Dustin Aschenbeck's Employee Profile

Senior Account Executive | Group Travel

How did you get involved with Rustic Pathways?

Rustic Pathways was my first job out of college. My intention was to return to school and complete a master’s degree. While searching for scholarship opportunities online, I came across a job posting for a Country Operations position with Rustic Pathways. Out of curiosity, I applied, interviewed, was offered a position, and five days later boarded a plane for India. My first trip was shadowing our GAP Year month with a small group of students. From there, I successfully operated three summer seasons of programs in India. Transitioning from the operations team, I have been able to provide guidance, leadership and vision within our Group Travel team working to build out the success we see today. Although nearly 10 years have passed since my first day as a Rustic Pathways employee, I still love my work as much as I did on day one.

How long have you been working with Rustic Pathways?

I have been working with Rustic Pathways since September 2010 – formerly as the Country Director for India Operations and now as a leader in our Group Travel division.

What do you like most about Rustic Pathways?

My favorite part of Rustic Pathways is the never-ending opportunity to create relationships with others who live differently than I. For the past ten years, I have been able to dive deep into communities throughout the world, learn more about myself through our difference, and in-kind host members of the Rustic Pathways family here in Colorado. The best part of the Rustic Pathways family is that although people will come and go, the heart keeps beating and you always know you have a place to call home even if it is not your own.

Have you traveled with other Rustic Pathways employees? What was your experience like?

Yes, I have had the opportunity to travel with many other Rustic Pathways employees over the past ten years. Every experience, whether in my backyard here in Colorado to some of the most unique and remote corners of the world, has brought me joy, peace, and happiness.

What has been one of your favorite moments at Rustic Pathways?

One of my favorite moments at Rustic Pathways was visiting Niagara Falls with a large group of our international team. After a pre-summer planning and first-aid training, we loaded up in two large vans and drove from Cleveland, Ohio to Niagara, New York to marvel at one of the world’s great wonders. I was lucky to have been able to share this experience with one of my closest colleagues and friends – Divya. I look back on this experience with endless joy and am grateful that we were able to see something so powerful together for the first time.

What is your favorite project you have worked on and why?

My favorite project at Rustic Pathways has the development of taxpayer funded group travel programs with public school districts throughout the country. The opportunity to utilize public funds for travel is a dream come true and a long-term goal that I hope we can further scale in the coming years.

What makes you proud to work at Rustic Pathways?

I have always been a traveler and continue to try and inspire my friends and family to seek the unknown as a place of learning and growth. Whether this is a travel experience or trying something new in their everyday life, we always have an opportunity to grow. Rustic Pathways gives me the opportunity to take my own passion for personal growth and provide opportunity for students around the world who may not have a similar opportunity otherwise. I am proud of the impact that I have been able to have on the world through my work at Rustic Pathways.