Cole Bressler was born into a travel-industry family and had visited 40 countries and states by the time he graduated from high school. At just age four he watched from his family’s safari truck as lions prowled the savannas of Botswana’s Okavango Delta. In northern Canada, at age five, he witnessed polar bears lumber across the snowy tundra. And by age eight he was kayaking through the fjords of Alaska’s Prince William Sound as whales and seals cruised the icy waters. Travel is in his blood. So, too, is addiction.
Like so many others, Cole moved to Los Angeles seeking recovery, and it didn’t take long for him to recognize that programs and therapy were only as effective as the community they created. It was the people at his side in recovery who kept him rooted in LA. But even with a new and happy home, Cole never lost his travel bug and the draw of exploration still tugged at him.
And there’s where he found a problem. For those in recovery who also carry a wanderlust, travel can be hard, as so many travel activities revolve around substances. To get back to travel, Cole realized, he needed to bring his community with him on the road. With like-minded people around him, he would feel safe.
It was at the confluence of these two important elements of his life – wanderlust and addiction – that Cole formulated Choose Life Sober Adventures (CLSA). Our mission is to merge our deep desire for exploration and discovery with our passion for the unity that we’ve experienced in the recovery community. We’ve come to understand that isolation is the enemy, and while travel brings us wondrous new experiences that are vital to us as beings, taking the journey alone can be scary and detaching.
CLSA launched on the one-year anniversary of Cole’s sobriety, and it opened a new chapter for him and for the recovery community. One where sober travelers can journey in the company of like-minded individuals, sharing authentic international experiences while maintaining the vital routine of meetings and mindfulness. And, importantly, the routine of community.
Choose community. Choose adventure. Choose life.