A Rustic Recap: Summer 2021 Highlights
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A Rustic Recap: Summer 2021 Highlights

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

This summer of travel was unlike any other. You embraced your return to travel, created new friendships, tackled new challenges, and made every moment your own!

Watch our 2021 Summer Highlights video to catch a glimpse of what our students experienced during their travel programs. All video was captured by Rustic travelers!*


Rustic Alumni Recount their Favorite Moments from the Summer:

I will never forget my first whitewater rafting experience and the thrill before each drop over the rapids. On the last and largest drop, I remember my heart pounding before our raft flipped over! We all came up to the surface drenched, sputtering, and laughing from the experience.

Quote by: Caroline Bae Surf and Service in Costa Rica

My favorite memories would have to be sitting around our table at night talking like we had all known each other for forever. I had such a great time being totally disconnected from my life and spending all of my time in nature with them.

Quote by: Katy Fitzgerald Turtle Conservation Project in Costa Rica

My favorite part was probably adventuring through the town of Machu Picchu looking at all of the shops with bags, jewelry, and mugs. While I could go on and on about every amazing thing I did, just being unplugged from technology and my life at home felt incredible.

Quote by: Molly Caffry Andes to Amazon in Peru

I will never forget our last sunset surf at the base house. During sunset, we all went out for one last surf and ended up surfing the best waves of the trip. This last surf brought us all so close together and I miss that day more than anything.

Quote by: Sophie Salem Surf and Service in Costa Rica

One of my favorite activities that I got to do on my trip was going to an animal sanctuary and helping the ladies out with the animals.

Quote by: Lucy Brada Andes to Amazon in Peru

One of my favorite moments of the trip was when we visited Volcano National Park. As the group hiked down into Helemauau crater (believed to be home to Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire and the creator of the islands) it felt as if we were in another world.

Quote by: Nick Makris Hawaii Service

This trip truly was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had the chance to be a part of and I couldn’t have asked for a better nine days in Costa Rica. I was immersed in the amazing culture, ate a lot of delicious food, met some of the best people that I later got closer to over the span of the trip, and felt the major reward of giving back to the community

Quote by: Kanika Patel Pura Vida Service in Costa Rica

I was actually one of the youngest on my trip around 40 people. But in no way did I ever feel like I couldn’t fit in with all the older kids. There was always something that we could relate to which made age feel like just a number. Right when I was put with my service group, some of the strongest relationships formed from that group.

Quote by: Zoe Ogden Pura Vida Service in Costa Rica

The friends I met on this trip are people that I know I will meet up with again. To this day I can recall a lot of little moments that bring me so much joy; Singing at the top of our lungs on the bus to playing intense games of spoons to the motivation we gave out during our kayaking trip.

Quote by: Olivia Venneman Heart of the Jungle in Costa Rica

The most awesome and memorable moments were definitely spending time with my new friends. Whether it was the laughs we shared in our beds late at night, dance parties, and the countless waves we surfed together we were always having fun and never stopped smiling. I’ve made some friends that I will never forget and I can’t wait to see them again soon.

Quote by: Brooke Friedman Surf and Service in Costa Rica

Spending the night in the Sahara was also an unforgettable experience. Riding the camels on the sand dunes was such an indescribable moment. The whole time I was there I was just in awe that I was there and was just trying to soak up every second of it.

Quote by: Ashley Angrimson Moroccan Wanderer

Sitting around the large table for our meals was where our group shared most of our stories and laughs, which is something I won’t forget. It allowed me to become closer with the people on my trip while enjoying some delicious food!

Quote by: Cecilia Buono Surf and Service in Costa Rica

One of my favorite days in Puerto Rico was actually on my birthday. We were about halfway through the trip. We were going to a place called seven seas. We were driving from the top of the mountains where there were caves, ancient artifacts, and local people. We went to this beautiful beach, and the water was so warm. The weather was so perfect because it wasn’t hot, and it was raining for a bit. I couldn’t believe this was where I was spending my 18th birthday.

Quote by: Kelley Cardiff Puerto Rico Paradise

My experience on this trip was so amazing it cannot be put into words. The people I’ve met, the culture I experienced, and the work I did will always be remembered.

Quote by: Christian Robert Pura Vida Service

*All video provided by the following students:

Addison Beazley, Sofia Coen, Grace Crededio, Gabby Goode, Skyler Moore, Maya Sanchez, Brighton Solheim, Gracie Stroehecker, Gerri Thornell, Abby Tyszka, Paola Zevallos

Video Music Attribution: www.bensound.com

About the Author

Kayla Anzalone

Kayla joined Rustic Pathways in 2020 as the Director of Special Projects. She has nearly a decade of experience in communications and marketing. At Rustic Pathways, Kayla is dedicated to helping high school students discover their passion for exploring the world through summer travel programs. She drives impactful initiatives to empower students through meaningful travel experiences worldwide. Based in San Jose, California, Kayla loves the outdoors, live music and travel.