How long have you been working with Rustic Pathways?
I’ve been working at Rustic for about 4 months and I’m loving every minute of it. I feel like such a part of the team, that it seems like longer (but not in a bad way). It’s great!
What have your own international travels entailed?
I once told a nun that I was going to move to London and work at a magazine or advertising agency. It was wishful thinking at the time (and I was trying to get out of teaching Sunday School if I’m honest), but it sort of came true and I ended up doing both.
Before joining Rustic I lived in Manchester, and I worked for a craft magazine publisher, and later a marketing agency (manifestation complete)! I ended up in England because my husband got a scholarship to pursue a PhD at the University of Manchester. We moved from southern California to Didsbury in the summer of 2016, and moved back to California in 2021.
While there we learned the railway system in the UK is top notch and we ended up doing weekend trips to almost every nook and cranny around. Scotland and Wales were among our favorites.
It was an unforgettable time and I left a big piece of my heart in that country. I truly lived there. I lived deep! My time in Europe also took me to Ireland, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, and Belgium.
Also before my life changing European move, I did a summer abroad program to Florence through college. I took an Italian Culture class while I was there that mainly consisted of eating gelato and hanging out in a cool building with some fascinating people.
In retrospect, I wish that summer program had been organized through Rustic Pathways because I know I could’ve done and seen so much more than I did. The great thing about the college program was that I spent it with my bestie and we had some crazy adventures together that took us from Tuscany to Spain, to France and London (this trip is what inspired the conversation with the nun).
Honestly, I’m surprised we didn’t end up in a Taken situation because we were very gullible and got lost quite a bit. Pro travel tip: If you’re 19 and abroad with your best friend, never say, “Hey! Let’s walk down this street as far as we can and see where it takes us.” Especially if you start that walk after sunset, and iPhones don’t exist yet! (How am I still alive?!)
Growing up I didn’t do much traveling other than Mexico to visit family and eat delicious tacos. It was only in college that I started exploring more of the world. I’ve also been to a handful of big cities across the US and Canada, including Hawaii.
Traveling to all those places was good for my soul (even the places that were close to home), and I hope to see more of the world soon!
What is the most fulfilling aspect of your job?
The most fulfilling aspect of my role is that I get to tell the world about our students’ adventures, travel experiences, and stories. I feel like I live vicariously through them!
It’s especially rewarding when I interact with students and they tell me that their lives have been transformed by their travel program. I’m so happy to be a part of that.
What do you like most about Rustic Pathways?
The thing I like most about Rustic Pathways is that it’s like a magical fork in the road. I feel like, if you go left on that road, yes, you’ll have a good life.
But if you go right and go on one of our educational travel programs, your life will be EXTRAORDINARY and so fulfilling! Our programs are truly transformative. Students come back with different outlooks and perspectives on life. They’re more open-minded, empathetic, grateful, and educated. Take the Rustic road if you can, for as long as you can.
What makes you proud to work at Rustic Pathways?
I’m proud to work at Rustic because our students inspire me daily. I’m constantly telling my friends and family, “You won’t believe the incredible things these teens are doing!”
Whether that’s climbing a glacier with crampons and ice picks, or coming together virtually to deliberate on topics like climate change, my cup runneth over seeing everything they do!