that live around them.

They also got to witness live sea turtles hatching and were able to release them into the surf. Quitting drinking is like the release of the sea turtle. Your new life awaits, and anything is possible.


Thank you to Sober Link  and Athletic Greens for partnering with us on this event.


[09:46] Paul introduces Shari:


Shari is 60 years old and lives in Santa Barbara, CA. She has been married for 34 years and has furry children rather than human children. She works in consumer-packaged goods and operations and for fun enjoys cycling, hiking, and walking.


Shari took her first drink when she was 13 and it resulted in a blackout and being extremely sick. She went through her teen years drinking whenever she had the opportunity, which was always problematic.


Shari had multiple DUI’s by the age of 24 and with her second one was forced to go to AA and take a yearlong course in alcohol education. It was then that she realized she was an alcoholic. She didn’t want to go to AA but she did find some nice people there.

After a few stops and starts she was able to get and stay sober for 8 years and used hosting meetings as accountability to stay sober. Over time she started to slow down her attendance at meetings and started drinking again during a particularly stressful time in her life.


Shari was putting parameters around her drinking after she started again and was able to maintain it to a degree. She would have varying stages of abstinence, and this continued for the next 20 years. Shari says she didn’t work very hard at AA during this time, and limited the connections she was making with other people.


When she moved back to Santa Barbara 10 years ago, her parents health was deteriorating. Watching her father drink problematically reminded her that she didn’t want to go down that path. Shari started looking for other modalities to help her quit drinking. She started reading quit lit and joined The Tempest sobriety course with Holly Whitaker. She started listening to RE where the idea that we can’t do this alone really resonated with her.


Shari loves that there are so many more options in the recovery space now. She recognizes that everything she does these days is for her recovery. Therapy, exercise, eating right, connecting with people and reading – they all feed her soul and keep her grounded. Finding community and attending more meetings with fellow travelers on the journey was initially uncomfortable for Shari. But she knew she needed to get out of the comfort zone and join the conversations.


Shari’s best sober moment: the breathwork she participated in at Bozeman last year.


Shari’s parting piece of guidance: never quit quitting and you shouldn’t do it alone.



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