June 2012: The Pilgrimage

A newcomer helps her friend take a fun ride through AA history

Home of Dr. Bob and his wife Anne, where the early days of AA began. (GSO archives)

November 2011 was the most challenging yet rewarding time in my sobriety. At 11 months sober, I was having an awful time of it. Faith in a Higher Power was still a very new concept to me and incredibly hard for me to put into practice. I was attending as many meetings as I could, but I was still afraid I would take a drink. Luckily, there was an experience waiting for me just around the corner that was about to change my sobriety completely.

One night, I ended up at a meeting I had never been to before. Here I met a fellow AA who was traveling from abroad. She told me that while she was here, she’d really like to do an “AA pilgrimage” and head to New York City and Akron, Ohio to see where it all began. She had only two problems: nobody to travel with, and no free time to look into booking it. I had been considering this very same trip, and I now believe we were put together at that meeting for a reason. I needed her, a traveler with the courage and the idea to go for it, and she needed me, an unemployed travel agent to organize the whole thing. We were a perfect match! Less than 24 hours later, our trip was booked.

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