our vision

Our vision is to combine the tradition of religious pilgrimage with the success of 12-step programs. We have created a compelling new recovery platform: Recovery Trekking.

We are taking recovering addicts out of institutions and out to one of the most inspiring, pilgrimages in the world: the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain.

Our programs heal people… mind, body and spirit.

our philosophy

While many people can get clean or sober, so many people struggle to stay clean and sober. We believe that there are a few fundamentals that make all the difference between short-lived recovery and life-long recovery. These fundamentals define all of our programs and are reinforced every single day during the trek:

  • HONESTY
  • ACCOUNTABILITY
  • HUMILITY
  • A POWER GREATER THAN ONESELF
  • TRUE SELF-ESTEEM

Our specialty is peer-based recovery coaching to help the recovering person get honest with themselves about their addiction and to take responsibility for their recovery and for their choices.

We believe firmly that to recover long term, a person needs to begin developing or re-establishing self-esteem. By the time most people have “hit bottom” they are filled with self-loathing, despair, anger and demoralization. Our program is a truly unique counter to this as “each day, each k” is an accomplishment.

God & religion

Let us address the “God” question right from the start. Everybody that works for us believes in a higher power and for ease of reference, will likely use the word God in daily meditations, meetings, step work and prayer. This does not mean that we believe in or espouse any specific religious beliefs. However, our guides are individual people with their own individual ideas. Over the course of the walk, we encourage our guides to share their own personal feelings and points of view. This should not be construed as any religious endorsement.

The Camino de Santiago is, at its roots, a Catholic and Christian pilgrimage. However, many who undertake to complete the Camino are neither Catholic nor Christian and the route itself is open to believers and non-believers alike. We think of this pilgrimage as catholic, with a small “c”, meaning universal.

about the Camino de Santiago

“The Camino” as it is known throughout the world, is also called The Way of St. James. Legend has it that the body of the Apostle James is buried in here, at Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. For more than 1,000 years, religious and non-religious alike have undertaken this pilgrimage for every reason imaginable.

The Camino became even more popular after a 2010 film called, “The Way”, by Emilio Estevez and featuring Martin Sheen debuted to huge acclaim.

The most well-known route to Santiago de Compostela takes place along the Camino Frances from St. Jean Pied de Port through the well known Spanish cities of Pamplona, Burgos, León and Astorga before reaching the magnificent Cathedral of Santiago, where the body of James rests.

There are an estimated 400,000+ people who undertake the Camino annually according to the Spanish government.

let’s go for a walk

why choose us

With so many options for treatment these days, finding the right path can be difficult. If this is not your or your loved one’s first attempt at recovering, you may feel hopeless. Do not despair – we offer something completely unique that can help where other methods have not.

Our approach to recovery is simple, but not easy

All of our programs have been created by people in recovery who have found a way to be free of the yoke of addiction. We are not a traditional rehab facility nor a conventional half-way house. We are people who live recovery in our personal lives, every day of our lives. If you choose to journey with us, we will try to instill in you or your loved one the tools which have allowed us to become free.

our team

About the Founders:

Recovery Trekking was founded in 2017 by Sparrow R. and Peter P., two friends who met in recovery nearly a decade ago. Since they first met, Sparrow and Peter have successfully created two other companies in the endurance space, both of which were recognized by the Governor of Maryland as well as the Maryland State Legislature for the positive impact these companies had on local communities. One of the companies created the Across the Bay 10k which quickly became the 5th largest 10k in the USA and was sold to IRONMAN in 2016. The other company continues today as one of the largest running events in the mid-Atlantic region. While building both companies, Peter and Sparrow were also hard at work making an impact in their communities. Between them, they have raised more than USD $2 million for various charities and have been appointed to numerous advisory boards for organizations that promote health and wellness. Peter and Sparrow continue to volunteer, fundraise and share the good news of recovery through various endeavors.

More About Sparrow:

Born and raised in Alaska in 1976, Sparrow was raised by homesteaders and pioneers to be independent, self-sufficient and adventurous. Always an overachiever in school, Sparrow received a full scholarship for her undergraduate studies at Eastern New Mexico University and later attended Loyola University and Creighton University for masters programs in law and education. Despite plans to become an attorney, Sparrow was drawn to the “gold rush” of internet start-ups in 1999 and co-founded her first company by the time she was 22 years old.

While at university, Sparrow had her first drink of alcohol and the addiction that would nearly kill her set in quickly. Within months of that first drink, Sparrow was having occasional blackouts. Occasional blackouts soon became common, as did hospitalizations and demoralizing behavior that led to multiple driving incidences while under the influence and dwindling career and friend prospects.

