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Magazine

At Rustic Pathways, we believe one of the best ways to give back is to help a country’s native species thrive. Many Rustic programs focus on conservation efforts around the world, such as helping protect Costa Rican turtles…
When thinking about your next Rustic experience, faraway places probably spring to mind: terraced rice fields in Thailand, serene beaches in the Dominican Republic, or the wild outback of Australia…
Some of the most powerful travel experiences happen when you just can't help but admire a beautiful landscape. Those quiet moments of wonder speak the loudest and become lasting memories…
As Rustic Pathways students embark on another transformative summer, the Rustic Pathways Foundation is pleased to share some exciting news about our funding strategy and—drumroll please—the projects we’ve prioritized with our community partners for 2017 …
Over the next 10 weeks, more than 400 seasonal staff members will help students navigate airports, customs, and new experiences across 19 different countries and 100+ Rustic Pathways programs. This year’s program leaders are the most experienced we’ve ever employed…
Kayla Brown, of Millbrae, California, traveled with Rustic Pathways in 2016. She wrote about her experiences participating in the Rustic Pathways Children's Home and Hill Tribes of the Golden Triangle programs and the lessons travel taught her.
It’s OK if there’s something you don’t know as you prepare for your Rustic Pathways trip, or even if you’re nervous about traveling abroad. Everyone is thinking about something, and probably the same things you are. We asked members of the Rustic Squad, a group of dedicated Rustic alums, what they wished they had known before…
The first Thrival World Academies class is leaving for Thailand today. Since the school year began in August, the students from Oakland have been preparing for their three months abroad as part of our partnership with Thrival to build the largest network of publicly-funded study abroad high schools in the country. As part of that…
With winter showing its cold ugly face, if you're anything like this California kid, you're probably already dreaming of warmer climates. As Rustic's International Photography Manager, I've visited each of our destination countries and personally felt that big ball of fire's warmth on every continent but one. So journey with me as we shake out…
Whenever I meet someone, the conversation inevitably turns to travel. But it’s more than just knocking countries off of a bucket list—we talk about the people we met, what we learned during these rich cultural experiences, and how they changed us. These are the same kinds of conversations Rustic Pathways students have when they return…
In 2015, Rustic Pathways Foundation Development Ambassadors and donors raised more than $10,000 for the Rustic Pathways Children’s Home (RPCH). These funds provided meals, school supplies, transportation, clothing, and toiletries to students, in service of RPCH’s mission to increase access to secondary education for rural students in Thailand. [caption id="attachment_867" align="alignright" width="300"] House mother and caretaker…
In January 2015, I quit my job and packed my bags to trek through Southeast Asia. During this time, I led Come With Nothing programs in Laos and Thailand with Rustic and recently started full-time as Thailand Program Manager this past January. Read my revelations from the road here, and check out photos from my adventure below:…
How I quit my job to travel through Asia: One year ago, after much apprehension, I stepped out of a comfortable career and watched a whole new world open up for me. I had worked as a policy analyst in Washington, DC for three years, a great job by conventional standards, but there was this nagging…
This month’s Alumni Spotlight is shining on Cailey Newton. She is a three-program Rustic veteran after traveling to Peru, Thailand and Laos, and fundraising for the programs on her own. Upon high school graduation and being accepted into numerous colleges, Cailey found herself researching taking a Gap Year and, ultimately, taking the leap.  Cailey spent…
This month’s spotlights are shining on three awesome girls whose programs in Morocco, India, and Thailand far exceeded their expectations. Hear about their eye-opening experiences and the connections Nabilla, Sarah, and Maggie discovered within their new environments. Nabilla traveled to Morocco with Souqs and Service as an Ambassador scholarship recipient. She had the unique experience…
This month, we're featuring Isabella, Cameron, and Maria. These three awesome Rustic alum adventured with us this past summer and shared some thoughts about what it's like to travel outside their home countries, dive into unfamiliar territory, make friends from around the world, and accomplish their biggest goals. Read on for their stories and great advice…
Lance Oppenheim is a talented photographer and videographer who was awarded one of our Gap Year Global Ambassador Scholarships. While traveling throughout Southeast Asia and India, Lance was captivated by the beautiful landscapes and unique cultures he encountered. He was also surprised by the prevalence of cameras and phones, and questioned the significance of these…
This month we’re featuring alum Maya Elia! After returning home from her program to Thailand last summer, she started Elepants, a non-profit that sells Thai Harem pants and donates 100% of its profits to the Lampang Thai Elephant Conservation Center. What was the specific moment or experience that inspired you to start your nonprofit, Elepants?…
Editor’s Note: In an effort to spread awareness of our global projects and celebrate the passionate and courageous individuals that support the Rustic Pathways Foundation, we are launching a series of blog posts that will attempt to illuminate the perspectives of those who work on our projects on a daily basis. We begin this series…
This summer, inspired by photographer Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York, we began to collect photographs and stories of our students, staff, and community partners. The project facilitated interaction and dialogue between students, local staff, and local communities, and has enabled us to share what Rustic Pathways is all about — the people. When our students…