What have your own international travels entailed?
My first international trip was actually with Rustic Pathways to the Dominican Republic! Then a few months later I traveled by myself to Ireland and Scotland. Traveling alone was scary, but definitely worthwhile so I can relate those nervous about traveling for the first time. Being alone in a new country was amazing, and I actually prefer to go alone now! Being alone allowed me to be myself and learn and meet new people who were like minded individuals like me. Since everyone else came alone on the trip, we were all in the same boat. Don’t be afraid to lean into new experiences.
How long have you been working with Rustic Pathways?
I have been with Rustic Pathways for about 5 years now. The role I have now is completely different from what I had when I started. I can officially say I’ve worked in nearly every part of the company and I love all of it.
What do you like most about Rustic Pathways?
I love that it is filled with many selfless individuals, who truly care about creating a better world through travel and community service. Working with Rustic Pathways really opened my eyes to how important travel is. Seeing students go to another country and experience an entirely new culture and come back with a broader idea of the world is so cool! Hearing their stories of how they worked with their bare hands in another country is great.
Have you traveled with other Rustic Pathways employees? What was your experience like?
Once and it was a wonderful experience! I traveled to the Dominican Republic with a close friend and her daughter. While there we visited numerous sites where the student’s stay and work and we were able to see what it was like for the in-country staff. It was an amazing experience and I am glad I was surrounded by colleagues that I admire and respect. Plus, I know the support I was shown is also shown to all students who travel there as well!
What has been one of your favorite moments at Rustic Pathways?
When I was in the Dominican Republic, my friend, her daughter and I were on a van heading back home with a local staff member and her two children. Unfortunately, none of us spoke the other’s language, yet it was one of the best van rides I’ve ever been on. It was amazing to see the children interact and communicate with one another without sharing a common language. I still think about that and how love, respect and kindness can be shown through other things beside words.
How did you first go about getting a global perspective?
Honestly, working with Rustic Pathways. Working here has allowed me to see just how remarkable travel is and reminds me daily of our shared global humanity. Being able to have the opportunity to create relationships with others who live differently than myself, and seeing those who travel with us do the same, is really remarkable.