Why I Ditched My Friends and Traveled Alone
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Why I Ditched My Friends and Traveled Alone

Rustic Alum Dany G. traveled from her hometown of Monterrey, Mexico to join our Rebuilding New Orleans program. She did not know anyone enrolled in the program, and was nervous about being so far out of her comfort zone.

Below is her account of what happened next.

“Before I had my first trip with Rustic Pathways, I spent my time reading their website. They repeatedly talked about several perfect scenarios: making life-long friends, and creating unparalleled relationships with people from all around the globe.

I contacted alumni and they all made me feel like if I did not travel with Rustic I would be missing out from an experience we should all have. I still had my doubts.

Dany meets her group for the first time in New Orleans

I decided to make what I considered a wild move and sign up for the Rebuilding New Orleans program in the United States. This meant that I would be traveling by myself and I would have no one I could for sure go to or completely trust the first days. I did not imagine that after several weeks of bonding I would open up to people that I had met only days before.

Not only did the trip fulfill what the website said, and what the alumni told me, but it made me understand that even the smallest steps we take towards a better tomorrow benefit someone. It made me learn that what makes me the happiest is seeing another person’s frown transform into a smile.

Hard at work rebuilding homes for New Orleans residents affected by Hurricane Katrina

When you open up to the world you can create amazing friendships and learn the most from each other. The thought of creating strong connections that last forever never crossed my mind. We might live on different continents, but the desire to make a change in someone else’s life is strong enough to bring us together through Rustic Pathways.

After having my first #sorustic experience, going out of my comfort zone, traveling alone for my first time, and deciding I would answer YES to any adventurous situation I faced, I have decided I cannot settle for only one Rustic Pathways trip.”

-Dany G.
Rustic Pathways Alum

About the Author

Lauren Anderson

Program Staffing and Training Director

Lauren joined Rustic Pathways in 2008 after graduating from Emory University. She spent her first six years in Costa Rica overseeing our operations and seasonal staff. Lauren then formed our Alumni Association where she developed programs for continuing student involvement. She now uses her extensive skill set to continue to improve the hiring and training of all program leaders across the globe. Lauren lives in Chicago, travels often, and enjoys maintaining her Spanish fluency.