When thinking about your next Rustic experience, faraway places probably spring to mind: terraced rice fields in Thailand, serene beaches in the Dominican Republic, or the wild outback of Australia. But you don’t have to go far from home to have an incredible adventure.

In celebration of American Independence Day, we’re bringing you the best of Rustic’s United States programs this summer. From the coast of California to the nation’s capitol in Washington, D.C., many Rustic students encounter rich cultural experiences and natural wonders in the country they call home.

Did you know that you can win awesome prizes and become #rusticfamous by sharing your photos? Just add the hashtag #sorustic to your Instagram posts and we might feature you on our blog as part of our weekly photo contest. Congrats to Jaden Shemesh, whose stunning climbing photo from Thailand won last week’s contest!


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1. Zach Kuhl, Program Leader | California
This place blows my mind to pieces! #yosemitenationalpark #nofilterneeded #rpstafftravels


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2. Ellery Rosin, Program Manager | New Orleans
Last night’s sailboat dotted sunset
#sunset #lake #lakepontchartrain #neworleans #nola#louisiana #lakeside #clouds #sailboats #rpstafftravels


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3. Christine Collins, Program Leader | Alaska
Climbing the root glacier in kennicott with kennicott mountain guides. #teamalaska #rpstafftravels #sorustic #alaska #glacier #iceclimb #travel #adventure


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4. Haley Drecksage, Program Leader | New Orleans
Solid day with Second Harvest Food Bank sorting and packaging food for those in need! #secondharvest #somuchfun #rusticpathways #rusticnola


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5. Casey Penn, Program Leader | Alaska
Portage Lake! #rpstafftravels


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6. Naomi Tao, Graphic Designer | California
Just kickin’ it on big blue. Could be worse. #sorustic #rusticpathways #californiarush #tahoe #vsco #mytinyatlas


Here’s  a couple snapshots from Marc Mankowski, Rustic’s USA Country Director.

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7. Key Largo

First ever Key Largo MarineLab students and staff. Our lunch spot had appearances by manatees, nurse sharks, jellyfish, and tarpon! #rusticpathways #sorustic #findingnemo #foundhisbuddies


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8. Baltimore

Our students in Baltimore learned about the history of the American Flag and how to fold the 30X42 foot flag properly at Fort McHenry. #4thofjuly #sorustic #rusticpathways #thesecolorsdontrun


Though they weren’t traveling on one of our USA programs, some travelers in Thailand had a message for all of us back home:

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9. Amanda Jones, Program Leader | Thailand
Happy 4th of July from our family to yours ⠀


Don’t miss out! There’s still time to sign up for one of our USA programs this summer! Visit our website for a complete list of programs.

About the Author

Kennedy Petersen

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Kennedy has always loved traveling. Her professional background in publishing and photography have led her to discover the power in storytelling, and how it can facilitate a more empathetic understanding of the world around us. Currently studying English at UC Berkeley, Kennedy is thrilled to join Rustic’s Creative Team this summer. During study breaks, she’s usually found hiking, listening to podcasts, or training for her next half-marathon.