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The role of Photographer Guide allows one to take a step beyond observing your subject, but experience and connect in the moment. Creating an image, freezing the moment in time, and allowing this moment to be shared is what photography is all about. The images below are from Louis Bryant, Spanish Immersion and Service Photographer…
On February 20th, the islands of Fiji were hit by the worst storm to ever strike the southern hemisphere. The devastating Cyclone Winston killed at least 42 people and left tens of thousands without homes. Rustic Pathways has worked in Fiji for over 20 years; our community partners in both the highlands and islands are members of…
Avocado: Thought you’d miss creamy avocados and guacamole while traveling in East Africa? Think again. Tanzanian avocados are delicious and abundant. Occasionally, trees drop avocados to the unsuspecting passerby below, so be ready with the rest of your picnic! Bantu People: Long ago, the Bantu people were a homogenous group; however, now the label encompasses millions…
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…
During this past winter of 2015, our non-profit organization Rustic Pathways Foundation launched the biggest fundraiser to date. Nearly 170 staff, alumni, and friends volunteered their time to fundraise for causes they felt passionately about—resulting in more than $120,000 raised.
If we had to guess, we’d say about 95% of high school seniors aren’t totally sure what they want to do, where they want to study, or what career path they want to follow. (We’re pretty sure many adults are not so positive either.) If you’re reading this, saying to yourself, “I think I fall…
Our application for 2016 Program Leaders will be closing on February 10! We could give you a hundred reasons why working with us this summer would be an incredible experience, but we figured you might want to hear it from an actual program leader—someone who guided programs last summer and is coming back for round two. Emily…
On January 1st, you said 2016 was the year you learn something new, venture out of your comfort zone, and go on more epic adventures. January is almost over—are you still committed to your goals? If you need some inspiration to keep those New Years resolutions alive, check out this video. It will have you packing your bag…
2016 is here! Were you one of the millions of people who made a New Year’s resolution? Well, according to Statistic Brain, only 8% of people who make a resolution are successful in reaching their goals. People go strong for the first few weeks but then slowly lose focus, with only half of them still…
Every month, we highlight awesome alumni that have made an impact in their community since their program, shared their favorite #sorustic memories with us, or have great advice to pass along. This month, our Alumni Spotlights is shining on Eric Mathewson, a Service Scholarship recipient who filmed his adventures in the Dominican Republic this past summer…
The other night, my wife and I were talking about raising our three sons and how important we feel it is to take a family Gap Year. In 2022, when our sons hit ages eleven, nine, and seven, we will journey around the world by planes, trains, boats, bikes, rickshaws, tuk-tuks, and our collective 10…
The holidays are quickly approaching, and if you're not done with your holiday shopping, you certainly aren't alone. But don’t panic—we have all the travelers on your list covered. Be a gift-giving hero this year with a curated list from Rustic staff with gift ideas from their own holiday wish lists. Day Packs These smaller…
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…
Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, and we are going to do something radical—ask you to give. What is Giving Tuesday, you ask? It's the philanthropic answer to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and its goal is to help support important causes and nonprofits around the world. On this Giving Tuesday, we are hoping you will support the…
As 2015 quickly comes to a close, we wanted to look back on the past year and see how we impacted our global community. In collaboration with Sustainable Travel International, we've compiled the data and numbers into our 2015 Impact Report, which gives an overview of our service initiatives around the world. 2015 was a…
One of the greatest aspects of travel is the feeling of a welcoming community in an unknown place and meeting people who will help you adjust to their culture, food, and language. But what if you were forced into this new life? What if you had to leave your home behind to live in a…
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…
Traveling during your high school years is a fantastic way to broaden your perspective and grow and mature as a person. We’re especially certain of that here at Rustic Pathways! Since travel is such a transformative experience, many students write about their adventures for their college admissions essays. This is a great idea, but it…
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…
Photographer guide and Rustic Crew member Michelle Kanaar worked with us in the Dominican Republic last summer, where she spent time in the bateyes, marginalized Haitian-Dominican communities mostly populated by sugarcane workers. Kanaar recently wrote an article for the Miami Herald about the hardships faced in these communities, most notably the ongoing struggle to get…