Rustic Pathways Alumni Stories

Rustic Pathways Alumni Stories

Being Brave About Who I Am

By Tingyuan ChenThe Amazing Thailand Adventure, 2014; Escape to the Fiji Islands, 2015

Finding My Passion

By Valentina Baccianella

Sticky Rice Service Adventure, 2014; From the Ground Up: A Seminar in International Development, 2015; Elephants and Amazing Thailand, 2016

Making the World a Better Place

By Holly LippmanSurf and Service, 2014; Highlands and Islands Service Immersion, 2015; Highlands and Islands Service, 2016

Life Lessons Through Travel

By Rachel S.

Summer Camp Leadership, 2015; Beyond Capitol Hill, 2016; Rebuilding New Orleans, 2017

Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

By Sammi Fuller

Sun, Sand, and International Service in Fiji, 2015; Peru Sacred Valley Service, 2016

What Travel is Really All About

By Pablo Gonzalez Ruiz

pablo gonzalez ruiz - Rustic Alumni

Fiji Leadership Challenge, 2015; Costa Rica Adventure, 2014

Gaining New Perspectives with Travel

By Pablo Ruiz Segura

Intro to Community Service, 2014; Sarapiquí: A Tropical Service Adventure, 2014; Surf and Service 2015-2016; Seven Wonder of Australia, 2017

If Only I Could Be in High School Again

By Victoria TadewaldVictoria Tadewald - Rustic Pathways AlumniCaribbean Adrenaline, 2014; Seven Wonders of Australia, 2015; Leader Corps: Peru, 2018

Discovering My Path Within a Changing World

By Alexandra Pyne

Fiji Diver’s Dream, 2015; Caribbean Adrenaline, 2016

The Summer of No Regrets

By Sully Sim

Culture and the Crater, 2018; Spring to the Sacred Valley, 2019; Hanoi to Halong, Hill Tribe Service and Elephant Conservation, 2019

Taking Action at Home

By Nick Makris

You, a Roo’, and Australia Zoo, 2019; Thailand Deep Dive and Global Issues Design Challenge, 2020

Learning to Work for Joy

By Juliet Onufrak

Amazon Explorer, 2013

The #sorustic Spirit

By Caroline, Molly, and Natalie

Seven Wonders of Australia; Moroccan Wanderer; Soccer and Service in Costa Rica

Two Summers in Video

By Nicho and Jake

Off the Map, Peru; Mountain Air and Village Service, Dominican Republic

A Truly Life-Changing Experience

Interview with Christopher Regan

Australia, 1995

Go After What You Care About

By Dan, Sasha, and Molly

Photojournalism in Thailand and Laos; Service in the Clouds, India; Marine Life and Coastal Restoration in Fiji

Inspired to Give Back

Interview with Maya

Thai Elephant Conservation Project

Rustic Reflections

By Kaleigh, Tristan, and Allie

Seven Wonders of Australia; Moroccan Wanderer; Soccer and Service in Costa Rica

A Transformative Gap Year

Interview with Cailey Newton

Ricefields, Monks, and Smiling Children; Sacred Valley Service in Peru

2016 Top Fundraisers

By Madi, Cate, and Sydney

Hill Tribe Service and Elephant Conservation; Culture and the Crater; Souqs and Service; Nicoya Turtle Expedition,

Travel Influenced Post-High School Plans

By Basil, Rachael, and Sloane

Mountain Air and Village Service in Dominican Republic; Turtle Conservation Project; Off the Map Ghana; Amazing Thailand and Elephants


Travel Lessons and Advice from a Gap Year

Interview with Zoe and Camila

Kilimanjaro to Zanzibar Gap Year; Gap Year, Southeast Asia

Program Highlights and Advice to Travelers

Interview with Eric and Besart

Come With Nothing: The Mekong Expedition; Marine Life and Coastal Restoration

Eye-Opening Experiences

By Nabilla, Sarah, and Maggie

Souqs and Service; The Ultimate African Adventure; Children of India; The Thai Elephant Conservation Project; The Hill Tribe Support and Refugee Camp

