Program Spotlights

7 Days, 9 Participants, 1 Adventure: A Recap of the 2022 Annual Expedition

Recovery Is An Adventure

At Recovery Beyond, we believe in cultivating a spirit of adventure, wholeness, and health through consistent, no-cost, programming. This ranges from weekly bouldering sessions to monthly community gathering, to our larger, more unique events.

The Audacious Annual Expedition is the largest event of the Recovery Beyond calendar year and gives Participants a substantial goal they can work towards.

Our 2022 Audacious Annual Expedition took Participants on a kayaking trip around the San Juan Islands.

Learning New Skills

The Expedition Team carried their gear and set up camp each night while kayaking over 20 miles total on the Salish Sea. Cultivating soft skills, in addition to hard skills, became important as the group traveled together.

Communication, collaboration, gear know-how, and long physical days were critical components of the trip.

A Participant shares, “I learned how to perform a wet exit in a kayak, how to ‘put a kayak to bed’, how to properly pack gear and belongings in a kayak, and how to better communicate with others in a group setting.” These skills can be carried into other aspects of life – whether that be communication at work or feeling confident in adventuring solo. Another Participant elaborates, “I have a realistic view of what it takes to kayak camp now! The solo day can be reproduced by myself anytime, it was so beneficial.”

Capturing the Spirit of Adventure

A week of island hopping in the Pacific Northwest without cell phones provided space to be present and still, a Participant explains,  “The one takeaway for me is how important it is to have quiet time in a fast-paced and frantic world…”

A break from the constant business of life, and ample time outdoors, fosters reflection. Contemplation, physicality, and connection to the self and others is important in holistic recovery.

Another Participant conveys, “I can choose to be intentional about prioritizing in my life – family and self first, work second.” While the trip offered these sacred moments, there was plenty to do and plenty of laughs to be had!

Favorite memories from the Expedition include seals following the kayaks and the infamous “raccoon incident”. An overarching theme, however, was that of gratitude.

One Participant shares, “I am eternally grateful that I was able to find the strength and the courage within myself to get myself out out of my addiction (in October 2019) This was an a remarkable part of my recovery journey, going in this sea kayaking adventure and sharing it with [the team].” Another Participant echoed that statement, saying, “I am grateful for new experiences. I am grateful for my life. I am grateful for natural places.”

Words of Wisdom

The 2022 Audacious Annual Expedition was a space for connection, reflection, and community. We’ve received positive feedback from the team and are immensely thankful for the openness, bravery, and courage shown by all who attended.

In the spirit of preparing for the 2023 Annual Expedition, we asked the 2022 Expedition team what they would say to someone interested in joining in 2023. Here are a few words of wisdom:

  •  – “It’s never too early to start packing or preparing, go in with an open mind and open heart. It’s ok to be nervous, it’s completely normal and human!”
  •  – “Breaking your routine and discomfort are a part of the experience – be open and learn.”
  •  – “Just let it happen how it is going to happen. Bring more snacks.”
  •  – “It’s worth it.”