Cassandra Guenther's Employee Profile

Australia Program Manager and Group Travel Coordinator

What do you like most about Rustic Pathways?

There are so many things that I like about working for Rustic Pathways. One of the main things that I find so enjoyable is the variety in my role. Every day is different at Rustic and this keeps things interesting. One day I might be program leading in the outback and the next I could be presenting a program in front of 50 parents. Rustic is a unique organization; I love the feeling of being connected with so many different people on both a local and global scale. I think it’s incredible that so many different people from around the world can come together to create truly unique experiential education experiences for our students.

Why do you view travel as an essential part of every education?

Traveling to different places provides such a unique backdrop for students to learn. There is so much that can be learned from exploring new and exciting destinations that can’t be learned in a classroom. In a single day of travel, you may meet new people, taste new foods, practice a new language and learn about a culture entirely different to your own. Nothing can replace the way you feel when you are in a foreign place; the feeling of the unknown, the exhilaration and anticipation. Travel evokes something inside a person that nothing else can, a true sense of wonderment. I believe everyone should have the opportunity to travel somewhere new at least once in their lifetime, there really is no other educational opportunity like travel.

What is the most important thing participants bring home with them?

I believe that the most important thing that any student can bring home with them from a Rustic Pathways program is a narrative. More meaningful than any selfie or souvenir, a narrative tells the story of the experience the student has had. A narrative can include the characters they met, the places they visited, the foods they tasted and the emotions they felt. A narrative will stay with a student for the rest of their lives, it may even help to guide them and their future decisions in life.

What is some of your best advice for incoming participants?

Be open and be curious. This is the best advice I could give for incoming participants; you only get out what you put in. So, be open to trying new things, stepping out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself. Ask questions, put yourself out there and be open to changing your perspective.