Embracing Sobriety and succeeding outdoors – meet Lewis Smart

Embracing Sobriety and succeeding outdoors – meet Lewis Smart

Sobriety Influencer, Lewis Smart

We spoke to Lewis Smart one of Britain’s biggest ‘escape the city’ enthusiasts about his platform that promotes, sobriety, self-care and getting outdoors amidst the teetotal trend in young adults.

Just one year ago Lewis Smart would have been propped up in a London boozer, using his precious weekend off work drinking, partying and inevitably hungover. 

He, like many others, enjoys the city lifestyle, but he has always demanded to fill an outdoorsy void…

Lewis Smart resides in London and would head straight to the pubs and clubs during his time off work.

So what has changed for the owner of social media page @OutsideIntel, a platform which he uses to promote sobriety and balancing the office and outdoors to over 58 thousand followers?

Since beginning the page in 2020 as a ‘digital diary’, the London-born influencer has organised alcohol-free pub quizzes and combined his love for fashion and nature to show his loyal fanbase. 

Before documenting his life, he described his difficult relationship with anxiety and alcohol.

“Booze became a crutch for me, I was relying on it too much,” said Lewis.

“I was an anxious person and it (alcohol) suppressed this, I found it easier to be myself.

“It is not just for me though, people rely on beer and the pub as a hobby but in reality nobody cares whether you are drinking or not.”

It was not just beneficial for his mental health, Lewis told Nine To Alive how it inspired him to reignite his passion for the outdoors. 

He said: “Alcohol makes getting fit a lot harder, it zaps your motivation.”

“Hangovers were beginning to eat into my week from my early twenties and I even had a beer belly too, it was not helpful for my exercise.”

The page created a much needed ‘health kick’ for the 25-year-old and has given him a greater work life balance, obtaining the opportunity to work with brands like The North Face and Lucky Saint.

Lewis said: “The collaboration with Lucky Saint is my proudest moment, we made a 5k run club and an alcohol-free pub quiz on a Thursday Night in London, one of the biggest drinking nights in the city.

Lewis with friend and fellow influencer Jack Williams at the Lucky Saint 5k Club.

“The evening was a success, a group of strangers met and made friends in one of the busiest yet loneliest cities on the planet.

“This shows people that they don’t have to drink to have a good time.”

Lucky Saint’s alcohol-free beer has appeared in influencer-ran events as beverage providers for run clubs and hiking groups. 

Not only have they created their own Strava community, but they have expanded into the social media space riding the non-alcoholic wave to grab the custom of teetotal young adults.

To cut out booze and create these events, Lewis found inspiration in his idols.

“Seeing people that I look up to not drinking was huge for me, for example Tom Holland and Loyle Carner” he told Nine to Alive.

“I think those people are cool and successful. Why should I do it if they don’t need it?”

The balance of the nine to five has been the greatest outcome of Lewis’ sobriety is that he can get outdoors in-and around the capital. To those struggling to find the sparetime, he provides some advice:

“I am not saying that you can’t drink, I know that younger adults are drinking less. If you want to drink its cool, but I post about some sh*t you can do instead” Lewis told Nine to Alive.

“Always plan in advance, balancing the nine to five is something that is still very hard for me.

“The best thing to do is get trips pencilled in well in advance and follow through with these plans.

“Involve your friends, Family, pets and partners, as you are much more likely to encourage each other and get outdoors.”

Connecting with those around you can provide great company for any outdoor activity, but Lewis also represents the solo travellers.

With sobriety as his priority, he wants to expose their followers to the benefits of alcohol-free lifestyles, but how have they become so influential?

He connects to people through his relatable personality, life and raw content style that shows anyone can transform their lives physically and mentally with exercise and a hunger for travel. Even when they are stuck within the bounds of the city.

If you are stuck in and around London Lewis highlighted his favourite spots right outside the capital:

  • Epping Forest
  • Box Hill
  • Seven Sister, Eastbourne

A polarising topic, leading a non-alcoholic lifestyle has allowed influencers like Lewis to create communities and share experiences with their like minded active followers.

Their messages resonate with young adults nationwide who have been pushing towards a teetotal future. Demonstrated by the latest statistics from Drinkaware that revealed those aged 16 to 24 years were least likely to drink and 26% of them are now sober.

Whether you’re drinking a little or a lot, he left one key message. You must live with ‘balance’. This includes worklife, alcohol, socialising and most importantly, prioritising the outdoors as the passion that we all share.

Regardless of your age, background or where you live, even if you feel trapped in a major city, @outsideintel shows us there are no restraints when beginning your outdoors journey.

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