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Why We’re So Grateful for Travel Experiences
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Why We’re So Grateful for Travel Experiences

The pandemic has definitely made us all appreciate travel now more than ever. We’re not sure who was happier to get back on the road this past summer – our program staff or the students.

Now we’re all collectively looking forward to more travels in the months ahead. Here are some Rustic alumni putting into words why they are grateful for travel. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Megan Kahrs – United States 2015 & 2016 | Dominican Republic 2017 |  Laos 2018 | Tanzania 2019

“I was so fortunate to experience the different cultures of each community through all of my Rustic trips, but especially my trip to Africa. I was able to partake in activities that would not have been available to me otherwise if I had traveled on my own or with my family, but it was these experiences that taught me so much.”

Photo: Megan Kahrs

Cora Nicolaisen – Costa Rica 2021

“My favorite part was helping out the different communities. You could see how the people that were part of these communities were so grateful for what we did… Throughout my experience I learned to be grateful for what I have and how much I could help people through what I thought was something small.”

Photo: Cora Nicolaisen

Stephanie Guza –  Fiji 2017

“This whole trip brought me down from the high cloud we Americans picture ourselves at, and it made me more aware of how others live in another country.

I also became an extreme daredevil by getting out of my comfort zone in outdoor activities such as playing Fiji’s national sport rugby, doing an intense rope course, and skydiving at 14,000 ft!”

Photo: Stephanie Guza

Reese Peters – Dominican Republic 2017

“Since this trip, I’ve viewed life in a completely different way. Little things that might have bothered me before are seen as unimportant and haven’t affected my day. I am beyond grateful for anything and everything I have, even the little things.”

Photo: Reese Peters

Perrin Duncan – Ghana 2010 | Tanzania 2013

“If every young person had the opportunity to leave home and see the world through a new perspective, I have no doubt our future world would be a better place.”

Photo: Perrin Duncan

Zebulan Lyons – Fiji 2017 | Thailand 2018

“Something that Rustic Pathways taught me is how important it is to get out of your comfort zone because that’s when you’ll see the most growth… I am very grateful and will forever hold the memories.”

Photo: Zebulan Lyons

Tal Nagar – Dominican Republic 2017 | Fiji 2018

“It wasn’t until my trips with Rustic, that truly immersed me into new cultures and ways of life, that I understood the power of travel. Here my passion for seeing new places and seeking adventure began, but it was nowhere near its end.”

Photo: Tal Nagar

Emily Mae – Morocco 2018

“I love to travel because of the stories I hear from people all around the world. Spending a few hours in a foreign place surrounded with an assortment of people and perspectives from all walks of life  – talking about and listening to each other’s stories  – opens your eyes and hearts to appreciate and respect others.”

Photo: Emily Mae

Sarah Karp – India 2014 | Ultimate Africa 2015

“Not only was this the most adrenaline I’ve had in my system for 21 days straight, but this trip brought me one of my closest friends to this day, Lily. Making friends through the shared experiences that Rustic gave us, is one of the most special ways to bond with people.”

Photo: Sarah Karp

Alexandra Pyne – Fiji 2015 | Costa Rica 2016

“I was in love – in love with the ocean, in love with the fact that I was so far away from all I had ever known and still felt OK and in love with the fact that maybe I could feel all of this all over again. My trip to Fiji attuned me to my passion for the ocean and my inherent sense of wanderlust that I have never really understood before.”

Ally Pyne - Rustic Pathways Alumni

Photo: Ally Pyne

Charlotte Ide – Tanzania 2015 | Dominican Republic 2017

“Travel has activated something vital in me: the unending empathy and desire to help everyone you can. The inspiration didn’t leave as soon as our plane touched down in the States, we began to ask each other: what comes next? What do we do with everything we learned, both morbid and inspirational? We realized the answer was simple: we must teach others what we have learned.”

Photo: Charlotte Ide

About the Author

Mary Rogelstad

Content Writer