Diving Into Unfamiliar Territory

By Isabella, Cameron, and Maria

Intro to Community Service in Fiji; The Amazing Thailand Adventure; Come With Nothing, Go Home Rich; Mountain Air and Village Service; Namaste India; Sacred Valley Service

How to Continue Service After Your Program Ends

Interviews with Nicole, Maddie, and Lena

Come With Nothing, Go Home Rich; Thailand Hill Tribe

 Become an Epic Global Citizen

Meet Sasha High

 Floating Villages, Cambodia 2010; India, 2011

Advice on Immersing Yourself in a New Country

By Emma and Carolyn

Namaste India; The Thai Elephant Conservation Project, Green Island Service; Village School Service, Fiji

How Travel Changed Everything

By Taylor Brennan

Sacred Valley Service, 2015; Surf and Service in Costa Rica, 2016

Travel Taught Me to Stand Up for What I Believe In

By Carey Davis

Bribrí Villages Service Experience, 2014; The Thai Elephant Conservation Project, 2015; Culture and the Crater, 2016; Dreams of a Nation, Myanmar, 2017

From Tentmates in Peru to Roommates

Interview with Bridget and Olivia

 Sacred Valley Service , 2015

Finding Ease in the Unknown

By Antonette Liao

Critical Issues Summit: Gender Equality, 2019

A Continued Journey into Positive Impact

Interview with Calista Schloessmann

Mountain Air and Village Service, 2019

7,295 Miles of Gratitude

By Mazzy Rosenast

The Children’s Home and Elephant Sanctuary Project, 2018; Mountain Air and Village Service, 2019

My Experience During Spanish Immersion and Service

By Ilana Hamer

Spanish Immersion and Service in Costa Rica, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba, 2017

How Travel Helped me Identify my Academic and Career Path

By Heather Lyon

India, 2006; Sacred Valley Service, 2007

Why You Should Take a Gap Year

By Aline Aronsky

India – Tanzania – Morocco – Australia, 2015

Shwedagon and Sunrises

By Brooke Cornetet

South Pacific Service and Ocean Skills Semester, 2013; Golden Lands and World Heritage, 2014

The Power of a Gap Year

By Mikaela Gillman

Latin American Semester, 2012

1st in My Family to Attend College, and Why I Took a Gap Year First

By Sharif Campbell

Golden Lands and World Heritage Gap Year, 2015

How A Student Travel Program Helped Me Overcome My Anxiety

By Megan Gallagher

Rebuilding New Orleans, 2012; Big Fiji Explorer, 2013

Stories from Rustic Travelers

By Michael, Brielle, and Sam

Peru, Fiji, New Orleans

The Impact of a Gap Year

By Kelsey, Sharif, and Lance

Spanish Immersion and Service Gap Year; Golden Lands and World Heritage Gap Year; Southeast Asia and India Gap Year, 2015

Hear from Two Alumni Parents

By David and Melissa

Australia, Cambodia Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Fiji, India, Peru, Mystery Trip

What I Learned From Traveling

By Olivia M.

Refugee Youth Project in Baltimore, 2018

By Liz Ronzio

Tanzania; Fiji; India; China; Southeast Asia

By Charlie M.

Costa Rica, 2003; Thailand 2004; Gap Year – Backpacked 22 Countries with Rustic Pathways

By Brielle Friedman

Fiji, 2005; Thailand; New Orleans

By Andrea Bouch

Australia, 1998

By Lena Baker

Tanzania, 2008; Thailand, 2009

Have a Story to Share?

Everybody has a story and we want to hear yours. Not only do we want to hear it, we want to share it with students who will be traveling with us, your fellow Rustic alumni, and the Rustic family! We want everyone to know how great our alumni are, but more importantly, we want them to be inspired.

Rustic Pathways Alumni are known for being hard working, dedicated and solutions-oriented. We want to hear how your #sorustic experience helped you carry forth these and other traits beyond your experience with us.

Are you in school? Graduated? Do you have a new cool job? Or, do you have a cool story of making an impact and engaging with the world? We’d love to hear it!