In 2004, Sparrow was traveling in search of something that might help her escape from the cycle of addiction. While vacationing in Croatia, she accepted a ride back to her hotel and was hit en route by a drunk driver – nearly dying in the process. Always resilient, Sparrow turned a horrific personal experience into a new venture that aimed to help uninsured Americans. Read more about the accident and ensuing project from an ABC report here. Unfortunately, no matter how much the new project helped Sparrow heal from her accident, her addiction continued to worsen.

After struggling with her alcoholism for 8 years, Sparrow found herself in rehab near Washington DC – wondering how somebody like her could have ended up there. While rehab provided Sparrow with information about addiction and a chance to physically recover for 30 days, it did not help her stay sober. Within 24 hours of leaving rehab, Sparrow was drunk again. Other methods were tried and failed: counseling, various religions, acupuncture, spiritual healers, medication and periods of forced abstinence. All failed.

In November of 2008, Sparrow finally hit “rock bottom” and put the bottle down, hopefully forever though she knows as well as most that recovery is a daily journey. Joining a 12-step fellowship in 2008, Sparrow began her recovery journey and has been clean and sober for almost a decade. Sadly, Sparrow lost a sibling to heroin addiction in 2011 so she knows the heartbreak of addiction from both sides.

In recovery, Sparrow has found the life she always wanted and continues to innovate as an entrepreneur while enjoying life in the south of France with her husband, two boys and three cocker spaniels. This year, Sparrow walked more than 500km of the Camino de Santiago and felt firsthand the power of this pilgrimage to help others who need recovery from addiction.

More About Peter:

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Peter was the only child of two healthy, successful parents. After his father sold the Alabama-based business, Peter and his family moved to Maryland when he was in middle school. Since both of his parents and his extended family were from Maryland, this was a homecoming in many ways. Always competitive and full of energy, Peter was an accomplished athlete and rambunctious student.

He started drinking in high school which was the norm among his peers. However, for Peter, alcohol use started to interfere with his grades, sports and friends. He slowly changed peer groups and distanced himself from his family. Peter became more interested in the underground scene where rock music, alcohol and drugs were the rage. Somehow, the former athlete and family-centric person became a rebel and high school dropout.

Despite pleas from his parents, Peter left home and high school to strike out on his own. Leaving the idyllic Eastern Shore of Maryland, Peter arrived in Baltimore and soon found himself hanging out in the underground scene in Baltimore where he had no restrictions on his drinking. Quickly advancing from heavy alcohol use and minor drug experimentation, in less than 2 years, Peter had developed a serious drug addiction and needed help. Turning to the parents that had always supported him, Peter was able to clean up his life, get his GED and begin college at a small Christian university in the Mid-West. Still very athletic, Peter played college football while studying history and environmental science. He traveled to Puerto Rico for a marine biology program. Life was good! However, in his senior year of college, Peter decided to take a break so that he could help his father close one business and start a joint venture together.

The new company specialized in real estate development in the US as well as abroad and was awarded the rights to build the first ever IMAX in Athens, Greece. While Peter and his father built their company, Peter continued to play sports such as basketball and volleyball recreationally and soon took up rock climbing. Tragically, Peter’s father died unexpectedly in 1993, derailing the IMAX development and leaving Peter without one of the pillars of his life. However, Peter turned his considerable energy to property development in the Baltimore area and soon had a very successful business. At this point, Peter had not had a drink or drug for more than 7 years.

A chance meeting with some of his old crowd in 1996 resulted in Peter deciding that it couldn’t hurt to have one beer with them after all these years of complete abstinence. That one beer re-started the cycle of addiction and by 1999, Peter was battling a serious addiction with drugs and alcohol. He had ruined his business, alienated his family and lost all the success that had taken so long to build. Over the next 18 months, Peter tried to battle his addiction and was admitted to rehab facilities 4 times. The last time he simply walked out, knowing that this would end just like the others – in relapse. Realizing that he was in serious trouble with drugs, Peter decided to try what in addiction parlance is called a “geographical solution” so he packed up his meager belongings and moved to Prague in the Czech Republic. In a hotel room, Peter bit down on the pain of withdrawal and detoxed himself from drugs. Amazingly, this self-administered treatment worked and his troubled relationship with drugs was now over. While in Prague, Peter fell in love with a local beauty and started his own business. He eventually married his Czech love and after 7 years in Europe, they returned to Maryland to help Peter’s mother, who ultimately passed after battling cancer.

While Peter continued to drink in moderation it started to escalate and was becoming problematic. Peter ultimately made the decision that drinking could no longer be part of his life. Turning to a 12-step program along with the help his wife and family, he completely stopped drinking. Peter and his wife have been together for over 18 years and have two boisterous sons, a successful business and Peter’s only addiction is to running events and strong coffee.

“I thank God for my handicaps for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God.”

- Helen Keller

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